Found a Peanut
Sep. 20, 2011 7:30 am
Updated: Sep. 28, 2011 9:40 am
Have you ever looked at a food item and wondered "who was the first person to try this and what made them think it would be any good?" I mean, how hungry did the first guy to eat an oyster have to be? Dude
found a lumpy rock in shallow saltwater, probably spent ten minutes prying it open to discover a wet, slimy blob and thought " yummo!"???? Don't get me wrong, I adore oysters, but when I look at one glistening in its shell I still think it looks more like
something regurgitated than the delicious morsal I know it to be.
Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I am a great supporter of locally grown produce and I live in an area rich in said resource. Currently, local farmers are beginning their peanut harvest.
The peanut is another food item that peaks my curiosity; the edible part grows underground and is hidden inside of a shell. The above ground part of the plant is a tangled, bushy vine.
The raw peanut itself is tough, rather tasteless and small. One must do things to the peanut in order to produce a tasty edible. Personally, I find it slightly amazing that anyone bothered with it.
While modern folklore attributes the invention of peanut butter to George Washington Carver, there is evidence that it was eaten by different cultures, such as the Aztecs, throughout world history. Today, peanuts are eaten worldwide in many different
ways; roasted, in stews, as a sandwich spread and my personal favorite – boiled peanuts. Here are two versions of my family’s boiled peanut recipe
Salty Nuts : 5lbs raw peanuts ,1 cup salt
Spicy Nuts: 5lbs raw nuts,
3/4c. salt, 3 cloves of garlic,
1/3 c. Cajun spice mix, 1 TBSP red pepper flakes
Large Pot (think canning kettle), Water,
Choose which version of nuts you want to make, put ingredients in large pot and cover with water. Put pot onto a large propane burner,(ours is a turkey deep fryer), and bring to a boil then turn heat down to a simmer. Peanuts will
need time….like four to five hours. As the nuts absorb the liquid and salt, they will sink towards the bottom of the pot.
When the nuts begin to sink, taste for doneness. How firm or soft the nut should be is a matter of preference. If you plan to freeze the nuts for later use, stop cooking at the firm stage so that they can be cooked to a softer stage at a later
This is a time consuming process, but in my opinion the process is part of what makes boiled peanuts a prized southern tradition. Generally, the guys of the family undertake this cooking method - it is done outdoors in the autumn around
a fire. Just add an ice cold beer and a good time is had by all :o)