We make an annual pilgrimage to South Carolina for our family reunion. That means a solid week of family-, beach-, and vacation-time. It also means BOILED PEANUTS!
Boiled peanut history is a bit sketchy. Apparently, boiled peanuts were a direct result of Sherman’s march to the sea that split the Confederacy in half and deprived soldiers of food supplies. Peanuts were available and were either roasted or boiled. Someone added salt to a batch (maybe from fatback?? salt, during those times, was hard to come by) and discovered, not only was it tasty, it preserved the legume for up to a week in the soldier’s knapsack.
Our boiled peanuts rarely last an afternoon at the reunion. Over the years, we’ve reached an understanding: if anyone is headed out for a newspaper or sundries, you’d best not return without a bag of boiled peanuts.
Last summer, I asked the lady who runs the stand in Garden City, S.C. how to boil peanuts. It was July, in South Carolina, her store is barely air-conditioned and she said the peanuts boil in a kettle full of salted water for about five to six hours!
I’ll stick with the roasting for now…and count down the days to the reunion this year.