June 05, 2008

Oklahoma Peanuts

Many people are allergic to peanuts. I'm fortunate because I'm not one of them. Hopefully you're not either, because today's booklet is filled with recipes for this tasty legume.

It's Easy to be a Gourmet with Peanuts... (undated, 30 pages) was published by the Oklahoma Peanut Commission sometime in the mid-1960s. (The chart inside displaying nutritive values of protein foods comes from a 1963 USDA Handbook.)

According to the information in this booklet, there were over 4,000 peanut growers in Oklahoma at the time of publication. A map shows the Oklahoma peanut producing counties; they make up about 2/3 of the state, mostly the central and southern counties. Today, Oklahoma produces over 1 million pounds of peanuts a year

The recipes and menu ideas in the book are devoted primarily to peanut butter as an ingredient, although there are basic directions for blanching, french frying and roasting. Some of the recipes do use chopped or whole peanuts. They also tell you how to make your own peanut butter.

One interesting fact I learned from his booklet was that raw peanuts can be kept in a fresh state indefinitely if placed in the deep freeze or freezer portion of the refrigerator. This is good information to know in the event we ever come across a good deal on fresh peanuts.

There are several unusual recipes in here: one is a recipe for Protein-Packed Pizza with peanut butter blended into the sauce/topping mixture and another 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts into the dough for the crust.

Others that are slightly unusual are a Peanut Butter Pineapple Salad Dressing, a Peanut Butter Corn Loaf and a Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

Elvis was a fan of grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I know this because I once received an Elvis cookbook from a coworker who was a huge Elvis fan. That gift nicely illustrated how our two totally unrelated interests could somehow be merged together in a mutually satisfactory way. She probably had fun buying another Elvis item and spreading her love of Elvis and I was able to add another cookbook to my collection. I still have the book and think of her every time I run across it on the bookshelf. Some of the recipes are actually pretty good.

The booklet doesn't waste a lot of space on illustrations. The section headings contain little drawings of peanuts with human characteristics. I thought these little peanut-men were especially interesting because they're all sporting headbands with a feather. What a clever way to tie the state's Native American heritage in with the peanut advertising.

Since there are so few illustrations, the pages contain plenty of recipes. Categories range from Main Dishes all the way to Desserts. There are quite a few candy recipes.

One candy recipe is for Peanut Patties--those round pink sugar patties filled with Spanish peanuts. There's nothing quite like a fresh peanut patty. I've never made any myself because I can buy the Dickies brand (made by the Tyler Candy Company) at a nearby store. They're usually very fresh because they fly off the shelves and the stock is replenished often. The recipe in this book sounds good, although it does call for the addition of evaporated milk, which I don't normally associate with peanut patties. I am of the opinion, however, that evaporated milk makes anything taste better.


2-1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. white corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
3 c. raw spanish peanuts
1 t. vanilla
1 t. butter

Mix sugar, syrup, milk and peanuts together and cook over low heat for 1 hr. Add butter and vanilla and beat until creamy and spoon out on wax paper to form patties. Add red cake coloring if desired while beating.

(I tell myself the nutritional value of the peanuts offsets all that sugar.)

Surprisingly, the one recipe I did not find in this booklet was one for Boiled Peanuts. This is a treat that I always get when traveling through Alabama or Mississippi. Normally I wouldn't be fishing anything to eat out of a crockpot on a convenience store counter, but these are an exception. I've never noticed any boiled peanuts for sale on my trips to Oklahoma. I guess that delicacy is more common to the southeastern portion of the U.S.


At 11:42 AM CDT, Blogger ~~Louise~~ said...

That's one of the great things about these local promotional cookbooks. They get right down to the nitty gritty of the recipes and info. Illustrations are second.

Great post, I also am fortunate not to have an allergic reaction.

At 10:33 AM CDT, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I also have this cookbook and have loved some of the recipes. I was wondering if you could post the recipe for the peanut butter patties which are similar to Reese's peanut butter cups. I am currently in PA and my cookbook is at home in OH. I wanted to make some Easter eggs using this recipe, but of course don't have access to it.


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