National Pecan Pie Day


Today is National Pecan Pie Day- now that is something my taste buds are happy to celebrate!  

I love pecan pie and if it comes with chocolate chips (like Cracker Barrel’s version), I’ll eat that too.  I love how the sticky sweetness of the filling is tempered with the blander crunch of the pecans. 

My favorite pecan pie story is actually about one that we didn’t buy.  For several years my husband and I would travel from Houston to Kingsland, Texas to visit his sister.  We always took a scenic route on State Highway 71 that took us through Bastrop (beautiful little city!) and Austin.

There was a business we passed on these trips with a giant squirrel out front.  I mean giant as in 14 feet tall giant. Of course, we couldn’t ignore that, so we made time to stop and check it out.

The store is the Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company and it carries every imaginable pecan treat, both sweet and savory (and had lots of samples!).

The most unique part of the store, in my opinion, is the vending machine out front.  It’s not an average vending machine as it sells all kinds of pecan goodies to after hour shoppers, including entire pecan pies.  Yes, you can purchase a whole pie from this machine.

Sadly, we didn’t actually buy one.  Pie isn’t the best travel food, in my opinion, and there are all kinds of small town bakeries along this route that offer goodies that are more portable.  However, the concept (and the squirrel!) obviously made an impression on me.

Food · Holidays

National Graham Cracker Day

Today is National Graham Cracker Day, the date chosen (I am guessing) because of their importance in the creation of s’mores, a traditional summertime treat.  These crackers were first eaten by the followers of a Reverend Graham, an early vegetarian and temperance leader in the 1800s. I always thought he had created the food, but apparently not, according to Wikipedia.  Nevertheless, his name will always be tied to this sweet treat.

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I am not a camping fan as I prefer all my sleeping to take place in climate controlled, bug free places, so my experience with true campfire s’mores is very limited.  I did make microwave ones for Fourth of July one year, but I decided they were a little too rich for my tastes. However, graham crackers have such a mild flavor that they make a great base for many pies and cheesecakes, which is how I normally enjoy them.  My mom used to make homemade cookies out of graham crackers, spreading them with canned frosting, which made a yummy, cheap, treat.

I have made my own version of lazy girl s’mores by spreading one graham cracker with marshmallow creme and another with Nutella and pressing them together to make a sandwich.  They were incredibly tasty but I discovered that I can’t be trusted with a jar of Nutella, so they don’t make my menu often.

My favorite way to enjoy graham cracker flavor is eating Golden Grahams cereal.  I think part of my obsession with this cereal is because I could never convince my mom to buy it when I was a kid.  Sadly, this is another food that I can’t be trusted with, so I don’t buy it often either, however, I may need to pick up a box since it is a holiday after all.

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Would you let someone else do your grocery shopping?

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I have a confession to make.  Last Saturday I used a pickup service for my groceries.

Why would this be something worthy of a confession?  Well, when this option first started popping up as an option in my local stores, I rolled my eyes.  It sounded kind of lazy. Would people really pay a stranger to shop for them? Would they trust them to pick the best fruit?  The freshest bread?

I knew some early adopters who really liked it, and although I heard complaints about short expiration dates, most of the gripes were about price.  One local store was charging a flat fee AND a surcharge on every item, though most stores just charged one or the other.

Pros- of course, it’s convenient.  Not only do I avoid the store (and the lines, crowds, and crying kids), I have the app on my phone, so as I menu plan or see a need for something, I can add it to my cart as I go to be included on the next week’s haul, no worries about a list.

Cons- there are things I miss when I don’t actually see the item in my hand.  For example, I bought some corn starch. I just went with the cheapest option, however, if I would have seen the design of the top of container and how it closed so poorly, I would have gone with another brand.  Corn starch is not something I want spilling all over my pantry.

Pro/con?- I don’t get to see new products or off list items I might be interested in.  It’s great that I will make less impulse buys, but sometimes those are the products I’ve found really useful.  

The store I use doesn’t charge for this service at this time, as long as I make a minimum purchase, so I consider that a real bargain.  I admit that my husband and I still buy our own bread and fruit. I just can’t trust a stranger (at least not yet) to make the best choice on those items.  I also don’t allow substitutes, if the store is out of what I specifically requested, I’ll pick it up myself.

I feel confident that these types of services will just continue to proliferate.  How long until someone comes to my home to fill up my gas tank or wash my car? Actually those sound like good ideas….no eye rolling here.