From Tracie: Boiled Peanuts

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Boiled Peanuts

My mom moved to Arizona about five years ago. There are lots of things that she doesn't miss about Florida (like the humidity!) But one thing that she does miss is the boiled peanuts; becuase in Arizona they don't even know that you can boil a peanut.

Mom came to visit us and on the day she was leaving, we passed a boiled peanut stand on the way to the airport. She decided to buy a couple of bags to take back home with her. When mom got home, she decided to be nice and share her boiled peanuts with her friend, Don. This was a big sacrifice for someone who hadn't had any boiled peanuts in years, but she just knew that he would love them, and it was so sad that he had never even heard of them. She had to share.

Mom took a bag to his house. They were on the way to somewhere, so he put them in the refrigerator. She told him to just heat them up a little and they would be ready to eat. 

A couple of days later she was talking to him on the phone and asked him how he liked the boiled peanuts. He said something like "They were really interesting. Good." She was kind of disappointed that he wasn't more excited, so she tried to talk more about them, but he just changed the subject. She brought it up a few other times in the next few weeks, but he didn't have too much to say about the boiled peanuts. She dropped it.

~~~~~~Fast Forward a Few Months~~~~~~
Imagine with me. Mom and Don are at a dinner party. They are sitting near to each other, but are conversing with different people. Suddenly she overhears part of his conversation and can't help but react.
Don - speaking to random party guest: "She left these peanuts in my refrigerator...... They were boiled! Can you even imagine that........I kept putting off trying them...........rancid..........salty.........shells."

Mom realizes that she he is talking about her special boiled peanuts. The ones that she brought all the way across the country and was nice enough to share with him.

Immediately she interupted his conversation and started demanding answers.

This is the story he told her: He wasn't too sure about the idea of boiling peanuts, but when he got to his house, he got them out of the refrigerator and was going to give them a chance. He pulled one out of the bag noticed that the shell was kind of soft (because it had been boiled in water!! duh) and decided that he just couldn't face trying them that night. He put the bag back in the fridge and planned on trying them the next day. But them he sort of ignored the bag. When she asked him about them he didn't want to hurt her feelings so he tried to act like he had eaten them. She kept asking, so about three weeks later he pulled the bag out again. They smelled kind of bad, but he figured that was just how boiled peanuts smelled, so he grabbed one and popped it into his mouth.

[for this next part I will quote him directly]
Don: "It was so gross, the shell was soft, but it was still kind of crunchy, and the nut part was soft and cold and slimy. And it really did taste kind of rancid"

Mom: "What do you mean cold....didn't you heat them up?"

Don: "No, was I supposed to?"

Mom: "Yes, I distinctly told you to heat them up, and-wait a minute! Did you say the shell was crunchy? Did you eat the shell!?!"

Don: "Well, yeah, it seemed kinda wierd, but so does the whole idea of boiling a peanut. Wasn't I supposed to eat the shell? You should have told me not to."

Mom: "Of course you don't eat the shell. When would you ever eat a peanut shell? I had no idea that you would need to be told not to eat a peanut shell."

Don: "Well, you boiled it in the shell. I mean, the shell was cooked, so I just figured that was part of the deal. But even without the shell, they still had a rancid taste. They just weren't very good."

Mom: "That is because you let them sit for three weeks before trying them. They probably were rancid you lunatic!........"

I will let you imagine the rest of the conversation. Eventually other people got involved and took sides -those who had eaten boiled peanuts (all of whom, except Don, loved them) and those who had never tried them. My mother vowed never to share boiled peanuts with him again, but instead to share with someone who would appreciate her sacrifice. Let this be a lesson to you-when you bring special food all the way across the country, no one will appreciate it like you do. And if someone decides to be nice to you and share their boiled peanuts; don't wait three weeks to eat them, and definately don't eat the shells!


  1. If I were your mom, I would be really upset with him. He should have given them back to her if he wasn't going to eat them. And I cannot imagine anyone who thinks he is supposed to eat a peanut dumb.

    Michele sent me.

  2. Don might just be out of my life with that exchange! Good Lord! Amazing....! I mean, ask a few questions if you are not sure...!

    About that flower: I assume you are talking about the Ground Cover Fower...YES! It should do quite well in Florida. It is a succulant...(Well,I think it would do Perhaps you should ask some knowledgable Nursery know?
    Thanks for your lovely comments my dear.

  3. You are so right about that- a delicacy to one person is just a strange food to someone else. I've never heard of boiled peanuts either...but I think I would know enough to take the shell off first!

  4. I can't believe he ate the shell! LOL! Boiled peanuts are a favorite here in the islands as well.

    And on a different note: What's going to happen to Meredith & Derek now?

  5. Ha! I don't mean to laugh, but this was funny! Don isn't too bright is he? I mean, I've never eaten a boiled peanut either but I think I'd know to take the shell off!

  6. LOL! These are the sorts of stories that make me love blog hopping. :)

    Poor Don. Poor Mom.

    Michele sent me over to say Hi

  7. Boiled peanuts?! I've never heard of such a thing. What is their texture after they are boiled?

  8. OK, this was just a terrific post! I admire your mom for sharing with him and am so disappointed in how he treated her gift.

    But, the cool thing about this post is that it reminds me that I live in SUCH a small part of the world! Boiled peanuts are the norm for me, I've had them all my life. It's so hard for me to comprehend that someone would not know how to eat them!

  9. Mmmm...Okay...I totally want some now. I haven't had them in a WHILE...

    I am just amazed that people have never HEARD of them...Florida is the best, isn't it? Sun, sand, boiled peanuts...(sharks, hurricanes, those weird sun/rainshowers on June afternoons...) We sure do have it all :)

    (Thanks for stopping by my blog!)

  10. This is an hysterical story! Thanks, I needed the laugh. I'm feeling stronger since returning from my trauma program, but still needed a good belly laugh--all this stuff can just be so serious, ya know? Thanks for your support and checking in on me during my recent stormy time. I do so appreciate it.

  11. Yea, I've never even HEARD of boiling a peanut. LOL I might have eaten the shell thinkin it was all part of the ummmm uhhh experiance???

  12. Oh no, your poor mom! I've never had boiled peanuts, but now I want to try some.

  13. I have lived in Arizona since 1978 but I was born in Tennessee and half my family is from Georgia. I was raised eating boiled peanuts and I still love them to this day. At age 9 we moved to AZ, I couldn't find any boiled peanuts out here. So when relatives shipped some to us, I valued them like gold. I offered to share with close friends but I found, to my surprise, all but one of my friends thought they were terrible! But my one friend that did like them, liked them as much as me. They seem to be a 'love em or hate em' snack. I just wish I could find some in AZ, even canned ones would do. Thanks for a unique story that hit home with me!
    -David from Mesa

  14. I live in the South and I eat the shells. There is nothing wrong with the shells and provides more fiber than the actual peanut.

  15. Boiled peanuts. Just had them for the first time. (looked up your article to find out if I did right eating the shells.) Tried them first without the shells. Then with the shells. MUST be eaten WITH the shell. Much better. Changed the whole experience. And they are great.