I’m sitting here tonight, eating boiled peanuts out of a plastic bag that I bought at a gas station just outside of Marietta, N.C. It has a brand name on the bag. This is bizarre. And also not so good.

My godfather, Mr. Wade Page, used to grow peanuts and boil batches of them. They were not too salty, like a lot of boiled peanuts are. Mr. Wade would also pull whole plants out of his garden and dump them under a shade tree where he could comfortably pick butterbeans and peas from his chair. He reminded me of Santa Claus without a beard. His voice was the deepest, kindest voice I ever heard. Lou Rawls deep.

The best boiled peanuts are the ones you get in a paper bag from a country store or a roadside stand. They’re fresh and not too goopy. Eating boiled peanuts is a sloppy snack. It is hard to eat boiled peanuts and drive. They do turn bad quickly so you can’t just leave them lying around.

Now you see them in crock pots in convenience stores. You can get them Cajun flavored. I started to try some from a gas station in Rockingham, N.C. but they were actually boiling. I didn’t want them THAT hot.