Support Ken

Click here to support Ken Steinhoff through your Amazon purchases.

Purchases made at from that link put 6% of the total transaction price in Dad's pocket at no additional cost to you. You're going to shop online anyway, right? Do it through to support this web site.

Or, if you'd rather just send him a random amount of money, you can do that too...

Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Mother’s Gone Nuts

I mentioned the other day that Mother and I picked up pecans in Dutchtown on one of our jaunts. As soon as we got home, she dug out the Rocket Nutcracker that’s been cracking Steinhoff pecans for better than half a century. She clamped it in the vise on Dad’s workbench and went to digging in the basement food cupboard he built at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Before long she found the very same cigar box and nut pick he used sitting his recliner, watching TV and filling jar after jar with nuts.

Metal fatigue caused handle to break

The metal fatigue from cracking thousands of nuts eventually caused the handle to break, but that didn’t stop Dad. He just welded the handle back on.

You can buy one that looks just like this one except that it has a wooden handle at the end. (And, if you buy it by following that link, I make 6% on the deal without you paying anything extra.)

She’s ready for more

I figured cracking and picking out the nuts would keep her off the street this weekend, but, no, she got them all cracked and picked out in about four days. She’s ready to go out picking up more.

Pecan cracking photo gallery

Here’s a gallery of photos of Mother hard at work cracking pecans. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.


6 comments to Mother’s Gone Nuts

  • Mary Jean Rodgers Harmon

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My parents had one of these nutcrackers and I have wanted one for years and didn’t know how to get one. I have ordered one now and am anxiously awaiting its delivery.

  • Jane Neumeyer

    YOur mother is amazing. Your posts about her are always among my very favorite!

  • susan montgomery smith

    Time for pecan pie!!! Cute story.

  • Keith Robinson

    Ken, Uncle Fred Robinson’s place had a whole line of pecan trees along his drive. Also, there were a lot of pecan trees along Ramsey Creek, just north of Scott City. Our whole family would visit a number of locations where pecans were prevalent and my dad would throw parts of broken branches up into the trees to knock loose more pecans. We would spread old blankets and bedspreads on the ground around the trees to aid in locating the pecans that fell. Then when we got back to the house, we spent days cracking and picking.

  • Anthony Riley

    Buchheit’s in Jackson carries that style of nut cracker. We have one that came from a yard sale.

  • Phyllis Hansen

    My dad also cracked pecans and picked them all winter. He put them into coffee cans and there were many cans for mother, my sister, brother and me. I miss those MO pecans – store pecans are a far cry from those!! After the cracking and picking, mother put the shells around her roses. She had beautiful roses as a result.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>