Friday, November 3, 2023

Holiday Treats

The holiday season will be here a lot quicker than most of us realize. I know it seems early to post holiday treats, but the agreement the king of all fishes and I made when I started making these recipe posts was that I would only do one each week. With that in mind, all I can say is Times-is-a-wasting, I seem to have already allowed Halloween slip by, and I need to get busy, or I will find myself past the time for posting New Year booze recipes.

Holiday Treats
A Photo Recipe post
brought to you by ZeroBear PolyBear
who reminds you, Tuesday is election day, 
and like they do in Chicago, 
you should:

Many of my favorite holiday eats are main course meal items, like turkey, ham, sweet taters (not the governor, the orange starchy tubers), and cornbread dressing like Mom made. Maybe I’ll get around to those things eventually, but I figured you guys need a swell recipe for Candied Pecans, and that is what we will cover this week.

Pecans (pronounced “Puh cons” where I come from) have always been a big time special treat at our house. My grandparents farm, West of Isola, MS had 9 mature trees in the yard and 10 more if the barn, cotton field turn rows, and the cow pasture between the house and barn were included, which they were. When a couple of frosts had come and gone, the nuts would begin falling, and all of the 7 daughters, two sons, spouses, and the 30 + cousins would all descend on the home place for a weekend of pecan gathering. Each daughter or son would bring several of the big brown paper grocery bags grocers don’t use anymore and we would fill them to overflowing with Stewart Pecans. My PaPa was a well-known pecan tree grafter in that part of the state (Midnight and Silver City to Indianola and Leland), and his grafted pecan trees were always prolific producers of nuts. At the end of the weekend, each family would carry 40 to 60 pounds of nuts and would leave 60-80 pounds at the homestead for grandma to make pies, cakes, cookies, and divinity out of over the next twelve months.

I promise I will do Divinity before Christmas, but today, I want to share my recipe for cinnamon sugared pecans, because the world needs this treat, and everyone who reads this can make this sweet candy treat, that will impress your entire family and the few friends who have attained a high enough friend status to qualify for the sharing of candied pecans.


I am not sure where this recipe came from. I would love to tell you it is original to me, but that would not be true. I can say I wish it was original to me and that it will soon be a favorite at your house if you try making them.

By the way, the Isola farm is long gone now. The house is gone and the lot overgrown. PaPa's fields are now cultivated by a pair of brothers who were very interested in the history of the farm when I stopped by their tractor lot one day to visit. The sad remnants of a few of the pecan trees we played under back in the 1950s are still there, but most of them are broken down and rotting away. Just mentioning it makes me pause for extended periods of reflection as I recall excellent memories of good people, sadness for the many relatives who are no longer with us, and simpler, happier times out in the delta.

I am the first boy from the left in the second row. I was a cute little scutter.

Proof there were lots of pecan trees at PaPa and MaMa's Isola house. Waist high cotton, too.

These days, we buy our pecans from the Attaché Show Choir kids at Clinton High School during their annual fund-raising event to support the heavy expense of running a competition choir. They sell high quality, whole nuts, for a great CHS program, at a somewhat high price. There are not so fancy, but definitely cheaper pecans to be found at Sam’s, and I bet Costco has them too. If you have relatives who have 200 acre groves, who will not shoot at you if you drop by to gather some of their crop for your holiday baking, you are a very lucky person.

Here is my recipe for Candied Pecans:


2 cups pecan halves, shelled, and cleaned.
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Spray oil (pam), or butter
Baking pan 


Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F. Hotter than that and extending the cooking time for too long will burn the pecans, so be careful.

Separate egg yolk from egg white and set the yolk aside. You will only use the egg white in this recipe.

Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside. 

Add water and vanilla to the egg white in a bowl and whip by hand or with a mixer until frothy. Add pecans to the frothy egg white and stir until the pecans are well coated.

Add the pecans and mix until all are well coated.

Add the wet pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until coated.

Lightly spray a baking pan with butter flavored Pam, or lightly coat with butter and spread the sugar-coated pecans in a single layer.

Bake on the center rack of the pre-heated oven for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes – until the sugared pecans are dry and slightly browned/cooked. Your oven may take a little less or more time. Do not burn the pecans. They only need to be dry and slightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool.

Make a serious attempt to not eat all of them in the next 20 minutes. 

Thanks for looking.
God Bless You


Added Wednesday night (11/01/23)

 I hope you guys will forgive me posting this with a happy, "Me too!" in honor of my friend Robert St John:



Anonymous said...

Love the black and white photos. Nothing better than looking back at those.

These look fantastic. Always loved them but never knew how to do them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever add Rum to this?

Anonymous said...

Humphreys county girl here. I going to try this for Christmas.
Is that a Francoma plate you're eating from? I have some of the blue. It's a treasure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe, cannot wait to try it this Christmas season!

A Regular Here said...

I just happen to have developed the world's best, most complete, most boring fried turkey instruction that predates by several decades the modern 'stove pipe cylinder' apparatus for frying a single turkey. And there's an addendum for frying a whole chicken at the same time which requires a different time and weight formula.

Concurrently fried chicken livers along with garage bourbon and Thanksgiving-garage-bar photos are added for free.

Anonymous said...

I love all things made with pecans. This looks like a great recipe.

Our pecan trees produced a good crop this year, for the first time in about 4 years. Every time I go looking for hubby, he's under a tree picking up nuts or sitting in his recliner in front of the TV shelling them. I'll make several pecan pies for the holidays.

When I was growing up in the 1960s, my brothers and I picked up pecans, and our parents drove us to the coop to sell them. That's how we kids earned money to buy Christmas presents.

Thanks, Mr. Bear!

Anonymous said...

I’m hoping for a good sausage balls recipe, ZBPB.
I’ve been buying the frozen ones but they don’t taste like my mawmaw’s.
Please share your as I’m willing to bet it’s going to be the closest I will find.
Every recipe I find online looks like inedible yankee garbage!

Anonymous said...

When I die my coffin will be full of Candied Pecans.

Stuff About ZeroBear PolyBear said...

11:38 it is a southern living plate? Purchased at a party maybe 15 years back. I might be able to tell you more with some research. We have had them a long time along with soup bowls and serving dishes.

Stuff About ZeroBear PolyBear said...

Continued answer to 11:38. If not the green sculpted one most of our other stuff is Sherwater pottery. FromWalter Anderson,s family on the coast.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to find plain lady in a long dress to buy some peanut brittle from.

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