Found A Peanut - Moss in the Trees Blog at - 250660

Moss in the Trees

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, Propane Burner

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 date.
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)

Sep. 20, 2011 8:10 am
I use rock salt when boiling my peanuts, not regular iodized table salt. The ratios look right, just be sure to use rock salt (ice cream salt). And, I so agree with you, some foods just shout out "just try to eat me"! For instance, pomegranites? Ummmm.. I still can't believe they are so good but the first person to try this red fruit thing had to be brave, since red in nature usually means poison! Great blog!
Sep. 20, 2011 8:39 am
great blog, we love peanuts by the campfire. How hungry must one person be to eat?....I have thought of a blog like that, take an egg for example, the first person must realize that egg just came from the chicken's butt, how about the first fisherman who hauled up a halibut-that thing is so scary I would have cut the line and hoped no other monster was lurking in the ocean. It would have been interesting to see how people chose what part of the plants were to be eaten. Peanuts or any root veggie-do you eat the top part, or the bottom part:) Great topic.
Sep. 20, 2011 9:09 am
I've heard this kind of musing before about milk: who was the first person who looked at a cow's udders and thought, I'm gonna drink whatever comes out of here!
Sep. 20, 2011 10:39 am
I often wonder about the first time someone tried to cook corn and it doubt uttering WTH.
Sep. 20, 2011 11:09 am
Haha - we've wondered the same thing about lobster!
Sep. 20, 2011 12:23 pm
LOL! Alex you just cracked me up! Great blog, I've wondered those things too.
Sep. 20, 2011 12:33 pm
Alex that is udderly funny.
Sep. 20, 2011 1:49 pm
Damnit! I just spit out my Mio. Crackers, that what you are, all of you. Urchin roe. Really?
Sep. 20, 2011 1:53 pm
Or octopus? I think some of the seafood people eat MUST have been the result of someone once having been stranded on a desert island. Good blog!
Sep. 20, 2011 2:26 pm
My musing would be about escargot (snails) who was the first person who looked at a snail and thought to eat it!!
Sep. 20, 2011 7:58 pm
That's funny...I was watching Anthony Bourdain's new "talk show" last night and someone on there was talking about chocolate. Who was the first person who found this nasty white fleshed fruit(caoco pod), then dug out the inedible seeds, THEN fermented them...then ate them!?
Sep. 21, 2011 4:45 am
Thanks everyone, for the great comments. Alex, I do have an idea about milk though ...someone saw a calf nursing and thought "if that stuff can turn that baby into a 1,000lb cow in a year, it couldn't be that bad"
Sep. 21, 2011 4:49 am
Michelle, I don't know but I am so thankful someone did!
Sep. 21, 2011 8:03 am
ditto, Gahsmom. The inventor of chocolate should receive a reward and saintship status
Sep. 22, 2011 7:05 pm
Tonight, there is four neighborhood campfires, each with it's own cuisine. I think, when my campfire is going, I'll have some raw peanuts and try your recipes. They will be a very nice detour from sausage on a stick, marshmallows and s'mores. ... I've often given myself a scenario of the person that dug a hole six to eight feet deep to see if he could find a truffle. Did he do it when nobody was looking?
Sep. 28, 2011 9:40 am
Obviously someone found a peanut and found value in it. I like mine raw with a little salt. Very nutritious. fAke and artificiAl foods are probably so envious of the little peanuts. I'll give my daughter a peanut over a fake gr ape soda pop any day.
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About Me
My favorite things to cook
Like any good southern mama, I cook a lot of traditional southern foods but I really enjoy experimenting with ethnic foods, soups and vegetarian dishes. I use locally grown produce, which I can & freeze, as much as possible and I am always on the look out for recipes for all of the fish & venision that my darlin' hubby brings home.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I learned to cook from some very talented home cooks. There were never any lessons, just time spent in the kitchen watching and asking questions. Now, I enjoy working in the kitchen with my almost-grown daughter.
My cooking triumphs
The first time my husband said my fried chicken was as good as his mama's, I felt like I won the lottery!
My cooking tragedies
When I was a very pregnant newlywed (20ish yrs ago) I tried to make chicken and dumplings for the first time. I stirred that pot, to keep it from burning of course, until all of the dumplings dissolved into a thick gravy-like soup. I cried because my dish was ruined, but my sweet husband ate it anyway!
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