The first time I ever ate boiled peanuts was a long time ago. I believe it was at my inlaws residence in Hattiesburg, MS somewhere around the early 1980's.
At the time I didn't know what to think, but I took a bite and was hooked.
I've eaten a lot of them since that time and mostly they were purchased from the same spot in Cherokee, NC.
Each year we go to the Smoky's two, maybe three times. And when we pass through Cherokee, we're always looking to see if Jack's Boiled Peanuts is open.
They are located on the east side of U.S. 441 which is the main drag heading toward Gatlinburg.
We can always find them open June through August, and sometimes as early as March and as late as September.
When the tourist season winds down, they do to.
One year when we stopped I talked to Jack and I recall that he said at that time they cooked up some 16 tons of peanuts. That was back ages ago when the economy was humming and people traveled more.
Even the National Park Service reported that annual visits to the Smoky's this year has dropped to under the average of 10 million visits a year.
This past Easter visit, Jack said that last year they managed to cook up six tons of boiled peanuts and were hoping to get that up to nine tons this year.
We do our share, as much as possible.
What I'm going to say is not as bad as texting and driving, but could be considered a hazard.
I am nomally driving and I put a towel down in my lap and a paper plate on top of it. The peanuts are in a bag, usually between the two front captain's chairs.
I just reach over and get some, put them on the plate and manage to ply the little critters open with my hands and teeth and eat them as we journey up to the New Found Gap.
Been doing that for years with no adverse affects, other than being stuffed with the goodies.
Next post: May 29, 2012