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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Hot Boiled Peanuts

There are so many things that I love about the South....except the weather and the racism. Those things I could live without but there are so many things about my Southern upbringing that provide me deep comfort today.

Wild rivers that look prehistoric and dangerous. A slowness that is hard to access for me sometimes. Southern charm and the way the accent really works to make you feel comforted and warmed. A certain level of crazy that makes you feel like your own crazy is ok. College football. And hot boiled peanuts.

They are an acquired taste. Most people I know try one and are like, “um, no thank you.” But I love them. The salty goodness dripping down your chin. They are sold in roadside stands that move around a great deal, likely because they operate without a permit. You can get regular or spicy. And there is always some good old boy or girl selling them. Making a living, hocking peanuts soaked in salt brine. Sometimes I wonder why I do what I do, that maybe selling water logged peanuts on some Florida roadside would be a better use of my time and energy.

Not really. But I envy the slower pace and life directive. Talking to people while providing a service. I do this too but somehow the lack of a tangible good being exchanged makes me feel like I am missing something in the transaction. There is a certain peace that comes from setting your canoe down into a spring fed river, oar in hand with a bag of hot boiled peanuts at your feet. Paddling and pausing to view the wildlife and crack a few peanuts, liberating them from their briny shells.

I am sure not everyone feels the way I do about this topic. And perhaps some of you may even feel like I have lost it. That is ok. What I am really getting at is being able to enjoy a moment of time which gives me access to other moments in time long passed. Hot boiled peanuts is one of those things for me. They transport me to a me that I am no longer, to a time where life was simpler and I was more carefree. I do not wish to trade then for now, even if I could. I am just grateful that there are hot boiled peanuts in this world that allow me to revisit myself, all the people I have been, while soaking up southern tradition that soothes the appetite and the soul.

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