Pecans & a DIY

11.15pecanbowl-5Our pecan bowl gets bigger and bigger each year. If I have to endure the fall and winter months, at least there are pecans. Granted, I would rather eat my pecans with ice cream on a hot day…I’ll take what I can get. Our generous friends let us come gather pecans at their farm again. Here are links to the last two years: 2014, 2013

11.15pecanbowl-111.15pecanbowl-211.15pecanbowl-3Shaking the pecans from the tree…11.15pecanbowl-4I decided to make a new ‘pecan’ bowl this year. Americana DecoArt released a new line of paint – Americana Decor Maxx Gloss. It has a finish like spray paint, only you can brush it on and use it inside. You can find it at Micheals (in-store, online), Home Depot (select stores, online) and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores (in-store, online).11.15pecanbowl-6I wanted to do small dots all over the bowl, so I used the end of a paintbrush and practiced a little first.11.15pecanbowl-7I chose to make the bottom more concentrated and then thin out the dots as I got higher on the bowl. Part of me wanted to do a more intricate design, but with kids interrupting I knew I better stick with simple.11.15pecanbowl-9It reminds me of snow falling…feels very ‘winter-ish’ to me. Pecans are the sign that the cold months have arrived and more time will be spent at the table than outside.11.15pecanbowl-10“I make it through the dark, cold months by cracking pecans most nights.  It is something I did with my grandma growing up. My grandparents had a huge pecan tree in their little yard. Every year hundreds of pecans would fall to the ground. We’d make a game of gathering them up and grandma would crack and jar them all. Her freezer was always full of big glass jars of pecans. My grandparent’s kitchen table always had a bowl with shelled pecans on it. As we gathered around that table, it just felt natural to start cracking pecans. When hands are busy, we lingered at the table longer.” – me, 2014 post11.15pecanbowl-1111.15pecanbowl-1211.15pecanbowl-13Letting the kids crack the pecans creates a MESS. Part of me wants to avoid the mess by not letting them join in, but the bigger part remembers growing up cracking pecans with my grandma. I am confident I made a big mess too, but not once do I ever remember her mentioning it.

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  • Aunt Sandy - That sure does bring back memories at Mom and Dads. Mom got such a kick out of cracking and bagging their pecans at that ole kitchen table. They always made sure there was a bowl waiting for the grandkids. Ya there might be a mess, but, that’s easy to clean, memories can’t be swept away. Love it when you share their memories.

  • jodi - Grandmas are amazing that way…maybe it’s that they have the perspective of knowing that the little things really are little things? I love the way you encourage me to live in the moment, Ashley, and not sweat the messes and little things…you challenge and encourage me to be a better mom – I’m forever grateful!

  • Byron - These are the things that let us see the enchantment in the world. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amy@AtMulberryHill - I truly love this. SO adorable and even this non-artistic, but creative person can “draw” something so simple. That paint looks wonderful, too.

  • Diana - That bowl is very cute!! And a great story and family tradition!

  • Jean - “Part of me wants to avoid the mess by not letting them join in” — me, too! But you are much wiser.

  • Paige - Love the bowl! Any tricks for cracking them without the pecans crumbling? We Arnav’s been having issues. Seems like it shouldn’t be hard but last year the kids and I were just breaking them left and right into tiny little pieces. ?

  • Kelly - I read the original post and loved the idea of sitting and shelling nuts and visiting with my kids and the neighborhood kids. So now, through the winter, we have bowls of mixed nuts on the big island in our kitchen and often times on the dining room table as well. The kids make a big mess but they are laughing and chatting the whole time. I always have a bowl of pistachios for the littler ones as they have a harder time with the big nuts. Thanks for a great idea!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Beautifully written, Ashley.