I’m homesick. I would give my right pinky for some boiled peanuts right now. The kind sold hot from the cooker in a styrofoam cup. I would peel them, eat their meaty insides, and throw the shells out the window on I275. Then I’d stop at some other roadside stand and eat a tomato, a fat red one that tastes like sunshine and dirt, salted and juice dripping down the back side of my forearm.
This kind of nostalgia is nothing new to me, but when it’s snowing like it is today and the light is coming back, but not fast enough, I just can’t think of why I’m still stuck here. Why hasn’t the universe thrown some bend in my path that gets me back at least 1000 miles closer to my family and the world I grew up in. As of this August I will have spent over half my life in Alaska. I feel like Dorothy wandering around the land of Oz, looking for the proverbial Wizard to tell me how to get home. Some optimistic part of me hopes that a clicking of the heels will magically occur one day and I’ll be able to stop just about anywhere and order a cup of these beauties. But for now, I have to stick to the roadside coffee stands and hope that I can stay awake long enough to find a way back home.
A few other folks I know from the deep South and I are getting together next week to cook up some traditional fare. I’m in charge of the grits casserole (recipe coming soon) and the cole slaw. And I can’t get boiled peanuts around here (although I can order them online from the Lee Brothers) so instead, I’ll offer you my basic of cole slaw recipe, one that started out pretty Southern but has become slightly influenced by the Asian ingredients and flavors that are so prevalent here.
Ex-Pat Cole Slaw
- 1 bag of shredded cabbage (green and purple, plus shredded carrots)
- 1 tablespoon of celery seed
- 1/2 cup of gourmet rice vinegar (the sweet kind made by Mirim)
- 1/2 – 1 cup of Duke’s mayonnaise (I’m dreaming… I can’t get that here either, so regular will do in a pinch)
- Health Benefits of Peanuts (brighthub.com)
- A Few Tomato Descriptions and Their Estimated Harvest Days (frugalrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Alaska Style Southern Food Fest (tartlittlepiggy.wordpress.com)