I was so crazy yesterday with writing a new chapter and hurry-up edits on my Christmas book that I nearly forgot I'm the blogger today. Whew! I made it with a minute to spare!
So there's been so much on my mind lately - my past vacation, book releases, end of summer and packing for RWA Nationals that I could have my pick of topics, but I'll ignore those for a while and talk about something that tugged on my mind after posting about pralines on the Harlequin Superromance forum - it seems some people haven't tasted this fabulous concoction.
You see, pralines are a traditional Southern candy, and in my family the candy is always made around Christmas. This year I'm releasing four books set in Louisiana - a state that likes food. I mean, if you've been to Louisiana, you know we like to eat good. And pralines are a particular favorite around these parts. So when the 2009 Golden Heart Finalists decided to assemble a cookbook based on recipes our characters might use, I knew immediately that Picou Dufrene's Infamous Pecan Pralines would make an appearance. Yeah, she's not real, but the recipe is real and has been passed down in my family for at least four generations. It's a timeless tradition made with a particular pot and a special wooden spoon with two people who laugh, cuss and slap down such deliciousness it will make you want to slap your mama...but I don't. Cause my mama is big and strong and doesn't take any crap off me. And she makes the best pralines ever!
We'll be making some for me to take to the RWA Literacy signing next Wednesday, so if you're there, come see me and get a treat. If not, I'm giving you my recipe so you can make your own.
Happy cooking, chere!
Picou Dufrene's Infamous Pecan Praline's (AKA the Harp family pralines)
3 cups of granulated sugar (separated)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup of evaporated milk
¼ cup of cold water (set aside)
1 cup pecans (chopped)
In a small sauce pan, melt 1 cup of sugar until complete syrup. In separate pot stir together 2 cups sugar and the milk. Bring to boil. Add the melted sugar and cook on medium heat until candy forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Once soft ball stage is reached, remove pot from heat, add butter, vanilla and nuts. Beat constantly 3-5 minutes until candy is creamy looking. Dip by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
What is one of your family favorite recipes? I'd love to hear about the food near and dear to you.