4 cups pecans (Vega sources hers from nearby Pearson Farm)
2 cups boiling water
Scant 1 cup demerara sugar
In a large pot, combine first five ingredients with 5 cups water. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender and surrounded by a soupy liquid, 20 to 25 minutes.
While rice cooks, add pecans to a small bowl and pour boiling water over top. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let steep 10 minutes. In a blender, process pecans and liquid until smooth—you may want to also run it through a fine mesh sieve—then transfer to a bowl and whisk in sugar.
To serve, ladle porridge into individual bowls, drizzle with pecan milk syrup, and top with candied squash.