Peanuts: A Taste of the South

As I’m sure most of you know, peanuts are not really nuts at all, but legumes, closely related to peas and beans and grow underground. I think of peanuts as Southern, but they probably originally came from South America. However most of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown in a swath of Southern states from Virginia to California. It probably comes as no surprise that the most peanuts in this country are grown in Georgia.

As a child, we used to have a lot of peanuts.  Perhaps it was because my mother was a Georgia girl, or maybe it’s just a Southern thing, but I remember us having lots of peanuts. Although she didn’t grow them, she would find someone who did and would bring home green peanuts still attached to the roots of the peanut plant. She would often boil these green peanuts in the shell. Boiled peanuts are an acquired taste and still sold in the South. She also “parched” or roasted peanuts in the shell in the oven for us to eat as snacks. I don’t remember her cooking much with peanuts except for the occasional peanut brittle. I do remember my mom making wonderful crisscross peanut butter cookies.

peanut butter oatmeat cookies

Peanut butter cookies are among my all-time favorites.  Here is a recipe that combines two favorites – peanut butter and oatmeal.  Martha White® Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are a fun choice for an after school snack.


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