If you grew up in the southeast, you might remember passing a Stuckey’s once about every 50 miles when you were on a road trip with your family. They stood out from the other gas stations and convenience stores, with their pitched, shingled roofs (as opposed to looking like a flat box) and cursive signs welcoming you like a note from your grandmother.
If you ever got out of the car and went in, you would have seen the Pecan Log Rolls. Maybe you had a less deprived childhood than did I, but I never had one of those sweet delicacies as a child. My mama raised me on Grape Nuts for breakfast and alfalfa sprouts and raisins when I asked for a snack. Candy was a rare treat. So I didn’t even bother to ask for a Pecan Log. I was well into adulthood (maybe in law school?) when I stopped alone at a Stuckey’s one fine Saturday. As I marched my road-weary, stiff body back from the ladies’ room, I saw a long, double-tiered table piled with Pecan Logs. It was one of those, “You know what?” moments. Yeah, I did it. No one was there to tell me, “No.” I bought one and ate it in the car.
I have to tell you that after a lifetime of wondering and waiting, I found that Pecan Log Roll to be good. Not a gourmet experience, mind you, but good enough. Since it has so many nuts, it will stick to your ribs for a while. That makes it a good road trip snack. The fluffy nougat stuff on the inside gives it that sweet indulgence that you’re looking for when you’re on vacation. Have plenty of napkins on hand, though. They can be sticky.
Nowadays, when you see the Stuckey’s sign, the buildings don’t look that different from the other convenience stores. You don’t see them as often around the Carolinas anymore, but I understand they are still thriving west of here.
So if you’re road tripping and see a Stuckey’s around the time you need a pit stop, take advantage of the opportunity to engage in a southern tradition. Stop in and “git you a Pecan Log, darlin’,” as some folks’ grandmothers would say.