Recipes and Stories

5 September 2017: Peanut Soup

September 5, 2017

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Virginia Cookery, Peanuts, Peanut Soup, Ground Nuts, Ground Nut Soup, Sarah Rutledge, The Carolina Housewife, The Williamsburg Cookbook, Colonial Williamsburg, Soup

Old-Fashioned Peanut Soup, still served in Colonial Williamsburg's King's Arms Tavern.
An old New Yorker friend tells me that, until recently, on Tuesday morning after Labor Day the subways smelled heavily of mothballs, regardless of what the weather was like. Since the holiday marked the symbolic if not actual end of summer, summer whites were dutifully put away and fall woolens came out of storage.

Well, it may be the symbolic end of the season, but here in the Deep South, we’re facing another full month or more of summer heat and humidity. Those white shoes may be ceremonially moved to the back of the closet, but other wardrobe changes will have to wait.

All the same, there’s a distinct shortening of the daylight hours and the lengthening of the shadows, bringing subtle changes in the light that inevitably turn our imagination toward fall. At the table, we may not be ready for heavy cold weather fare, but we’re weary of a steady litany of salads and chilled soup and are ready for the mellow flavors of autumn. (more…)

23 October 2014: Boiled Peanuts

October 23, 2014

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Peanuts, Boiled Peanuts

Perfectly boiled peanuts, photographed handsomely by John Carrington
Boiled peanuts: for most Southerners, those words conjure memories of running barefoot through freshly mown grass on a warm summer evening, or of cheering on the home team from rough, weather-worn bleachers. But for the uninitiated outside our region, who have never seen peanuts any way but toasted and served forth in a bowl on the top of a bar or ground and slathered between two slices of white bread, it probably sounds like a culinary train wreck. (more…)