My Mother’s Delicious Pralines!
I always thought that my mother was the best cook ever and her friends and my aunts were close contenders for the top spot. I honestly did not know any of her very best recipes at all. I am certain that she tried to teach me to cook, but I doubt that I stood still long enough to listen. You know…places to go and people to see. And then…I lost my mother when I was 35 and my dad six weeks later.
After I recovered from the shock…well sort of recovered, I realized that I desperately wanted those recipes. Looking through every drawer and every cookbook and every other place at their house, I found recipes written down on pads of paper from various businesses, bridge score cards, index cards, pretty note paper…you name it…there was a recipe on it. I also found a huge amount of cut-out recipes from magazines and newspapers. I was thrilled that some of her favorite recipes were included in my discoveries!
I never saw her look at any recipe when she was cooking. She had everything memorized or just figured it out while she was cooking. You know the method…”Let’s see! How about a cup or so of sugar. Maybe a little salt”. I cook like that now, but everything doesn’t always turn out to be perfection. I often look up recipes on my cell phone as I walk around the grocery store or on my iPad in my own kitchen. I tend to run into quite a few people! And I still buy cookbooks even though I am overloaded with them.
Fortunately, I have all of my mother’s cookbooks. In order to keep the scraps of paper recipes, I bought two really large photo albums a long time ago. I placed each recipe into a picture slot. I included all of the newspaper and magazine cut-outs. With two small children at the time, it took me days and days to organize those books. Now, it is so much fun to look through the books ever so often. I like to think that our daughter will feel the same about these recipe books…a special gift from me, but really from her grandmother.
A Favorite Recipe From My Mother…
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
2 cups chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
Mix soda and buttermilk and then dissolve sugar in the mixture. Use a large saucepan and boil slowly to soft ball stage (234 degrees or 236 degrees if the weather is damp). Mixture turns brown as it cooks, but needs stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add flavors, butter, and pecans. Stir until it begins to look like it is very smooth. Drop in small “cakes” on wax paper. Makes about 30 pralines. ***I don’t know why the recipe says “cakes”! Just drop them on the wax paper about the size of a regular size chocolate chip cookie!!***
I promised to give this Praline recipe to “The Chicken Grandma” on WordPress a few weeks ago! She had to be very patient!