Elegant Southern Pralines

The author says: (Known as Elegant Northern Pralines if they are made with
walnuts instead of pecans.)

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups nuts, halved or coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pick a big saucepan. (The buttermilk and baking soda will foam with an
exuberance that can shortly have you cleaning the whole stove.) In it, put
everything except the butter and nuts, and bring it to a boil over
medium-high heat. Keep right on stirring till the candy thermometer says 210
degrees F. (And don't be afraid you'll end up with white pralines. Somehow
it all turns a beautiful dark gold.) Now add the butter and nuts, lower the
heat a little, and keep cooking till the thermometer says 230 degrees F. If

you haven't a thermometer, test it: the syrup should form at least a 2-inch
thread without breaking, when you tilt the spoon.
Take it off the heat, add the vanilla, and let it sit till it quiets down.
Beat it till it loses its gloss, and drop it by spoonfuls on waxed paper.
When they've cooled, wrap them individually in waxed paper squares and hide
them in an unpleasant-looking used can in the back of the refrigerator.
From: The Complete I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken (Budget Book Service)