Seems as if we would never get through with the holidays of the Christmas celebration, but here we are right in the middle of the one on the advent of the New Year. While we are certainly assured of being rather weary of all the Turkey, Dressing, and all the trimmings that seem truly traditional of the Xmas season, it will be good to welcome the New Year with table fare of Blackeyed peas, sow-belly, Cabbage, & cornbread or whatever you deem most appropriate for New Year’s day.
I can recall a few years back, when Daddy & yrs.truly always had a fish-fry for New Year’s & no one complained. Will brought us some fried catfish left over from the Ellis fish-fry & it was truly tasty. I’d imagine that it would still be welcome, but then we’d have to go fishing.
The morning temperatures have not been quite conducive to sitting on the river bank with pole in hand, as of late. Grilled steaks have been more popular to some palates that are tired of Turkey by this Holiday season. This humble scribe prefers Prime Rib, but depression & post-holiday pocketbooks preclude the Prime roast. A good mess of Turnips & greens go well with Blackeyes.
Pecans are still on many minds around this time of year as the local harvest is winding down & many of the retail outlets are trying to deplete their store of the precious nuts, so as not to have to put them into cold storage over the year. Fact is, if you haven’t put some up in the freezer for the coming year, there are some very thrifty deals out there with our local Pecan houses. Freezing Pecans is fine, too, as I inquired of Ranza D. a few years back as to how long one could store Pecans in the freezer with their still retaining decent color & kernel quality. His answer was “No one knows”. In other words, they haven’t ever taken any out that were bad if they were OK when they went into cold storage.
One of the most asked questions on Pecan quality & taste is “What variety is best?” My usual answer is that it depends upon what you like the most. A lot of the so-called experts will resort to Commercial quality grades with mentioning varieties such as Sioux, Cheyenne, Hopi, Desirable & the ol’ timers might say a Native. Any of these rate high as favorite shelled nuts for the retail trade.
We decided to run a small taste test with some of the afore-mentioned varieties following the S. S. County Pecan Show. We fixed up some bits & pieces so they couldn’t determine which variety of Pecan they were testing (called a “blind” taste test), similar to the equitable judging of a sanctioned Chili cook-off and had several folks rate them with designated numbers.
Six recommended varieties were included and the results of the ratings were as follows: 1st was Sioux, by a considerable margin, followed, in order of ranking by Desirable, Burkett & Cheyenne tied for 3rd, and the Native & Hopi tied for fourth.
One must keep in mind that any of these varieties are good “eating” Pecans. J. Shaw will eat nothing other than the Burkett, while Kim Bagley will cook with only Sioux if she has ample supply. Son, Will got his annual supply of Pecans for friends & family last week with 3/4 of his sacks being San Saba Improved, and one sack of Cheyenne.
Daddy prefers Pawnee as does Dr. Tommy Thompson, Director of the USDA Pecan Plantation and A&M and the Field Sta. at Brownwood.
In summation, we could surmise that whatever variety you like is quite OK. You know, some prefer Chevrolets while others drive Fords. Olan Tisdale & yrs. Truly are still proud of the Sioux and there is certainly nothing wrong with Hopi, which probably exhibits the most attractive kernels on the grading list. The time honored Eastern Schley is still favored by many of those in the “know”, if you can find them.
It surely seems as if we’ve had our share of football games during the past couple of weeks and looks like we’ve still got a few to go. It’s usually a good time for the Mayor & me to trade out on a few of the varied Pecan treats & snacks during all this out around———————Harkeyville!!!!!!