Friday, January 23, 2015

Oh Nuts.

Cinnamon Sugared Pecans

Think of pecans and Georgia groves come to mind but the Peach State traces its reputation in the nut industry to real estate developers who, from the late 1890s to about 1920, sold thousands of five acre tracts of newly planted pecan seedlings to Northerners as retirement investments. The natural range of pecans was further west, from Louisiana to central Texas, north through eastern Oklahoma and Kansas and most of Missouri, north up the Mississippi River bottom lands to southeastern Iowa and central Illinois, up the Ohio River to southern Indiana and western Kentucky, and east to central Tennessee and western Alabama. Its thin shell and large kernel (nearly half the weight of the nut) made it a favorite food for Native Americans and its popularity with European settlers grew when traders and trappers brought the nuts to the east along with their beaver skins--long before American pioneers crossed the Allegheny Mountains. Like the black walnut, the pecan is an excellent shade tree and produces valuable timber as well as nuts.

Nuts or Wood? While any pecan tree can produce nuts, growing trees specifically for nut production differs dramatically from growing for high quality timber. Trees in the nut orchard have short trunks and wide spreading branches: all of the leaf energy is channeled into producing nuts rather than wood.   Missouri ranks 14th in pecan production.
So what to do with all these nuts?    I had 2 large bags of blown pecans from Shepherd Farms in Missouri.   You can read more about their farm here:

On to the nuts!  

1   Egg white, large
1 tsp  Cinnamon
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 lb Pecan, halves
1 tbsp Water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg white with water and vanilla until frothy (white foam). In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans to egg white mixture and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a gallon Ziplock bag (perfect for a double batch).    Pour half of the sugar mixture over pecans and toss several times then add remaining sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated. Pour coated pecans over a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer.  Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.  Storage in an airtight container is essential.   Moisture causes the meat of the nut to soften and loose flavor.  

We gave small bags of these snacks away as Christmas gifts to family and friends.  In most cases, they didn’t even last 1 hour, so little concern about storage! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Bench

Reggio Family

We have moved to our new house!!
 Grandpa built us a bench for our table.
We had breakfast at the new house;
all the girls fit on the bench with room for our friends and family, too.
 It is great and matches our table.
 Breakfast time.
Off to school.
More later.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sandia Peak, New Mexico

Sandia Peak

For New Year's we traveled to New Mexico.
Sandia Peak has a wonderful Tram ride.
It was a foggy day on the ground but clear at the top of the mountain.

 Above the fog.
 Looking down into the valley.

 A fort build by AmeriCorp volunteers in the first years of AmeriCorps.
The ski slope off the other side of Sandia Peak.


A view of Albuquerque in the evening.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Food, Family and Fun

New Year.

 We watched movies with grandpa.
We had our annual deer processing event.

 We made homemade ice cream.
We ate lots of family favorites and leftover Christmas food.
Rosettes and krumkaka

We check the goats...

 and play with them..
 and give them feed and play on the ice!!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Season

A Happy Holiday Season and
Joyous New Year

 A Picture of the Reggio family by Kayli.
 The Amaryllis, the day after Christmas. 
A beautiful red Poinsettia.
Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter work and crafts

 Finished up putting some tile in the field.

 Kayli driving Dawn's little tractor. Duke went along for the ride.
 Kayli helped Dawn clean out her chicken pen
and get it ready for winter.

 Kayli and Holli painted sun catchers.

 The girls made gift tags out of paint chip samples.

 Aubri read "Llama Llama Mad at Momma"
to grandpa and Holli.
 Kayli working on a craft.
Then a water pipe under a hydrant broke
in the cold weather.
Work and play.