Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite
Like me, Larry Foote moved from Bellewood Drive. But the memory of his pecans, Mary Virginia's sweet rolls, the spirit of neighborly love, friends, family and the finest food in the South are with me to this day.
Larry Foote's Salty Cocktail Pecans
11/2 pounds pecans, whole
Unsalted butter, to taste (cut into 1 tablespoon pats)
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Place pecans in a 9-by-13-inch aluminum baking pan with 2-inch sides. Dot with five pats of butter and lightly salt the pecans. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and gently fold (stir) pecans with a wooden spoon, adding three pats of butter and a light sprinkling of salt.
Repeat this cooking procedure every 10 minutes, slightly increasing the amount of salt each time, while lightly decreasing the amount of butter.
Never add more butter than the pecans can absorb in a 10-minute period and be very gentle when stirring the pecans. The entire process takes 60n65 minutes. When done, spread on a layer of wax paper and dig in.
Mary Virginia's Orange Sweet Rolls
1 batch icebox roll dough
1 stick margarine
11/4 cup granulated sugar
11/2 tablespoons China Cassia Cinnamon
1 pound confectioners' sugar
Grated rind of two navel oranges
Enough orange juice to make a glaze
Melt one stick of margarine and grease six aluminum foil-lined, 9-inch cake pans. Roll out icebox roll dough into a large rectangle (1-by-3-feet).
Sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll up, jellyroll style, from the long side. Cut and place into prepared cake pans. Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Make a glaze using the confectioners' sugar, rind and orange juice and ice the rolls while they are hot. Mary Virginia says navel oranges have the best rind.
These rolls freeze well in zippered plastic bags, but if you are like me, they won't last long enough to make it to the freezer.
Icebox Roll Dough
1 cup boiling water
1 cup shortening (or 2 sticks of margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 one-half teaspoon salt
2 eggs (large)
2 tablespoons yeast (2 packages)
1 cup water
6 cups flour
Pour water over shortening, sugar and salt. Blend and let cool. Add eggs and beat well.
Let yeast stand in water with a dash of sugar until bubbly. Add yeast mixture to shortening mixture when it is absolutely cool. Then beat in the flour.
Cover and refrigerate three or four hours. Take out of the refrigerator and knead with any extra flour you may need. Roll out, form or cut. Let rise until doubled and then bake at 350 until done and nicely browned.
The dough can be held in the refrigerator before the kneading/proof stage for two or three days. The dough must be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap to keep any air from reaching the dough. When you are ready to bake just pull out the desired amount, then knead, proof and bake.