OF MICE AND MINESTRONE by Joe R. Lansdale preview: “The Kitchen” and “Mama’s Pecan Bread”
Mama’s Pecan Bread
There was one major rule in the house when pecan bread was on the menu. Absolutely no running or slamming doors inside, lest you cause the bread to fall. I never did know if this really made a difference, but I wasn’t trying to find out. I could see it now, the headline would read something like “Local boy accused of ruining pecan bread found snatched up, hide tanned. Mother questions where things went so wrong.” My folks weren’t big on whippings, and I wanted to keep it that way.
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
11⁄2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped-up pecans (better when
they’re from the trees out back)
Turn on your oven and get it warmed up to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with some Pam, or get a stick of butter and rub it inside the pan. Get a glass bowl and mix together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and oil. Stir with a fork or whisk. Next, add the flour and the vanilla. Now stir that up until everything is smooth, with a nice golden color. Once your bowl looks like a wheat field, add your pecans.
Pay attention now, do not add all of them.
You want to save some, about a half a cup, to put on the top. So help me if you add all the pecans at once, you’re on your own. Stir it around until the pecans are mixed in, then spoon it into the greased dish. Spread it out evenly, then add the remaining pecans. It should look pretty covered, like ants on a picnic.
Bake that sucker for about a half hour, then let it cool. Cut it up into squares and marvel at the wonder that is Mama’s Pecan Bread. And remember, no running in the house.