Boiled Peanuts

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Before church in my Mitchell County church, a member walked my way and, in his hand, was a Ziploc snack bag. The bag was not empty and the closer he got, the clearer the contents were. He was bringing me a bag of boiled peanuts.

I guess it was because just the Sunday before, I asked him if he had any peanuts that were old enough for boiling and, if so, where was the patch. Obviously, he didn’t want the preacher messing with his peanuts.

It was fine with me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if someone wants to pick off the peanuts, boil and bag them, and bring them to me. I should have asked him why he didn’t bring me a “Co-cola” too. But I decided not to kick a gift horse in the mouth, if you know what I mean.

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I think I’ll lift up a nice prayer for my friend what brought me a bag of boiled peanuts.

I’ve been seeing bins of peanuts in the produce departments of grocery stores for a few weeks, but I didn’t need that scene to tell me that it was coming up on boiled peanut time. You can take the boy out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.

Just like toward the end of May and the first of June I start looking for fresh tomatoes and watermelons, around this time of the year, I start looking at the green vines of peanuts that are beginning to lap in the rows. That’s all I need to know that underneath those vines the goobers are getting close to being ready to boil.

I’ve already picked out some peanuts in the grocery store for boiling. I prefer to find my own patch, but there are times the peanuts look too inviting to not stop and get a mess. How much is a mess? Oh, for me, about a pound or two.

I was picking through the nuts and a lady came up and said, “Do you know how to boil peanuts?” I laughed and asked, “Does a wild hog go to the outhouse in the woods?” I remember that saying in a different way, but felt that I’d best not lay the real saying on her!

“Sure, how many peanuts are you going to get?”

She grabbed a big, plastic bag and put about four pounds in it. I don’t get that many because $1.99 a pound is a little pricey for goobers. Especially when there are so many farmers who are just waiting for me to check on the maturity of their peanuts.

“You got a big pot? You will need a big pot so you can put plenty of water in it. Be sure to give the peanuts plenty of room to boil.”

She asked, “How much salt?”

Tricky question. I asked her how high her blood pressure was.

“Do you want it any higher? If so, put lots of salt in the pot. If it is already high enough, hold off on too much salt.”

Then she mentioned that she didn’t know when to take the peanuts out. When do you know if they have soaked up enough of the brine?

I told her to boil them for about an hour and a half, then turn the stove off. Let the peanuts soak until they have sunk to the bottom of the pot. Then, pour the water off and enjoy.

Actually, I like my peanuts cold. I put them in the fridge. Some like ‘em hot.

Boiled peanuts. The true Southern snack food.