5. Pecans: Don’t Make Brownies Without Them

17 Sep

First off, let’s discuss pronunciation. The word is “puh-CON,” not “pee-CAN.” Yes, there are a few rogue Southerners (Paula Deen included), who insist on “pee-CAN,” but the rest of us say “puh-CON.” Conversely, nearly everybody above the Mason-Dixon says “pee-CAN,” and I, for one, cringe when I hear it said thusly. (Not quite as bad as hearing Biloxi pronounced “Bee-LOX-ee” but close. Also, for the record, it’s “PRAW-leen” not “PRAY-leen.” Ok, enough with my digression, I could go on all day.)

If a Southerner is baking, you can be sure there’s a heap of pecans somewhere nearby. Brownies? Add pecans. Chocolate chip cookies? Add pecans. Rum cake? Add pecans. (And some extra rum for our Baptist friends.)

How my sister and I both wound up with pecan-hating men, I will never know. (Neither of them is Southern, which might be a clue.) This makes baking an exercise in frustration. Everything has to be half nutty, half not. And when they fail to go through desserts as quickly as we do, we’re left with nutless brownies. I can’t think of anything sadder.

Anytime anybody commenced to baking anything, my beloved late mother would always say, “You have to toast the pecans first.” As if we’d forget. She believed that anyone who didn’t like pecans just hadn’t had them properly toasted. Man, how I wish that were the case.

What’s your favorite pecan-laden treat?

4 Responses to “5. Pecans: Don’t Make Brownies Without Them”

  1. Jennie February 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank goodness there’s someone else who HATES pee-can. As I heard Emeril say once, a pee-can is for relieving yourself, a peh-cohn is for eating.

    My grand mother used to toast pecans at Christmas either with a little salt or cinnamon and sugar. When I lived in Memphis there was a kiosk at the local mall where you could buy bags of pecans….those were the days……

  2. girloutofdixie February 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Love the Emeril quote! That’s HI-larious!

  3. DessertForTwo April 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Ohh lady, I’m fallin’ more and more in love with your site daily. I feel like we’re kindered spirits–2 Southern girls on the west coast. I probably shouldn’t tell you this (since I want us to be friends), but I say pee-can. Not sure why, I’m the only one in my family that does. But you’re absolutely right, it’s puh-kawn. I just can’t stop my tongue from saying it the wrong way. Have you done a post about how Southerners say things all wrong? For example, we say ‘sheath cake’ instead of ‘sheet cake,’ as in ‘Texas chocolate sheath cake.’ I’ll try to think of some more examples for you. I’ve just noticed that my family says things the wrong way and doesn’t feel the need to correct it because everyone knows what you mean. Then the next generation grows up thinking that’s the right way to say it. I never knew that the grocery store ‘Tom Thumb’ wasn’t actually called ‘Thumb Thumbs.’

    • Kim Holloway April 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      So glad you’re liking my blog. I heart yours, too! The other day my sister said “pee-can.” I told her she’d been watching far too much Paula Deen.

      Mispronouncing words is an excellent topic suggestion. My dad has always called videos “Vee-Dee-os” for some unknown reason. I haven’t heard of Tom Thumb stores, but I love that y’all call it “Thumb Thumbs.” There’s a mall here called Pacific Place that I always refer to as “Pacific Palace.”

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