Pecans originated in the 1500s and were named by Native Americans according to U.S. Pecans. Pecans were first grown/planted in the 1700s for distribution and the U.S. is still the largest producer and distributer of pecans in the world. Pecans were first called: “pacanes” by the Algonquin tribe meaning “nuts requiring a stone to crack.” Pecans are buttery in flavor and have fiber, zinc and Vitamin E making them a healthy option for snacking. Mom says that her family didn’t have pecans, but walnuts and other tree nuts were readily available. Her family used these nuts for “cracking and eating.” Mom’s family also didn’t have access to pineapple and were first introduced to this tart, sweet, fibrous fruit when the family received government commodities. She says they would drink the juice from the can and just ate the pineapple as it came from the can. She says some people might put the drained pineapple on cereal (also a commodity) with milk on top and eat this as well.
This week, I’m sharing my uncle’s favorite cake that includes both pecans and crushed pineapple. He had it first at a church pitch in (common in Appalachia) and has been a fan since then. My aunt Carolyn gave me the recipe when we visited over Decoration Day. Deer Hunter’s Cake is so moist, easy to make and delicious. There is really no reason to buy boxed cake mixes when there you can simply mix and few ingredients and make a homemade cake. I’m still a little baffled that this cake has no added oil or butter.