Day 325 – National Pecan Sandies Day

A Pecan Sandie is essentially a shortbread cookie with some pecans added in. Shortbread cookies have been around for years. It’s a simple cookie dough made from¬†butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. A tried and true cookie. Inevitably, the pecan people came in and decided to add their nuts to the mix and we were left with this new cookie. They say it comes from Arabian origin which makes sense because the Arabians love their nuts and with a bounty of pecans, they would surely be trying to think of ways to use them up. A cookie was a fine innovation. The name “Sandie” is said to derive from their color which resembles the color of sand. It might even hint at the texture too because the cookies are crumbly, not unlike the texture of sand. In my own version of the history, they are named after Sandy Duncan, because nothing’s quite as sweet as Sandy Duncan. We’re talking Peter Pan here folks, and the Mom left with bringing up the Hogan kids. She deserves a cookie named after her, although this one was not.

I didn’t have the time to bake cookies today. It was the end of a long week and I just didn’t feel like coming home and baking. My plan to celebrate was simple: enjoy the work of the elves. The Keebler Elves in fact. They have the most recognized version of the Pecan Sandie. It’s even a registered trademark of theirs. I was just going to go to the store, buy a box and start celebrating. I wasn’t sure if they are cookies you can get in small packs at convenience stores. I have seen small versions of other Keebler cookies like Fudge Stripes and more, but I couldn’t be sure if they sold Pecan Sandies like that. I decided to just go to Stop and Shop and that’s where I headed right after work. There is a location right by my office and I had to stop for toilet paper anyway. This was about 4:30 and after making my purchase, I was back in my car with all I needed.

I was meeting Lola at the movies for a pretty crazy Friday night. The movie started at 5:10 in Seekonk which is just on the other side of Providence heading towards home. We hadn’t been to the movies in a long time and we were feeling like we needed a movie night. Part of our movie drought was there hasn’t’t been anything worth seeing in the theaters of late. But we just wanted the comfort of a theater and as luck would have it, there was a movie starting at a time we could both make it to without going home first. Sometimes when you go home after work, it’s hard to get up and go back out. The 5:10 worked out fine. The movie playing was Rough Night which was a comedy in the vain of Bridesmaids and The Hangover with a pretty good cast. The most intriguing cast member to us was Kate McKinnon (our buddy from SNL), who is always good for a laugh. That’s what we were looking for – just some good laughs. We weren’t dying to see this movie, but it just worked out well and the promise of some laughs was there. There’s nothing better than hearing Lola laugh in a theater. She has a great laugh and she will sometimes laugh at the most subtle jokes and it just makes me smile to hear it.

We both got there at about 5 pm and had plenty of time. It wasn’t particularly busy so we got two parking spots right in front next to each other. When I got out to say hello, I quickly asked Lola to shove this bag of cookies in her purse. I had taken them out of the big package and put about 6 cookies into the plastic shopping bag. Bringing in the whole box would have been too risky. As a testament to Lola’s partner in crime status, she just took the cookies and shoved them into her purse without question or comment. I could have been packing crystal meth in her purse, but she didn’t care. We were in this together now. We then made our way into the lobby with illegal snacks on our person. The crack team at the ticket counter never even noticed. We then proceeded to the concession stand with an air of confidence. We ordered some popcorn and soda. I was going to order some milk, but I felt that was too conspicuous. Lola made small talk with the clerk, but not too much to raise suspicion. He sent us on our way and we had made it through, popcorn in hand and strapped with a bag of illegal cookies. That’s how you celebrate National Pecan Sandie Day – as a cookie felon.

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I started by eating the popcorn because you have to eat popcorn when it’s nice and hot. I made sure I covered my lap with tons of napkins so the butter did not seep through. That has been an issue in the past. I munched away through the previews with Lola’s hand making random appearances in the bag for a handful. I’m usually the popcorn holder. She holds the Milk Duds. After a while, when the movie was just getting going, I grabbed the bag of cookies which I had stuffed in our neighboring chair’s cup holder (we were 2 of only 4 people in the theater). I pulled out a pecan sandie and enjoyed. I gave one to Lola too. She took a bite and then tossed the rest into my bag of popcorn. She was not a fan. I thought they were pretty good. They have a genuine homemade taste to them and I was surprised at how much pecan flavor was in there. I think Lola rejected these because they didn’t fit into her movie dining plan. You can’t mix a nutty shortbread cookie into the mix of popcorn, soda and milk duds. They just don’t go together. I can usually mix up anything, so they were good to me. Maybe they were especially good to me because they were clandestine cookies made by elves in the Arabian tradition in honor of Sandy Duncan.

The movie was only ok. There were some laughs in there, but it wasn’t a great movie. Lola and I discussed and we found it derivative. I can only say that after discussing that word with Lola and looking up the definition, but derivative it was. I guess I just expected more from the cast. I was hoping for full belly laughs. I only got a few chortles and grins. We hope some better movies come around soon. I forgot how much we like going to the movies. It’s kind of our respite from life. It’s the experience of enjoying something together. It’s the magic of dark theaters, of special snacks and of getting lost in another world. We like movies that we can talk about afterwards – ones that inspire us. And even though this movie wasn’t very good, it still inspired a good discussion as we broke down what went wrong and inspired us to create something better in our mind. So yeah, we need more days at the movies.

It had been a while since I had a Pecan Sandie and it was nice to have one again. It’s a good cookie, even the Keebler elf kind. They are sweet in a way but more savory with the rich taste of the pecans mixed with the buttery batter. You can’t compare them to chocolate chip cookies because they are their own thing. That’s ok – it’s good to have variety. They were especially good today because they were double-secret contraband smuggled into a theater by my partner in crime. The Bonnie to my Clyde. That made them special and in fact, the whole day special. That’s why I was the guy smiling in the dark theater, softly munching on cookies and enjoying the spoils of my thug life. Sandy Duncan would be proud.

Next up: National Pralines Day 

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