Southern Voices on Pecans: Ashley Schoenith, Heirloomed CollectionBy Stephanie Burt
Ashley Schoenith’s Tallahassee childhood was filled with road trips to country, Thomasville, GA and beyond, and she remembers being entranced as a child by the beauty of the pecan groves they passed, rows and rows of trees seemingly to the horizon. But itwas one particular grove, a much smaller one next to a horse pasture, that figured prominently in her family’s more recent history.
Schoenith is the founder of the Heirloomed Collection (www.heirloomedcollection.com), a wildly popular lifestyle brand that emphasizes well-made products that can live in families (or already have) for generations, and part of that means stepping away from the hustle and bustle of modern life to use those products and build a life together. Four years ago when she and her husband decided to build a home, they took up temporary residence during the construction deep in the South Georgia countryside, less than a mile from her husband’s great grandmother. In tow were her three children, and soon the two oldest developed a country tradition of their own--riding the gator to employ the “pecan roller” with their grandmother. That’s about as far away as you can get from iPads and meet ups.
“They would so look forward to going for a ride with her,” she says. “The pecan roller was attached to the front of the gator, and they’d drive slowly under the trees, the roller picking up pecans. While we lived there close to her, it was one of their favorite things to do.”
The next step would be a series of canning jars on the table. There was a good jar for the shelled pecans. that came out in perfect halves, but the broken pieces went into another jar, too, cleaned of all shell and ready to bake into breads and top salads, or in the case of Schoenith’s family, ice cream. “We have this random ice cream topping that is so, so good!” she says. “It makes simple store bought vanilla into something special, and it can be used as a topping for other treats too.”
Although the family’s since moved into their new home, they all still have that “heirloom” of a memory, one they can celebrate and remember with a sweet treat at the day’s end.
Praline Ice Cream ToppingThis ice cream topping is easy to make and is perfect with any ice cream flavor.
Ingredients: • 1/2 cup unsalted butter• 1 cup light brown sugar• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans• 2 1/4 cups corn flakes
Instructions:1. Place butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. 2. Remove from the heat and add in pecans and cornflakes, tossing with a fork to full coat. 3. Serve warm over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
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