Monday, January 20, 2020

The Humble Goober Pea

Image result for free stock photos peanuts historical royalty free"Peas-peas, peas-peas, eating Goober peas." 

 Although a native of South America the humble peanut has become a cultural staple in the united states and much has been done to make this simple legume a useful and productive part of the United States.

Before the Civil War Peanuts were not a widely cultivated crop. Peanuts were generally only grown in Virginia and Georgia to replenish soils stripped of nutrients by cotton growth, and for feed for livestock and the poorest of residents. However, once the war kicked into gear and the lack of food and other supplies led many to begin consuming peanuts. Some people even ground them up and mixed them with milk and sugar to drink in place of hard to get coffee.

Goober Peas: 

Image result for free stock photos peanuts historical royalty freeAs the Civil War continued it was common for southern soldiers to eat them as they marched through Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, thus naming them Goober Peas as a dig at the states that grew these humble legumes. Although peanuts were not considered an important crop at this time as soldiers grew to love them many took them home to their own states and experimented with growing them there. This began to legitimize the little legume and they were soon widespread throughout the states.

After the Civil War, the peanut became even more important to the southern states when the boll weevil began to decimate the southern cotton crop. Already economically strained the South had to adjust and many farmers began growing peanuts for animal food until the growing demand for sweet treats such as roasted peanuts and peanut brittle. The poor soil of the southern states also benefited from the nitrogen producing peanut. Peanuts and clover are some of the only plants that naturally restore nitrogen to the earth.
Image result for first commercial brand of peanut butter What really launched the peanut, however, was the increased demand for oil during World War I. Farmers were able to refine peanut oil and sell it while other oils were far more scarce.

"World War I was a factor as well, causing a jump in the demand for edible oils. As the price of peanut oil began to creep upward, the Pensacola News Journal declared that peanut oil was just as certain a source of wealth as petroleum!" (Florida

Today peanuts are the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States. Peanut butter and peanut candy account for a large share of this huge industry.

George Washington Carver is largely credited for experimenting with peanuts but several have been given credit for inventing this most American icon. But is appears he was not the first to experiment with such ideas.

Who invented peanut butter?
There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
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My personal favorite brand
Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II" (National Peanut Board)

"Skippy licensed his invention to the company that created Peter Pan peanut butter" in 1928 and in "... 1932 he began producing his own peanut butter under the name Skippy". Under the Skippy brand, Rosefield developed a new method of churning creamy peanut butter, giving it a smoother consistency." (Wikipedia)

So far I haven't included peanuts or peanut butter in my stories but this week I could see the children in Ellery's Eden begging for peanuts at the local store, or eating boiled peanuts as a special treat.
This book is set in the early 1900s and is the story of a widower, devastated by the loss of his one true love. Arriving home where his parents can care for his four young children he checks out of life only to be pulled back in the most unlikely way.

After two long months of waiting Polly and George Olson's oldest son returns to Biders Clump but he's not the man they once knew. Having lost his wife, Ellery returns home where he knows his children will be well cared for while he checks out of life. Heartbroken and overcome by grief he hides away from the rest of the world unable to even care for his own little ones.
Ernestine Haven is looking for a new job as a governess but when she receives a letter offering her a place at a boarding house in Wyoming she knows there is more to the simple words than meets the eye. Does she have the strength to take the job and provide for the four children who must be so lost and alone? Will going to Biders Clump prove the answer to her prayers or will she once more be forced to leave behind the little ones she has grown to love. Taking the chance that she will find real joy out west Ernie accepts the job but will it prove too much for her soft heart to handle or will it give her the hope and home she has always wanted? 

"Regardless of where you are in life, this story will touch you and bring you a beautiful ending that’s really a precious beginning" Five Star Review!

Don't miss more of Tales from Biders Clump. You can find them all on my webpage. You can even find Ferd's Fair Favor FREE Today!


kathleen Lawless said...

I loved this post! Great topic.
Kathleen Lawless

Alicia Haney said...

This post about peanut butter is so very interesting, I enjoyed reading it! Lots of very good information. Thank you so very much for sharing this very informative post. Your book sounds like a very good read and I love the cover, it is beautiful! Have a Great week. God Bless you.