I know, I know, this is a blog about pecans. However, it is also my blog, so I have to use this platform to discuss some really important topics that I feel strongly about. Today’s topic is Red or White. I bet your mind went directly to wine or which wine you prefer; however, I am actually talking about peanuts. Yes, peanuts. There are people like me who take their boiled peanut seriously. It took me awhile and a few pressure pots later, but I consider myself an expert of sorts on the topic of turning green peanuts into a Southern delicacy that I often call summer supper, the boiled peanut. The thing is that people who eat peanuts with the fervor that I do have their preferences. There are people like my brother-in-law, Jerry, who love the red skinned peanuts. The man will eat them raw. He tells me that he thinks they have a better flavor. My grandmama used to eat the little Spanish peanuts (she called them). They were red skinned and tiny. Well, I do eat red skinned peanuts. They are always the first ones out for the season, and I am not a patient girl. For the most part,I enjoy them and just happy to have peanuts in season. However, to be perfectly honest, they are a hassle to open. They are smaller which makes it more difficult, and those tiny ones my grandmama ate were just too much work. Later, near the end of July, all the stars are aligned, all the pieces of the puzzle are complete, and all is right with the world because white skinned peanuts are ready for consumption. I celebrate this time of the year and think that some of those fireworks that are shot on the 4th of July should be put aside to mark this special occasion. It would probably scare you all if you knew how many peanuts I can eat in a season. There are days when I have cramps in my fingers from opening the things. I know that is sad. So, I am obsessed with boiled peanuts. I admit it. I figure that there are a lot worse things with which I could be so enamored. So, the countdown is on for me. I readily await the sign that says, “white skin peanuts available.” So, when this country girl is asked,”red or white,” she has to go with white. I wanted to give the guys from Carolina Peanut and Palmetto Peanut a shout out. Thanks for growing these pieces of white gold all over your farmland. It sure makes the air around Calhoun County smell like heaven when you all turn those peanuts! Every story has a beginning… Red Skinned Peanuts White Skinned Peanuts a whole lot of awesome
One of the greatest joys in the universe is going out early in the morning and picking fresh vegetables out of the garden. There is just such a sense of pride that goes along with growing your own food. Country people have been doing this since, well, the beginning of time. Heck, if Eve would have behaved herself, we all could be enjoying garden living. But alas, she didn’t. Nowadays people go to local farmers markets and even their local supermarkets to purchase their vegetables. During the summer months these places explode with visitors and customers who are in search of that perfect vegetable. So, what’s available this time of year around the South?
- Sweet Corn– Local farmers in my small town have a yearly wager on who can produce the sweetest corn. People actually discuss it at the corner gas station and post office. Honestly, I think that sweet corn is why butter and salt were invented.
- Tomatoes– My grandmother used to eat tomatoes with all her summer meals. She would put them with grits in the morning, bacon and lettuce at noon, and with rice, butter beans, squash, and whatever else was on the menu for supper.
- Squash- I love yellow squash. As a kid, I would only eat them fried. (which I must admit is still my favorite) However, as I grew older, so did my taste buds. Squash is great in a stir-fry with Vidalia onions and bacon.
- Cucumbers- Cucumbers are great by themselves, or they can be eaten in a little cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. People around my house love them with just salt and pepper or vinaigrette.
- String beans- I swear that string beans make me smile, fresh ones that is. My grandma taught me to take the string out with a peeler. It makes a difference, I am not joking. If you want floss, get a piece of floss out of the bathroom. It is not supposed to come with beans on your plate.
- Green PEANUTS- yeah, I know I am pecan girl, but I can ‘t help it. I love boiled peanuts. In fact, they are my supper at least one of two nights a week during their season. My kids think I am nuts! Unfortunately, I am a salt freak, and I am sure that has something to do with it. Anyway, eat up on the red skins now because larger white skins will be here very soon.
Okay, don’t waste a minute of your summer. It is not only the most laid back time of the year, it is also the best time to eat fresh vegetables. Get thou to the Farmers Market!