Friday, July 18, 2008

She Loves You, yeah, yeah, yeah...

So TFYO comes running into the living room this morning yelling,

"Mommy, MOMMY! I saw a rat outside my window! It was looking at me!"

I, of course didn't panic.

All right, I panicked a little and went tearing back to her room, screaming "A rat? WHERE??"

I peered out her window looking across the freshly seeded yard for any hint of a rodent: digging, droppings, anything. All I saw was a bunch of damp grass seed.

The TFYO says, "Well, wait. It might actually have been a beetle".

No, not that kind of beetle...

This kind.

Well, that's a load off my mind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If you're looking for a moral to this song, 50 million monkeys can't be wrong

Lyric from a song made very popular by Dean Martin, The Peanut Vendor. Although it's been around longer than that.

Peanuts are a big deal in the south. Of course, you know, they're not a nut, they are a legume that was imported from Africa (even though they are originally from South America), along with okra, black-eyed peas and watermelons. Peanuts were one of the staples in the diets of enslaved Africans living in the Americas, so it's no surprise peanuts are everywhere down here.

Hell, one of our Presidents used his image as a Georgia peanut farmer to sell himself to the American people. Of course, Jimmy Carter also did graduate work in nuclear physics at Union College, New York, but that image did resonate quite as much as peanut farming.

Peanuts are important down here.

However, unlike up north, most folks don't prefer their peanuts roasted 'round these parts, they like 'em boiled.

It really is a southern thing. Every summer, hand made signs start popping up all along the road offering boiled peanuts in various vernaculars. I've seen everything from "Boiled P-nuts" to "Boiled Pee-nuts" offered for sale on the side of the road. Just remember, when you say boiled down here, you better say it "bawled", or they'll know you're a Yankee.

In the deep south, you can even find them canned in grocery stores like tomatoes or other veggies.

And I despise them.

I consider myself pretty well acclimated to the American South. I love grits and greens, I eat hoppin' john and pork every New Year's Day, and I even sound more like my neighbours here, than I do my northern family.

But there are two things I can't stand: sweet tea and boiled peanuts.

My husband loves both, and while he understands my dislike of sweet tea, he never tires of urging me to eat boiled peanuts.

Basically, a boiled peanut is a peanut that's been, well...boiled. You have to use fresh, green (as in just harvested, not in colour) peanuts. Then they're boiled, usually outdoors, in a big pot of salty water until the shells/skins get soggy. According to What's Cooking, they take on a "fresh legume flavor". According to me, they taste like soggy, slimy, wet and salty cardboard.

Just the idea of squishing one of those things into my mouth makes me shudder.

When Ray interviewed someone from the Effingham County Fair this past fall, he asked the man "How can I get my wife to try boiled peanuts?" The man's answer: "Well, hell, son, just shove a couple in her mouth. She'll get the idea."

And I may be coming around to that idea.

There's a gentleman who sells his boiled peanuts just outside the door of our local grocery. His sign proclaims "Best Boiled Peanuts in Georgia", and he gets extra points from me for spelling "peanut" correctly. He's a joy to talk to. He has one of those warm, southern voices that sounds like it's either going to break into a spiritual any minute, or possibly a sermon. TFYO always has to stop and chat with him whenever we go to the store, and it's always worth it to watch her listen to his stories.

She pays attention to that man, she hangs on his every word.

But I've never bought his peanuts.

I think, this week, I just might. At the very least, Ray will eat them.

This is Judy Garland singing The Peanut Vendor Song, not the best version I could find, but most of the other versions were in Spanish.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Take this job and...

I'm a little in love with Johnny Paycheck.

I quit my job yesterday. Well, I say I quit, but I'm still doing the occasional air shift on the weekends, but no more work during the week. No more production work. No more responsibility beyond my air shift.

And I feel so much better.

I let the one year anniversary (blogiversary?) of my little corner of the world pass without much fanfare. Sorry about that.

I also owe y'all a post about peanuts. I promise you will have it by Monday, and since I don't have to work Monday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday...) I get to come visit you all, too!

Oh, and if any of you know someone who's looking for a pretty good voice talent, send them my way. I can do accents, children's voices and character voices, too.