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Things are getting really nutty around here. So it only seems appropriate that we embrace the merriment and nuttiness that can only happen on National Pecan Day, April 14. Here is a celebration for which we are totally prepared this year. Or are we … ? Because you may not be ready for this. Come to find out the pecan is actually not a nut, but a drupe, which is a type of fruit in which a fleshy outer part surrounds a shell, or pit, with a seed inside. Like a peach. 

Wait what? Have I been “drupe-duped” all of these years? I already knew that peanuts, despite literally having the word nut in their name, are technically legumes. But now I’m finding out pecans are drupes, not nuts. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any nuttier, it did. Well, actually it didn’t … In fact I’ve now got one less nut in my life. Good grief. I can’t keep up.

There are any number of ways we could choose to celebrate this occasion. The American Pecan Council has hundreds of great recipes on its website. But with all this nuttiness, we’re just keeping it simple for today’s celebration. Here is our favorite recipe for candied pecans. These are a fantastic snack to serve with your favorite cocktail. Because right now, I think I need a stiff drink to keep from going nuts.


One tbsp. butter
Two tbsp. sugar
One tbsp. orange juice
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
One cup pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat. Stir in sugar, orange juice, ground cinnamon and red pepper. Add the pecans and stir the mixture, ensuring the pecans are coated. Next, spread the nuts on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place the nuts in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Serve when cooled. Enjoy!

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