My maternal grandfather’s parents employed a lovely lady as a cook

Martha Shannon James

Martha Shannon to our family

My great grandmother, Eloise, died fairly young from what was then called stomach cancer

Get a colonoscopy, please

Anyway, Martha Shannon and my great grandmother were known to creat amazing dishes on a wood fired stove and oven

Cheese straws

Lemon meringue pies

Fresh coconut pies

Hoe cakes


My grandmother, the daughter-in-law of Eloise, said that Christmas at her in-laws was a treat

My great aunt, daughter of Eloise, said she inherited a lot of her mama’s and Martha’s cooking

In addition to cheese straws at Christmas, there were always what our family call salted nuts

Pecans, pronounced pee cans, toasted in a cast iron skillet with a half a stick of butter and enough salt to raise BP to coronary and stroke levels. So. Much. Salt.

In the 1990s when the whole “Deez Nutz” joke came round thinks to Hip Hop, all I could think was that Salted Nuts were now deez….Deez Nutz

I make Salted Nuts

I like to use Schermer Pecans out of Jawja

They are amazing

Not likely to turn rancid like those grocery store nuts

Every year I make them, even if it’s just for the home crowd

Because of Martha Shannon, who knew me as a young toddler

Because of Aunt Marion, who knew me until I was 32

Because of Grandmama Eloise, who died in 1944, and only knew one of her five grandchildren

Because it’s what we do

Hope y’all make some, too

Salted Nuts

1 lb pecan halves, preferable from Schermer’s out of Thomasville, GA

1/2 stick salted butter, softened, divided into 4 tbps

1 tbsp Kosher salt…my people used table salt but that’s even too salty

10 inch cast iron skillet or a toast tray

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spread out nuts on toast tray and dot with butter, sprinkle evenly with the salt

If using a cast iron skillet, spread half the nuts into the skillet and sprinkle with half the nuts, half the butter, and half the salt. Repeat

Place the toast tray or skillet with the nuts into the oven

And cook

Cook until the nuts smell

Cook until dark brown

Every oven is different

Don’t overcook or they’ll burn

At the same time, cook until brown and gold

At least 20-30 mins

And then dump out onto a brown paper bag under which you’ve placed some newspaper to soak up the butter

Let cool completely. They store well in the same type of tin in which you have your moldy mice, fudge, cheese straws

They go really well with everything, but especially some brown water.

Merry Christmas, Boys and Girls!

6 thoughts on “Salty

  1. I understand all of this except why you buy Georgia pecans. Young’s Pecans from near Florence work perfectly for me. I do approve of the pronunciation of the nut.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am true to my raising. Not going to cede any superiority to Georgia. Pecans. Peaches. You name it. Actually the best pecans are the ones from my brother’s front yard in Winnsboro, but the picking out of the meat is a thing of the past for me.


  2. Don’t you just love moldy mice! It wouldn’t be Christmas at our house without them! And cheese straws, etc., too, of course! I need to make your salty nuts! Thanks for your blogs! Merry Christmas to all of y’all!


  3. I’ve been racking my brain for a month trying to conjure up from where in GA (Jawja) I wanted to order pecans. Thank you for answering my internal Q. Have you ever had them chocolate covered from there? I know it might be cheating bc you eat them out of the box but I’m okay with cheating on that front. Also thanks for the recipe. Love you and family always!


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