When I was young, my mother roasted her own peanuts. My grandmother, who lived in the country, would periodically drop a bag of raw peanuts as a gift at our house. She bought from someone in her hometown. And whenever those peanuts showed up, my mother immediately got to cooking them. Which is saying something, because she didn’t cook hardly anything.
I always stood in our green 1980′s kitchen and loved watching her in action. They way she coated the peanuts in oil so thoroughly. They was she turned them and tended to them in the oven. All of the slow time and effort she took paid off, because the peanuts always turned out great.
I remembered that recently and decided it was high time I learned how to roast my own peanuts. The store bought ones are fine, and I eat those all the time, but there is nothing quite like popping a hot, salty, just out of the oven peanut in your mouth. I am salivating just thinking about it.
To get started, I ordered a 3lb bag of raw peanuts from a company though Amazon. They arrived in a nice bag, completely fresh and well-preserved. Then I talked to aunt Mimi a lot about how to make them, because my mother did not leave me a recipe.
I preheated the oven 500 degrees and let it get nice and hot for awhile. When the oven was ready, I poured the peanuts into two large jelly roll type pans, so there was enough room for all the peanuts to lay flat in the pan. I then poured about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil into the pan. Not enough for the oil to puddle up anywhere, but enough to thoroughly coat all the peanuts. Lilla was call over the mixing and coating. I then generously salted them. And I mean, generously.
I put the pans into the ovens, and immediately turned the ovens completely off, which allowed the peanuts roast while the ovens cooled down. While they cooked, I periodically moved them around with a wooden spatula and did a taste test, about every 15 minutes, to make sure they were being evenly and thoroughly cooked.
After about an hour, they were completely done. I removed the pans from the oven and let them cool, because they were extremely hot. That didn’t really stop me from doing more taste tests though. You know, just to make sure they were really done.
When the peanuts had cooled enough, I poured them into a large bowl, where they cooled some more. When they were completely cool, I put them into mason jars to help keep them fresh as we worked our way through eating them.
After calculating all the costs, it cost me about $5 per jar of peanuts to make them. That includes the cost of the peanuts, ingredients, jars, and ribbon. Not to mention, they tasted so good. We enjoyed them for days and days. So, there is a pretty good chance home roasted peanuts is going to fall into my Christmas gift-giving. Instead of the usual cookies for friends and teachers, the Wises will be giving peanuts this year!