I’m a southern girl through and through. That being said, one of my favorite “Southernisms” is boiled peanuts.
Yes, I see the look you have on your face. Confusion. Peanuts that are boiled?
But you have to trust me here. Boiled peanuts are delicious! They are not something to turn your nose up against. Not until you’ve tried them.
They are sooooo good! Salty, a little smushy (that’s a Southern word , by the way), but a tiny bit crunchy. A little bit of juice to clean off of your hands, but not too soon, because you’ll want more.
They are good cold, hot or room temperature. With a Coca-Cola (“Coke” in Southern terminology) or a Mountain Dew. Or beer, wine or mixed drinks, if that’s your choice. In the South, everyone eats them, they know no social, culture or economic barriers.
Where I grew up, peanut picking is a season unto itself. The dirt. The smell. The sunsets. Wonderful. The dirt is always a luscious milk chocolate brown when peanut plants have been turned. And the smell is so fresh and clean that is immediately recognizable. It is a little acidic and homey and earthy. Just thinking about it now my nose can conjure up the fragrance.
As kids we used to love running through a turned peanut field. And yes, I have eaten green (or raw) peanuts. Enough of them that I should have been sick from them. And I still eat a few that way now. That, however, is an acquired taste.
There was also the fun of holding the rails inside the peanut trailer* and having the peanuts dumped on top of us. You had to watch for snakes, though. This is VERY dangerous, and I do not condone this activity. But it was extremely fun. And the dirtier we got, the better.
And, boy, oh, boy the sunsets during that time of year! I have always heard that dust creates beautiful sunsets and I always believed it to be true. I have researched it, though, and found out that it is not actually true.
However, if you see the sunsets on our farm during peanut season, you’ll believe it to be true, as well. They are spectacular.
So when you are sitting outside at night – hopefully on a screened porch to avoid the bugs – and you can smell the just turned earth rich with the fragrance of peanuts, slowly opening and eating freshly boiled peanuts, you know you are in a wondrous place.
And you know, even for just that brief time, that all is right in the world.
I know. I know. You have to have the recipe for boiled peanuts!
I knew you’d come around! So here goes:
Green (raw) peanuts
Wash the dirt off of the peanuts by placing them in sink or a large bucket. Run your hand through the water. Empty and repeat 3 or 4 times. Do NOT try to scrub every little peanut hull. You’ll be there for ever! Besides, a little dirt never hurt anyone!
Put the peanuts in a boiling pan. You will want the pan to be about 1/2 full of peanuts. Fill the pan about 3/4 full of water.
Pour on the salt. No, I do not measure. But it is basically about 1 Cup of salt for every 2 pounds of peanuts. (More or less to taste, but not much less.)
Bring them to a boil and keep at a high simmer or low boil for about 1.5 hours. Take out a couple of nuts and crack open. (Careful…very hot liquid!)
If they are soft, they are ready. If not, continue boiling and checking every 15-30 minutes or so.
If they are not salty enough, leave standing in the (no longer cooking) water for up to 2 more hours.
Can be eaten hot, room temperature, or cold. Either way, they are delicious! They can also be vacuum sealed and frozen to take out anytime the mood strikes you!
If you cannot find peanuts to cook yourself, the next best thing is to buy them canned. Peanut Patch** is the ONLY kind to buy! If I don’t have fresh ones to boil, and we have cleaned out our freezer stash, this is what holds us over until the next season!
*The picture above is a peanut picker, not a peanut trailer…You stay AWAY from the peanut pickers! They will hurt you!
**I am not paid by or compensated by Peanut Patch in any way. They are just our favorite. However, if Peanut Patch would like to donate to the cause, I would NEVER turn down a case of two! 🙂