Monday, October 7, 2013

Boiled Peanuts!!!!!

Around our neck of the woods it is very clear (or dusty) what time of year it is!!!!  To most of the people in our side of the hemisphere it is fall. Well to some it may seem like "early" winter. I  mean really? 48 inches of snow!!! Yikes!!!
 But here it is peanut pickin' time!!!!!

We live in the peanut capital!!  There are peanut fields everywhere. Miles and miles of peanut fields. They are ALL harvested about the same time. We also happen to live within a mile or so of two peanut factories (very noisy 24 hours a day)!! Which means for us regular folks lots of dust, sneezing, watery eyes, drippy nose and ........................................BOILED PEANUTS!!!!!

Who boils peanuts you ask????

WE DO!!!!

For those of you in foreign lands my best regards to your some monkey brains are a delicacy, to others it may be types of bugs, to others baby snakes cut out of the ..... (maybe I watch too much Indiana Jones!!)

*Side note....Army Man and I can have whole conversations in Indiana Jones (and The Princess Bride AND 13th Warrior) dialogue!!!! Fun times!!*

Back on topic......around here boiled peanuts are a delicacy of the nth degree!!!  Not an expensive delicacy, especially if you know some local farmers that will let you "glean" after harvest, but a delicacy none the less!!!! =)

It is a process that takes a goodly portion of the day if done properly.

Peanuts grow in the ground like potatoes (not every one knows that!!)(so if someone {my Army Man} tells you they grow on trees they are lying).

Since they grow in the ground they are very dirty when they are harvested (not like corn or tomatoes). After you glean them (or buy them raw in the shell) you take them home and wash them.
Wash them again and again and again.
Really, you wash them until the water runs clear. Now, if you had a really great friend (you know who you are!!) who gifted you with some of her gleaned peanuts they may already be slightly less dirty, but you still wash them again and again!!!

I cannot stress this enough!!

Then you cover them with water add salt to taste and boil for a long time (hours and hours it seems!!). Until the shells are slightly not hard and the peanuts on the inside of the shell are soft. Add water as needed and maybe a bit more salt. Some say you can't salt them enough. I disagree. They can be salted too much. There is a fine balance and it is hard to achieve perfect saltiness, but it is key to a happy boiled peanut experience or to having to start all  over with dirty peanuts!

I have only achieved this perfect balance a few times in my life.

There is a man at Sadie's Flea Market that has it down to perfection and I will gladly pay his price to get some of his boiled peanuts!!!!!

So, as I am typing this out at 1:40 pm CST my big pot is full (well, half full) of peanuts boiling (hopefully) to salty perfection that my family will enjoy tonight!!!!


P.S.  If you have never tried boiled peanuts, I highly recommend you come south to get your first taste. There is something inherently wrong about eating boiled peanuts from a can in the grocery store. You need to find a shack on the side of the road to get the taste of REAL boiled peanuts!!! It is well worth the trip!! =)

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