The thrill of the hunt !!


You can see which sweet tidbits were first choice. The marshmallow treats are at top. They went fast!


I’m always on the hunt for new and different recipes that don’t take much effort for the pleasure quotient they provide. I lurk around family reunions and potlucks in the on-going search for those perfect little delicacies that spice up our lives and don’t add too many calories.

I found such a recipe this weekend (minus the calorie requirement of course) at a family reunion. The annual event was held deep in rural Tippah County, Mississippi, where my Dad was raised. It took place at a little church in the wildwood called Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church. The congregation was started and the land donated by my great, great (maybe another great, I’m not sure) grandfather in 1855. The family still owns the church which has been leased to a bunch of Baptists, but still carries the name “Presbyterian.” (Wonder how the Baptists feel about that?)

As I surveyed the 60-plus feet of smorgasbord featuring every vegetable and salad known to man, and as many different kinds of fried chicken as there were grandmothers in the room, I automatically drifted over to the dessert table and began to pant. The songstress in my mind was singing “Oh, Come, Come, Come: Come to the Church in the Wildwood….” The one in my heart had paused its singing to drool.

The spread was perfection – with a flawless balance between chocolate and multi-colored confections. One little tiered plate held something I had never seen before…looked like fluffy round clouds that got hit by a caramel tsunami. Hmm…very unusual for me to find a dessert I couldn’t identify.

As I scarfed down the Southern fried chicken and macaroni and cheese so I could hit the dessert table, I casually mentioned the tier of unidentified “cloud-like” balls. My 10th cousin twice removed who sat across from me said “I made them.” I almost reached across the table to hug Debbie Braddock – a relative I had never met. I liked her already and knew I had found a kindred spirit.

I ripped a corner off the paper table cloth and dug in my purse for a pen. Not finding one, I simply used my new lipstick pencil. It worked fine.

“Shoot!,” I instructed. “Give me the details.”

“I hate to tell you how easy it is,” she said demurely. “All you do is dip some marshmallows in a mixture of Eagle brand milk and commercial caramel sauce and roll them in nuts.” How simple. How divine. I’ve never met a recipe yet that sweetened condensed milk couldn’t improve.

A crowd was forming over my shoulder as other relatives attempted to horn in on my “find.” I covered the powder pink document with my palm. “We don’t want the world knowing about this recipe, do we?” I whispered to Debbie with a wink.

I immediately began envisioning the addition of some mini-chocolate chips to the “nuttery stage.” I’m never content to leave well enough alone which is why my culinary efforts usually go too far over the top, or fail miserably.

My advice for other recipe hunters is this: To find new and exciting concoctions, begin lurking around potlucks outside your immediate area. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered.

Here are the instructions to cook up a batch of these little wonders:

1-2 cups pecans chopped

1 package large marshmallows

1 can Eagle Brand milk

Pre-made Caramel Dip

Mix caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk and stir until well blended. Dip each marshmallow in the mixture and roll in pecan bits. Voila – dessert!

One thought on “The thrill of the hunt !!

  1. Hi Emily,

    Can’t do most desserts due to allergies to several ingredients, but have you tried the strawberries from California that have been coming in the last couple of weeks? They are wonderful!! I’ve been buying the organic ones and throwing in some sugar — yum! Guess that’s my dessert for now, but it sure is a good one.

    I’d appreciate it if you or any of your readership would pass along any fruit or vegetable and where it originates and where they bought it if it’s in season and unusually tasty. I sometimes get things when the timing isn’t just right, and am disappointed, so I’d appreciate the heads up on the in season stuff as it comes out, if you’ve found something particularly tasty.

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