Saturday, October 1, 2011

Boiled Peanuts with Chinese Five Spice

I used to run cross country in the fifth grade. I went to a smaller alternative elementary school where there were only ten kids in each grade, so anyone who wanted to join automatically made it on the team. But by the time I made it to middle school, I realized that I actually wasn’t that good at running (or any sports for that matter) and that I didn't actually enjoy it, so I stopped. I still go for a quick jog every now and then, but besides that, I’ve never looked back.


This summer, I realized that I needed to participate in some sports, since I had dropped physical education after freshman year and had basically stopped exercising except when during the winter when there was snow to go snowboarding on. I considered all the sports teams that my school offered and realized that: I couldn't hit a baseball (or softball) to save my life; I couldn't get a basketball into the net without a ladder; and that I didn’t even know what field hockey was. My options were slim. I decided that the only teams I had a chance of joining were cross country, dragonboat, and ski/snowboard alpine team.


Cross country is a sport which doesn’t require skill per se, bur relies completely on endurance. The first practice I went to was pure torture since I hadn’t ran for months. I knew a couple girls on the team and attempted to run with them, but even in their state of headaches and period cramps, I couldn't keep up. I felt out of shape and slow, but at least I had an excuse: I have asthma, so running or any kind of exercise makes it difficult for me to breathe.


The second practice wasn’t much better. It was raining and chilly and I felt a cold coming on even as I ran towards the park, trailing the group. We were supposed to run laps around the park, the more experienced runners running five laps and the beginners running three. I ran with as much conviction as I could muster, telling myself that the rain was more refreshing than hot air and that I wasn’t completely out of my mind to join cross country even though I couldn’t run. I stopped so many times to catch my breath that the other runners managed to lap me multiple times and finish all their five laps before I did three.


I went home, exhausted and starving, and peeled my damp clothing off. I took a hot shower and went to the kitchen in search of something to eat. A plate of Boiled Peanuts caught my eye. I grabbed a bowl and a handful of peanuts and set off to my room. As I shelled the peanuts, I reflected upon whether or not I should continue cross country. My legs were sore and I felt lightheaded from all the rigorous exercise. And it sucked that I was always, always last, so far back that I couldn’t even see the rest of the group. But quitting after only two practices would just proved how unfit I was. I decided to stick it out a couple more weeks, with the hope that I would improve.


So I went to another practice and to my dismay, it was raining again. The drizzling turned into droplets which became sheets of rain, blanketing our heads and bodies and limbs. By the time we had ran to the park, it was raining so hard that I had to stop running every few paces to wipe my face; the water was getting into my eyes and I couldn't see. Before I even completed my second lap around the field, I realized that my white t-shirt was plastered to my chest and that I was completely drenched.

Even though the conditions had been unfavourable during the third practice, I felt invigorated. I could already tell that my body was getting stronger because the running was becoming slightly easier. I’m definitely not fit enough to race in any meets this year, but hopefully cross country will prepare me for dragonboat.


Boiled Peanuts with Chinese Five Spice

This is one of those really simple type of guidelines. Put a bag of peanuts into a large pot and cover it with water. (At this point, you can season the water with salt or Chinese five spice or you can wait until after the peanuts are cooked and shelled. Or you could do both or none.) Bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peanuts are tender. Let the peanuts cool until they can be handled and shell. Season with salt and Chinese five spice.


I don’t really like roasted peanuts (unless the roasted peanuts are for making Peanut Butter), but I love eating boiled peanuts. These boiled ones have a completely different texture from roasted peanuts; these don’t have the crunch, but instead the crisp yet tender texture leaves you feeling full.

I'm sharing this post with:
Full Plate Thursday 
Fat Camp Friday
I'm Lovin' It
Food On Friday
Friday Potluck
Foodie Friday
Pity Party
These Chicks Cooked
Nifty Thrifty Sunday

9 comments:

  1. That sounds like a recipe my husband would just love. I'll have to keep it in mind!

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  2. i love peanuts! i'm so weak for peanut butter. i had some freshly roasted peanut last sunday and they were so addicting! using the 5 spice powder is awesome! consider doing an apple related post this month so you can participate in my #applelove bloghop! other's will be able to find your amazing talented blog too :). have a great weekend kyleen!

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  3. I love peanuts so much. These sound delish!

    I'm a new follower from the Something Swanky Blog Hop. Would love a follow back!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

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  4. I never though about boiling nuts like you did. I must try. I bet the taste is very tasty.

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  5. I just love peanuts... and I really like the addition of the five spice powder... what a great treat! Thanks for linking to Friday Potluck.

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  6. I'm a Southern girl though I live in Japan but these boiled peanuts make my mouth water. YUM!! Found you from the Something Swanky Blog Hop. I'm your newest follower.

    http://pinchofthisthatandtheother.blogspot.com/

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  7. yum! These sound wonderful! I am your newest follower from the Something Swanky Blog hop! I would love for you to come check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
    -Nikki
    http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

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  8. I've never heard of boiled peanuts, but these sound delicious! Peanuts are one of my favorite foods, so I'm excited to read a new way to enjoy them!

    -Miriam

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