Tracy and Shelly Go to a Boiled Peanuts Stand

Except, we haven’t gotten there yet!

You guys know the classic stoner movie where Karl Penn and John Cho (Sulu!) get amazingly high and decide they want “something different” for their munchie food, which sets them on an epic journey to a White Castle restaurant. They end up going to jail, riding a cheetah, and being saved by Neil Patrick Harris playing himself (duh).

I hadn’t seen the movie myself or even gone to a White Castle until I met Tracy. I know—I am astoundingly lacking in pop-culture knowledge. Tracy began fixing that by making sure we hit up a White Castle in Iowa on a trip before the pandemic.

Fun fact: Karl Penn is a vegetarian and ate veggie burgers during the shoot; these days White Castle serves its own Beyond Burger option (which I didn’t get because it takes them forever to make because who in the world goes to White Castle to order veggie burgers?). Okay, that fact isn’t fun, but now you know.

(And a shout out to all the vegetarians who get dragged to places like White Castle by their friends and get to order non-meat items these days. This was not the case when I was a young ‘un and not eating meat. Now get off my lawn.)

Why am I going on an on about this movie? It’s a legit way I can frame Tracy and my attempts to stop at roadside spots on our trip. We keep trying, and no dice. We see not just taco trucks, but shrimp shacks, crawfish stands, trucks with oysters in the bed (ha!), and, here, a guy selling “Sweet Taters” out of his truck, and on weekends he upsells to tourists so changes to sign to “Sweet Potatoes.” Which sign would make you want to stop?

Now that we’re really in the south, its boiled peanuts I want to stop for. We’re camped outside of Tallahassee without any trails nearby, so we’ve been driving out to find trails, and I want—really bad like I have the worst case of the munchies—to get boiled peanuts, the real kind I know from living in Georgia, that’s been stewing in a cast-iron caldron all day being stirred in the hot sun by some sweaty guy with a huge stick. I do, I really want that.

But, like Harold and Kumar, we’re repeatedly thwarted. One guy’s wagon is open by the side of the road, but we’re on our way hiking and don’t want the peanuts to sit all day in the truck. On our way back, he’s closing up the truck but says he’ll be open tomorrow. Tomorrow he’s not there.

One guy’s store sign says he’s selling peanuts and bait, but after we pass him, turn around, and bravely stop and I walk in, he tells me,

I ain’t got no hot ones. Just cold.

The way he says “co-weld,” real slow, with this sad frown and creased brow, makes me really not want his cold peanuts sold with bait. So we drive on.

We still have three days left here at Coe Landing though, so there’s time for Neil Patrick Harris to do some ecstasy and save the day.

PS: Anyone know what bird this feather might be from? I found a handful of them by the side of a trail, where a critter may have gotten to the bird, but these was no messiness except these neat feathers that came straight from the bird’s body. They shine in the sunlight, iridescent green and black.


19 thoughts to “Tracy and Shelly Go to a Boiled Peanuts Stand”

    1. They’re just peanuts in the shell, boiled in salty water, or with spices. You pop the shell in your mouth and suck out the salty juice, then wiggle the nuts out with your tongue and eat them. They’re soft and warm and extra salty. Yum!

      1. Huh. Your description is not filling me with a need to try them but I’m going to trust that the devotion they inspire in you means they are in fact crazy good and I’ll add them to the list of foods I need to try someday!

        1. They’re really just a good local snack. What’s cool about them is you only find them in the South. (Don’t even try the kind that comes in a can.)

          1. Ok, no boiled peanuts in a can. 😄 One day Mat and I will do a road trip through the States and your list of roadside truck food seems like a good place to start. They’re not a thing here at all and not even sure what kind of things they would sell if they were.

          2. With chain restaurants and bland food taking over everywhere here, roadside stands and trucks is an easy way to be sure someone made the food – that is not some frozen shipped in stuff. Food trucks are especially big here at little breweries because they don’t have a license for food, so a truck will pull up for the weekend. OMG it’s a good combo no matter the type of food.

  1. Food trucks are big here too, but I’ve never seen one outside of an urban area. And yes, they can be sooo good! We have a monthly night market in our neighbourhood and a dozen or more trucks come and it’s really hard to know what to choose!

  2. I was thinking about how white NZ doesn’t have such distinct regional foods like you do, maybe it’s a result of much later settlement? Or smaller area? Maori possibly have more diversity, I’m appallingly under informed on their cuisine.

    1. I fell in love with them when I lived in Atlanta. I’m going to try making them in them myself in the instapot!

  3. I have Fred’s Boiled Peanuts recipe, if you want it. Since you have to see when they sink in the water to know that they’re done, the recipe may not work well with an instapot, however.

    1. I would appreciate that, thanks! I don’t think I can make them on the stove top because ours is propane and I don’t want to use a whole tank for peanuts, but you never know!

  4. Fred’s Boiled Peanuts

    1 lb raw peanuts
    1/2 cup salt

    Fill large pot with water and add peanuts. Water should be 2+ inches deeper than peanuts–peanuts will float to top. Stir in salt. Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered 1 to 1 1/2 hours until peanuts sink in the water and taste wet and cooked, not dry. Make sure the water continues to cover peanuts by at least 2 inches; add water during cooking as needed and return to a boil. Once peanuts sink in water and taste-test done, remove from heat, cover and let stand in salt water. After 4 hours, drain water. (Recipe can be doubled if you have a large Dutch oven.)

      1. Shelly, I’m thinking your Instapot on high Saute might work for this recipe. You could check to see if you can boil water in it. Let me know!! Wish I knew a source of raw peanuts around here and I’d try it.

        1. I’ve actually already had success! I covered the peanuts in water, added salt (and Cajun seasoning) and set it on high pressure cooking for about an hour and a half, then let the steam release. Probably not as tender as they should be, but as good as I could get. I’m going to do it again!