Kitchen Concoctions: Speaking of the South

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speaking of the South

We have a huge debate in our house. What is the definition of ‘the true south’? Eric is from Georgia and therefor claims that he is an expert on all things ‘southern’. Me, I’m from Texas with all of my family from Louisiana and thus a southern girl. Eric says that Texas is not part of the true south and I beg to differ!
I grew up eating grits, Texas BBQ, pecan pie, gumbo, smoked turkey, biscuits and gravy, homemade mac and cheese, black eyed-peas. Eric? Sweet tea, fried chicken and waffles, Waffle House, Publix subs, boiled peanuts.
Clearly my comfort foods SCREAM southern way more than Eric’s. Also Eric has never rode horses, gone to a rodeo, crawfish boil, chili or BBQ cook off, or even a college football game. And really, Texas’s obsession with football is unnatural at times.
But I have also never lived where there is a huge mountain monument dedicated to confederate soldiers or where there are also 28 other monuments dedicated to the civil war. (Plus I am sure there are a million other things that Eric tells me that are not a true southern tradition but I feel otherwise. Honestly I think I am intently blocking them out because I am always right.)

You may be wondering what this has to do with today’s recipe. Well, on our first road trip together to visit Georgia (many, many years ago) we stopped at a gas station somewhere in Mississippi or Alabama and they had a crock-pot on the counter. Eric got all giddy and exclaimed “BOILED PEANUTS!” “What the heck are boiled peanuts?” I asked. Eric then looked at me like I was from planet X and after 5 minutes finally said, “YOU don’t know what boiled peanuts are and I thought you were from the south, but I guess not!” Well to make a long story short I ate my first boiled peanut that day. And I was transformed! I really was in a complete state of shock that I was southern gal and had never eaten this southern staple.
Where have I been? Any who, our great southern debate still continues today but I guess you can say we are now both a little but more country southern because of learning about each other’s upbringings and traditions!

Slow-Cooker Chili Boiled Peanuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 8-10 hours on low Yield: 12 servings

2 pounds raw peanuts, in shells
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon season salt
Mix spices together in a small bowl.

Place peanuts in a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Add enough water to cover peanuts; cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or overnight.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Joe and I were just having this conversation! Having lived all over the country in 6 states-South Florida, Southern California, North Carolina (twice), Georgia (twice), Tennessee, and Texas. There is what you call the Deep South, the Midsouth, and then the Texas South. Texas really has a class to itself.

    Texas is not the Deep South but still a part of the South in my opinion. There is a different feel to Texas than in other Southern States I have lived in. It feels Southern with a Western Flair!

    It you want to talk BBQ, I think Texas has some of the best though. I taught a class and discussed different BBQ types around the country. BBQ isn't the same all around the South. Some are very vingary and thin, some heavy on mustard, others thick and sweet, there is even a mayo based one! There my 2 cents!!!

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