I am fortunate to work close enough to home that I can usually come home at lunchtime to happily eat leftovers, read the paper (only today it was the November Bon Appetit, which had just arrived), and entertain Amie. One of our favorite lunchtime and early evening activities this time of year is going into the back yard to pick up pecans. The Scientist and I planted our pecan tree in the spring of 1992, a few months after we built this house. The tree was about seven feet tall, a spindly little thing with a funny little fork in the top. Now it towers over the house. It bears a good crop every other year, which I'm told is typical of some varieties of pecan. This promises to be a great year. We've already shelled and frozen a quart of pecan halves, and the season has just begun.
The real Zorra (more about her later) loved pecans, and would rear up on her hind legs to pluck them from a low branch. The Scientist still laughs when he remembers watching us through a back window, me intently searching the ground, then suddenly looking up in exasperation at the big red dog happily going crunch, crunch nearby. Amie has just discovered that she likes them too. There weren't many last year, and if there had been, she would have had to compete with Zorra for them.
I already have visions of pecan pies, toasted and spiced pecans, all kinds of wonderful treats. But I'll save a few plain ones for Amie, too.