• Payal Maharaj

Mum's Easy Boiled Peanuts


I started writing this post a week or two ago but did not complete it so some of the current events are not that current anymore. But the message is still relevant and important. So keep on reading…

Date: Sometime in mid-August 2020

Time: About 4pm-ish

Today was an interesting day. Roller coaster of emotions I suppose. I woke up and showered earlier than usual as I had an early morning appointment to get to. I had some grateful thoughts this morning and it was a nice break from the typical annoyed thoughts I have every day. In case you didn’t know, I am quite sick of this pandemic and everything that is 2020. So it was a nice break for my mind to think of some positive things. Set the tone for my whole morning. But my good mood and thoughts slowly declined towards the end of the day. I started feeling blah again. It didn't help that it is literally raining ash here in Elk Grove from all the fires from all the crazy lightning and firenados over the weekend. A firenado?!!! What is that even? I was today years old when I learned about a firenado. Like are you kidding me? Seems like all of CA is on fire. Every day I wake up and there is some other crazy thing happening in 2020. I have even stopped watching the news and still somehow I find out about the crazy.

Anyways, my mood was rotten. I was complaining to my husband about how rotten everything was while driving around. Then all of a sudden something incredibly small happened. I was trying to make a right turn into a busy street and trying to get through three lanes of traffic all the way to the left turning lanes. As I was complaining, an SUV stopped to let me through. Which annoyed me because there were still cars oncoming in the other lanes. So I waved him through. He went on. Then all of a sudden a huge truck stopped to let me through. I tried to wave him through but he stayed. Then the car in the next lane stopped too. And then there was no one in the next lane. So then I was able to slowly inch my way across three lanes of traffic to get to the left turning lanes. At that moment, it felt like traffic had literally stopped for me. Felt like the world had stopped for a second. It was an a very surreal moment. I immediately stopped complaining. It somehow felt like the universe was sending me a sign or a message. Not sure what it was. Maybe it was a reminder to be grateful. Maybe a reminder to be present and focus on the small things in life. Not sure what the message was but I definitely stopped complaining. I am listening universe.

As a reminder to be grateful for the small things in life, staying grateful, being present and enjoying the moment, today's recipe is for boiled peanuts. Simple and humble boiled peanuts. Cracking one open and enjoying a salty, juicy, nutty and soft boiled peanut is one the simplest things you can enjoy in life. It really is. I remember back home when we used to go into Nadi town for grocery shopping, we would pick some up from the local produce markets and have it as a little snack afterwards. So simple but so tasty! Side note, I guess we used to go into what would be called downtown Nadi for groceries but we just called it "going to town". Seems weird to think of going downtown to buy groceries now but at that time, that was where all the big supermarkets were. Good times. Peanuts were readily available and grown in a lot of the sugarcane farms around Fiji. I believe because they added nitrogen back to the soil. Sugarcane farms were very important to the Fijian economy when I was growing up. It was actually the reason Indians were taken to Fiji by the British. To work on the sugarcane farms under an indenture system during colonial times. As a result, there are several generations of Fiji-Indians currently living in Fiji. We make up almost half the population there now! Fiji has since become independent obviously. It is always good to know where we come from so we can appreciate how far we have come. I grew up in suburban Fiji but I know that I come from a long line of sugarcane farmers. I always try to remember that so I remain humble, grateful and always take advantage of opportunities that may not have been available to my ancestors. It is my way of paying respect to the hard work, toil and suffering my ancestors had to go through to be able to secure a future for us.

Anyways, one of my many aunts found some raw peanuts in a farmers market somewhere and shared some with us so Mum decided to boil them. This recipe is so easy. Literally all you need are raw peanuts, water and some salt. Make sure you rinse the peanuts out first. Then add them to a pot with water. Salt extremely generously. Much like salting pasta water and then bring to a boil. Boil for about 30 minutes or until peanuts are cooked through. You can pull one or two out at the 30 minute mark to test. They should be tender but not mushy.

Once cooked, just drain and serve! Though I would like to state the obvious, that you should let the peanuts cool down slightly before attacking them! Great for chai time! Nom nom!


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RECIPE:

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 lbs of raw peanuts

Salt to taste

Enough water to cover and boil peanuts

Method:

  1. Rinse out peanuts.

  2. Place in big boiling pot with enough water to cover the peanuts well and generous amounts of salt.

  3. Bring to boil.

  4. Boil for 30 minutes or until peanuts are cooked through.

  5. Enjoy!

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