I was recently able to go out and view several of the cabins on our rental program. Walking through the cabins always inspires me to be more domestic. They just feel cozy and I love looking at all the kitchens. The kitchen is probably my favorite room in the whole house. It represents a feeling of wholesomeness and I am reminded of fond memories spent in the kitchen with my grandparents growing up. My grandmother is a phenomenal cook. Its because of her that I fell in love with cooking. In fact, I consider myself to be a food connoisseur which is to say that I appreciate all types of dishes. Also, as my waistline will attest, it means I have difficulty pushing myself back from the dinner table.
Fall in the mountains is my favorite time of the year because it means the arrival of comfort food and oversized clothes complete with elastic waist bands. Over indulgence is acceptable this time of the year because everyone knows that we dont have to feel guilty about our caloric overload until January. We can graze to our hearts content and sample every roadside market we come across as we make our way over the mountains. Every small town has its specialties when it comes to treats for the traveler. My personal favorite is the boiled peanuts sold by the locals ever quarter of a mile or so down Hwy 52 (also known by the residents as Apple Alley). Boiled peanuts are called the caviar of the South and considered to be a Southern staple by many. This sticky, salty, heavenly delight is so addictive that it will make you want to slap your mama or spit in a bulldogs eye. I simply cannot get enough of them.
Inspired by the beautiful kitchens and an over inflated ego, I thought I would try my hand at making my own batch of boiled peanuts and wow my family with my potential culinary excellence. There seems to be an overabundance of entrepreneurs in Ellijay making these God given gifts so I figured making them couldnt be that hard. I bought a bag of raw peanuts and a twelve pack of beer from our local grocery store and headed to the house. I have no experience with boiling peanuts but I used my keen observance skills in previous peanut purchases to deduced that all I needed was a big pot of boiling water, some salt and a whole lot of peanuts. I knew that boiling peanuts was a time-consuming process so I popped the top on my beer and settled in for a football marathon. I continued to check the peanuts throughout the day as I awaited the arrival of my husband. Soon after he came home, we reached the pinnacle of our evening as we prepared to watch our beloved Georgia Bulldawgs play Notre Dame. The game was a nail biter and I soon forgot about the peanuts boiling on the stove.
I was reminded of this oversight when I suddenly smelled something burning and a half a second later all the smoke detectors were going off in the house. I screamed for the kids to get out while I grabbed the pot to throw the peanuts out onto the front lawn. Take me at my word when I say peanut shells produce an amazing amount of smoke in a very short time. My husband tripped over the dog trying to escape the smoke and nearly head planted into the porch railing as he fell to his knees in a coughing fit. My youngest was hot on his heels and ran straight into my husbands backside which caused my husband to finish toppling down the steps. The oldest side steps the youngest and leaps over my husband to the safety of our lawn. Near death experience aside, I had to appreciate his demonstration of athleticism. We spent the next few hours outside waiting for the smoke to clear and trying to watch the football game through the windows on our front porch.
I was able to deduce two valuable lessons from the days event. Number one: Leave the boiling of the peanuts to the locals on Apple Alley. There seems to be an art to boiling peanuts and they obviously know what they are doing better than I do. Number two: Remember to pull the curtains wide open for a better view from the front porch the next time I try to cook during an intense football game.
To make your own kitchen memories (which hopefully does not include boiling peanuts), take a look at these cabins:
For a list of some things to do in our area, click HERE.