I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Pralines

I can feel it. Even though it's only April, I know 2006 will be a watershed year for me.

In January 2006 I started my first real job. In September 2006 I will start graduate school. And by the end 2006 I will have doubled my current weight. Why? Because I discovered the South's forbidden fruit---the pecan praline.

This past weekend I headed down to Charleston with my good friend Cassandra. We went to South Carolina to attend her best friend's wedding, but also to indulge in the lovely beauty of Charleston. Visiting the city appealed to me especially because of its pre-Revolutionary history. I also love the Roaring Twenties and so I can't think of Charleston without thinking of dancing flappers.

But what started out as an innocent trip to celebrate a wedding turned into a dark journey into a sugary hell. As we walked around Charleston's marketplace, we drifted into a candy shop that specialized in pecan pralines. I was wooed by the free sample that one of the employees handed me. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! My mouth filled with a heavenly blend of brown sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. So simple, yet so sinfully good.

(OK, they may not look that appetizing, but looks are very deceiving!)

I am no doctor, but I gobbled down so much sugar this past weekend that you can diagnose me as a diabetic. Pecan pralines are so sweet that one bite makes your teeth ache with its sugary content. I'm usually not a big fan of too-sweet treats (superfluous amounts of icing makes me gag and I always favor bittersweet chocolate over milk chocolate), but I am a big-time sucker for pralines.

My newfound addiction to pralines must be connected to my passion for sugary-coated nuts. I love honey-roasted peanuts and I adore the cinnamon almonds sold in the mall every Christmas. Whenever I go to NYC, I ignore the hot dog and pretzel vendors and head to the guy who sells sugar-encrusted nuts.

So there you have it: I'm an addict. Help?