Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Our House Smells Like Peanuts!

I am one of those people that loves the markers of seasons. By that I mean, I love all the things that happen every year at the same time. For example, I love that the Bradford pears are one of the first trees to bloom each March, marking the beginning of Spring and I love that we get to pick strawberries every April marking summer's approach.

We are experiencing one of those season markers right now. Our house smells like peanuts, because we boiled a big pot of them last night. Before moving to SE Alabama, I didn't know a whole lot about peanuts, but I have learned a lot since. Did you know that peanuts grow underground? At harvest time, a machine digs the plants up and turns them over in the field. After 2 or 3 days of drying in the field, a harvesting machine separates the peanuts from the plants and loads them in "wagons" that are hitched to trucks.
We are definately in peanut farming country here, so peanuts seem to effect many parts of our life. Our house is located just 1/2 mile from the peanut coop. Every fall, harvested peanuts are brought in the peanut "wagons"to the coop and attached to "blowers" for curing. Hot air is forced slowly through the wagons during this process. This makes a loud, but low (in pitch) humming type noise. There are many of these running at the same time, so we hear them day and night during peanut season. I have fond memories associated with the sound of the blowers, because my son was born during our first peanut season here. When I would be up to feed him at night, I would hear the almost hypnotic, comforting sounds of the peanut blowers down the road. Every fall, the event of the season is the Peanut Festival. This rivals most county fairs, is attended by just about everyone and climaxes with the Peanut Festival Parade through downtown.
Anyway, all that to say our neighbor gave us fresh peanuts yesterday and we took on the task of pretending to be natives: We boiled them! Boiled peanuts are a favorite snack of this region and we are in full agreement! We have enjoyed the taste of them every fall since we have moved here. But this time, we boiled them ourselves. It was fun and they were tasty. Now, our house smells like peanuts marking the beginning of Fall. It may still be terribly hot and humid and so far no leaves have changed colors, but we know Fall is on its way, because the peanut harvest is beginning.

Click on over to my recipe blog to learn how to boil peanuts.

The photos in this post were taken by Old Shoe Woman and shared on Flickr.


Jenn said...

I too, like "season markers"! Maybe that is why we are friends. :o)
Peanuts are one of my favorite nuts! I have never tried them boiled, but would like to.
I love reading your entries about your town! I love festivals/fairs, but living in the city we do not have them (the State fair does not count!).
Hopefully someday I will make it for a visit, so I can see your idyllic (at least that is what I believe) town. Really enjoyed reading your blog today!

JennaG said...

I always think of Jimmy Carter and Georgia when I think of peanut growning. I didn't know they were grown in SE Alabama. Learn something new everyday. Boiled peanuts are a new acquired taste for me--I hated them the first time I tried them--now I love them.

Jennifer said...

Great Blog! I loved reading it. I can almost smell the peanuts now. Next thing you know you'll be making homemade peanut butter.

Nan said...

What a nice blog post! Educational too... I almost felt like I was watching Mr. Rogers! :^D

Seriously though, I too love fall... unfortunately it is much too short lived!