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My mother-in-law used to make these candies every Christmas. Her house smelled wonderful. Pralines are a Charleston favorite. They are sold in several shops that cater to tourists. If you can't get to Charleston, South Carolina, USA-you can always make your own, Please note that cooking times are approximate.
- Combine buttermilk and soda in a 5-quart pan, stirring until soda is dissolved. Add sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Bring mixture to a boil; cook stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (236 degrees). Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm, 110 degrees. Add vanilla and pecans to candy, beating until mixture thickens and loses its gloss. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a lightly buttered baking sheet or waxed paper.
- Let stand until firm. Store in an airtight container.