Thursday, July 16, 2009

Boiled Nuts, Alligator Meat, Texas Home Cooking, Visionary Art, and Donkeys: A Summary

We've seen some strange and wondrous sights as we crossed the American South. Sampled some culinary delights. Been educated.

Boiled peanuts are a strange, multi-faceted experience. You purchase a styrofoam container of them, under advice from husband and friend, ladling the roiling contents, burning your face with hot steam. You clamp a lid down on them so the steam can do no further damage. Back in the car, you sample one. It is burning hot, and the shell yields easily. The nut inside is so soft that it practically melts. But the taste? Disgusting. Yet...you have to try one more to ascertain just how disgusting it really was. Yes, disgusting. Then a third. Hm. Wait, maybe it's not so bad. At least the texture is kind of nice...a fourth. The taste isn't so bad. A fifth. Okay, it's good. A sixth. Delicious, even...Sarge says you need an ice cold Coke to go with.

As for the Alligator meat, we didn't. We wouldn't. We couldn't. And "fresh from the swamp," isn't that an oxymoron?

Cleburne Cafeteria was everything it said it was and more.

The Orange Show cannot really be explained, but if you're interested look at the link.


The donkey lives across the road from my mother-in-law; he is free-ranging with four other donkeys and a two goats. They have a shelter and a feed and water station, and their owners come by every few days. I've never met such healthy, lovable creatures. They will lean against you silently if you let them, waiting for a scratch behind the ears and a carrot.



27 comments:

faycat said...

I LOVE boiled peanuts. As for alligator, you're not missing much. In my experience it didn't have very much flavor, it was all about how it was seasoned.

MJ said...

Have you eaten Grits yet?

Jimmy Bastard said...

Well I asked for tales and photies, and by 'God' you didnae disappoint.

Good for you doll.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I would TOTALLY eat alligator! Where is your sense of culinary adventure? I ate camel once. It was pretty bad.

Candie Bracci said...

OMG!No comment!:)

PI said...

I see the fascination of the Orange Show. That Fern!
Off to eat some nuts.

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Leah,
I'am enjoying these photographs of your journey with you,and your family.
Don't think that I can eat alligator meat...because I'am a semi vegetarian. But,I cheat because I do eat fish on Fridays.
hmmm...boiled peanuts sounds interesting!...and it seems as if the taste improved...with every peanut that you sampled.

Wow!...Donkeys are cute!...They're
sweet!
Leah, Take care!
and most definitely, enjoy your trip!
Take care!
DeeDee ;-D

savannah said...

gator meat is FANTASTIC! sorry, y'all missed it! xoxox

next time, y'all need to visit georgia!

Brian Miller said...

ha. would you believe gator was the first solid meat my oldest ever ate. what you get for living in florida at the time and having a grandma that is adventurous. enjoy your trip.

Ronda Laveen said...

Thanks for taking us with you on your tour. Never had boiled peanuts before but might try them now. Never had alligator meat either. Have had lots of frog legs though, quite tasty.

Baino said...

Boiled peanuts? Weird. I guess Alligator taste a bit like chicken . .crocodile does only sort of fishy. I'll have t come back and read the Orange show link and I'm with you on donkeys . . are you 'there' yet?

otin said...

I ate alligator tail once, and it was tough and tasted like chicken, and then a guy that I worked with said that he loved frog legs because they tasted like chicken! News Flash! Just buy some damned chicken!!! LOL! Southerners like boiled peanuts because a lot of the old timers have no teeth! I am not making that up!

kylie said...

my hubby eats steamed peanuts, that has to be nearly the same, right?
i never got a taste for them

the burro is a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e

merelyme said...

Memories! The ones you create and write about - and the ones you evoke!
For book club we read a real delightful book and at the host house we had boiled peanuts and Coke. No Diet here. Gotta be Coke. I don't know what it is but they have an affinity for each other!
Swamp and Fresh...too funny!

Gig said...

Leah, Boiled peanuts are delicious!! I have friends and cousins who send or bring them to me!! Gotta have some grits too...it is great to read of all your adventures. My hometown is on your map in Alabama. Favorite beach is Pensacola!! Enjoy all the sights!!

Megan said...

I want a donkey.

mago said...

"Aaahh, die Salami ist so frisch, da hört man den Esel noch quiecken!"

Asterix auf Korsika, S. 14.

nick said...

Boiled peanuts? That sounds totally disgusting. Surely all the flavour's boiled out of them? But seeing as they have their afficionados over there, perhaps I would also succumb. I've never seen such delicacies on sale here though.

Scarlet-Blue said...

I want a donkey too!
What did the nuts smell like? Did they smell good?
Sx

just bob said...

As was said earlier, alligator tail is a bit tough and chewy but I like it. Growing up in south Florida, fried gator tail is an appetizer in a lot of places, served with a dipping sauce on the side.

The donkey is cute. Does he talk like Mr. Ed?

Michelle said...

Oh that Donkey is a heart breaker. Can I keep him?

Madame DeFarge said...

This is such an education. I love road trips. You must go on more of them for me, so I can learn all about the quaint US customs. But, really, alligators?

mago said...

How are the bars of St. Antonio?

:)

Abi said...

Boiled peanuts sound....um...

That donkey does look fabulously healthy and happy and soft :)

I reckon I would try gator! I'll try nearly anything once.

Thanks for sharing the pictures! It's really interesting...

lettuce said...

i'd need some convincing about boiled peanuts i think

none about the donkey though, what a face full of character

Suzanne said...

I love the donkey and the Orange Show. A beautiful donkey and fun art. Perfect for me!!!

Have you ever stopped by Catskill on your way to the cabin? It's become a real art mecca and so much fun. Cat'n Around Catskill takes place every year. I think it's around 60 or so fiberglass cat sculptures line Historic Main Street. They're created by local artists and they're just wonderful. Then on Memorial Day there's a HUGE dinner, wine tasting and auction and they're all sold. If you can't make Memorial Day, you and Heggie should think about just strolling Main Street on your way to the Adirondacks. I think you'd have a blast.

My mom strolls Main Street every year because she enjoys it so, then attends the events on Memorial Day as well. She can't afford the art, but is hopeful when I move home I'll take part and just give her my sculpture! Seriously!!! I told her, "Mom, I don't think that's how it works!"

Thanks for the Orange Show. Wonderful!! And the donkey and his friends can come live with me when I return to the Catskills!!!

Thanks for sharing your vacation with all of us. What fun.

XO

muralimanohar said...

Boiled peanuts are the shiznit. They're a very Asian/Local food here, so I grew up eating them, though the closest I have come to the South is Texas. Wait, I drove through Mississippi once. I think.