Each pecan season we are blessed with a wonderful crew of dedicated workers. Some of them are legendary bakers and others are learning for the first time how to bake. One of my favorite stories this season was from Kristin, one of our novice bakers. Her Nana is known for making some of the best desserts in the family, but this year Kristin was hoping to win the honors. She offered to contribute a dessert to their Christmas meal and Nana suggested they have a competition. After some consideration she chose one of the Chocolate Pecan Pies that she helped bake that day. She was pleased to report to us that the family decided her dessert was the best. According to her, this will be her dessert of choice anytime she is responsible for bringing the sweets!
My husband, Winston, and my father-in-law had a really nice wheat crop this year. In fact, Winston posted a blog about it recently. Our wheat harvest has struggled the last several years due to drought in our area. This year was another story, though! We were so enthusiastic about it, that we decided to keep some of the harvest for ourselves and my mother-in-law had it milled. We visited them a few weeks ago and enjoyed some warm, fresh biscuits that she had made with the recently milled harvest. I thought you might enjoy a picture of these delicious biscuits.
I’m sure it sounds a little silly, but I loved the idea that we were enjoying the end result of all their hard work. I enjoyed mine with a generous amount of butter. Yum! And, of course, I added a nice cup of coffee. I then mosied on outside to their front porch, sat myself down in an inviting rocking chair and enjoyed the evening with some wonderful people!
“For whatever you sow, that you will reap.” Gal 6:7
I remember when I was a kid it was quite the rage to start clubs and invite your closest friends to join with you. I was a member of The Girls Club in which we would yell “no boys allowed” at the top of our lungs when some little boy would innocently cross our path. Poor thing! I’ve even heard my daughter get into the spirit of clubs with her friends. My favorite kids club of all time, though, is one that I wasn’t even a member of. It was one that my Grampy served as a proud founder. He and his friends built a treehouse in a nearby forest in Stoughton, Wisconsin that served as their clubhouse. As with most clubs they had a “magic word” in order to enter the clubhouse. Now most of us used something simple like “open sesame” as our magic words, but my Grampy and his friends were creative. Their magic word was in the form of a song. It made such an impression on me that I can still remember it today. I know at this point in the story you are thinking “surely she isn’t going to make me read this song”, to which I am responding “oh yes I am.”
Alla garu garu, wahoo bahoo
Hiex piex, hika pika domatika
Tippa tika hong kong
Alka balka bah
Guah guah guah
A friend of mine has a shirt which reads “No Perfect People Allowed”. I really like that. It made me think of these clubs that we create as kids. Because even though a kids club is usually in the spirit of fun, the bottom line is that every club excludes someone. “No Perfect People Allowed” should adorn every doorway in every home, church, business, government office and clubhouse. It would help remind us that unconditional acceptance should be the constant rule. And I know for myself it would make me breathe a sigh of relief as I walk into a building with such a motto.
When I think of the perfect pecan tree I think of a huge tree with a wide trunk and leaves that could completely cover you from the sun on a hot day. The thing about pecan trees though is that they are somewhat similar to our own lives. They have stages of prime growth and when they get to the latter stage of life their production starts declining. So my version of a “perfect” tree is not what a pecan farmer would view as perfect. I think these beautiful, mature trees would appreciate this statement as well.
Hello Wordpress friends! So this week we will be filming some of our recipe videos and would like to hear from YOU what kind of recipes you would like to see us film and post! Even if the recipe contains no pecans, challenge us to incorporate pecans into the dish. Comment below or email us!
1. Use a fresh spring mix.
2. Mix in 2 Cups of chopped Strawberries.
3. Add 4 Cups of Grilled Chicken
4. One Cup Blueberries, One Cup Pecans, 3 Tablespoons of fresh basil, and a few onions.
“All work and no play”. It’s a philosophy, just not a philosophy that our family believes in I’m not saying that we don’t believe in working hard. In fact, hard work is something we feel strongly about. And instilling a strong work ethic in our kids and throughout our company is something we desire to do. But learning to take a break or have a moment of fun is what enables us to sustain our dedication to a job well-done.
I remember my first exposure to this idea in the work environment. I was in seventh grade and our family friends invited me to join them for a week to work on their farm and in their general store, Hamblin’s Mercantile. It was an experience I will never forget. We woke up extremely early to milk the cow, enjoyed an amazing breakfast and then drove to town to work at the store. I remember riding in Pac Hamblin’s work truck and listening to Paul Harvey each morning. I learned how to use an old cash register that did not calculate the change due, so I was required to learn the useful task of counting back change to the customers. After lunch, Pac explained to me that this was the time that I should take a “siesta”. I had no clue what he was talking about. After all, it would be three years before I would take my first Spanish class. Thankfully, Pac wasn’t one of those people who left kids to wonder what he meant. He took the time to explain that a siesta was a nap that was taken midday. I realized that if you woke up as early as he did that a siesta was not an option, but rather a requirement. He also told me his philosophy of working hard, but learning to take a nap or break to get rejuvenated in order to face the rest of the day. Now, I appreciate the calm approach to life that the Hamblin’s embraced. In the Millican house, though, calm doesn’t seem to follow us very well. Our house is loud and time seems to spin at an alarming rate. Our version of a siesta is to crank up the music and do a little dancing. In fact, I just happen to have a video of such an occasion. Let me warn you beforehand that what you are about to see is quite embarrassing. The two little girls are our daughters, Anna and Abby, and the big girl is me. I hope this brings a smile to your day! And don’t forget to take your version of a siesta today!