November is National Pecan Month -- so, it's your obligation to give pecans a try in either all their raw glory or via the traditional intake: pecan pie.
Earlier this year, pecans were the inspiration for a limited-edition Ben & Jerry's flavor, the Obama tribute Yes Pecan! This January featured flavor consisted of "amber waves of buttery ice cream with roasted non-partisan pecans." Here's how you can make your own butter pecan ice cream at home.
Even though they work well in ice cream, pecans feel like they were a nut meant to be roasted. Heat brings out their sweetness and even if you slightly burn a batch, they're still likely to taste good. This recipe for sea-salted roasted pecans can be tweaked with cinnamon sugar or vanilla.
The standard is pecan pie. Your best bet is the bourbon and butter world of Paula Deen and her chocolate pecan pie. If you're not a chocolate lover, there is apparently an entire Web site devoted to pecan pie recipes -- have at it.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can tackle pecan toffee. It is an old-school sweet, the kind that was enjoyed before sweets got complicated with flavors or colors. As such, it will do its best to wreck any dental work you have and will sit on your stomach like a concrete from Sheridan's. In addition, nobody under 40 can likely make a decent batch.
Most of the pecans you eat will come from Texas (where it's the state tree) or Georgia; but you can get locally foraged pecans from Grandview at Bad Seed
Farm's downtown farmer's market on Friday nights. And Golden Ridge
Farms in Osawatomie, Kansas, sells its pecans at the farm or online. They have a line of glazed pecans -- cinnamon sugar, french vanilla, cajon or caramel -- that sound pleasantly addictive.
[Image via Flickr: cynthia closkey]