2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter
4 to 4 1/2 cups pecan halves

In large (at least 6-quart) heavy saucepan, cook sugar, buttermilk, and soda on medium-high heat to soft-ball candy stage. (Syrup has reached the soft-ball stage at 234 to 240 degrees. When a small quantity is dropped in ice water, it forms a ball that keeps its shape, but when removed from the water, it flattens out by itself). Stir frequently to prevent burning. As candy cooks, it will turn golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir butter in . Add pecans, and stir to coat all nuts. Cover counter with wax paper, and pour pecans onto it. Immediately separate pecans. Let cool.

Makes About 4 Cups

Note: Works best when made on a day with low humidity.

Specialty of the House originally featured in Domain, September/October 1989.