This post is going to be way longer than it needs to be, but there is a reason for that. You see boiled peanuts are my favorite food group. They really should have a group all their own.
If you have driven any place in Florida, Georgia or the Carolina's you have seen the cardboard signs leaning against a pick-up truck along the road. You would be wise not to be in the right lane if I see a "boiled peanut" sign off to my right and you are in my way, I will cut in front of you.
When I moved back to Kentucky it never crossed my mind that they didn't have boiled peanuts. Can you imagine. Some people here have never heard of them. So, I found a mail order source for them, Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts, I was saved. These fine young men, Matt and Ted Lee, are from Charleston, S.C., and in finding the boiled peanuts I also found their award winning 2006 Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. A truly fine Southern cookbook.
Here's how to boil your own peanuts on the stove top, If for some reason you don't like them please send them to me.
Boiled Peanuts - Matt and Ted Lee Style
snacking for 12, if one of them isn't me
1 1/2 cups salt, plus more to taste
2 pound raw peanuts in shell
4 gallons water, plus more as needed
Using a 3-gallon stockpot, dissolve 1/2 cup of the salt into 2 gallon of water. Soak the peanuts overnight (8 hours) in the salty water. use a dinner plate to subdue peanuts that wish to float.
The next day, discard the water and fill the pot with 2 gallons of fresh water and the remaining cup of salt. Cover the pot, turn the heat to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and cook at a low boil for 4 to 8 hours. Add water in 2 cup increments to maintain the same level until peanuts are soft.
After 3 hours of boiling, pull out a peanut to sample its saltiness and softness. After it cools open up the hull and take out the kernels. If they're too salt, ladle out some of the brine, replacing it with an equal amount of fresh water. If not salty enough, add salt in 1/4-cup increments. Turn off heat for a while to allow peanuts to absorb salt. Afterward, continue the low boiling for another 2 to 4 hours, taking an hourly sample to make sure peanuts are getting soft and as salty as you wish. If seeking extreme softness, 12 hours of boiling may be required.
Cut off heat when the peanuts have cooked to your satisfaction. Allow an hour of cooling, then drain and serve immediately, or refrigerate for as long as 7 days. Peanuts will keep for several months in the freezer.