Our local Shopko “big box” discount store along with several others in Nebraska are closing permanently . The chain has been struggling to stay afloat due to competition from places like Walmart and Amazon dot com. I hate to see our Shopko go away because it is a good “go-to” place with good quality goods that are better than Walmart’s yet not quite as good as those at Target. This store has been more convenient than either of the other chains.
As much as I hate to see yet another Norfolk business closing, I can’t resist close-out sales. The slashed prices have been budget friendly for things I normally get, so I stocked up on good buys like a couple of pairs of Levis, some funky socks, a stack of furnace/AC filters, and a couple of cans of peanuts.
These containers of peanuts aren’t the garden variety cans you pick up as impulse purchases at the local supermarket. These are unwieldy 56 ounces (1.58 kilograms) canisters. Plus, they’re the famous brand of peanuts, not the supermarket label brand I usually buy. Hopefully, these first class peanuts will last quite awhile.
I say hopefully because peanuts have become my go-to snack ever since my physician strongly suggested I cut back on consumption of Cheez-It crackers for health reasons. I still like Cheez-Its so I still buy them, but in the small boxes instead of the jumbo size that was previously bought. This means that peanuts have been getting a lot more personal attention.
Along with the dial-back of Cheez-It snacks, the doctor suggested eating less bread, even the healthy, multi-grain varieties. This means a cutback in peanut butter consumption. So, again, regular ol’ peanuts to the rescue.
The humble peanut is at the heart of Americana. It’s the world-famous American food, peanut butter. There’s the peanut farmer who went to the White House–Jimmy Carter. Also, roasted peanuts are a traditional snack at the baseball park. Peanuts are just fun to eat whether they come in shells or not.
Many supermarkets still sell unshelled peanuts in bulk. When they do, I like to fill the bag with several scoops full. Enjoying unshelled peanuts makes snacking more mindful. You have to pay closer attention to breaking open the shells than just eating them ready-to-go. It’s fun to find the irregularities in peanut shells. Most of them contain two peanuts. Some of them have only one peanut. I like the longer shells that contain three peanuts. Occasionally a few shells are already broken, so during the salting process, more salt reaches the peanut inside. The booby prizes are the already empty, broken shells at the bottom of the bag.
During the warmer months, I sometimes bring a few handfuls of unshelled peanuts outdoors for snacking. Usually one or two squirrels notice this. I don’t mind sharing because it’s fun to watch squirrels eat them while I enjoy my portion.
Peanuts and peanut butter are the great social class levelers. People of all income levels and nationalities love to eat them. I feel sorry for folks with nut allergies having to forgo the tasty morsels.
For those days when I cheat on the low-carb diet, a small bag of Peanut M&M’s or Nerds fit the bill. That rarely happens though, because plain peanuts taste just as good. The nice part of the candied peanuts is that they’re perfect for sharing with friends.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes George Washington Carver. “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I Found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people, they give up their secrets also–if you love them enough.”