I have a fond memory of sitting on my grandparent's patio snapping green beans. Did you ever do that? My grandparents had a beautiful garden with just about everything you could imagine -- green beans, corn, oranges, lemons, peaches, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, and more. Fruits and vegetables always taste better when they're freshly grown in a home garden. There was something therapeutic about snapping green beans. I'm not sure if it was fun because I was a kid. or if it was the combination of being with my grandma, sitting on the patio, and enjoying the evening air. Whatever it was ... it was a pleasant experience.
However, something changed somewhere down the road. Today I sat by the wood stove and shelled some unsalted peanuts. Rick makes a really good peanut brittle, and he usually only makes it around Christmas. Of course, it would have been a lot easier to buy a jar of peanuts rather than crack them open myself, but we had a three pound bag just sitting here, so I figured I better use them up. You would think it would be therapeutic like the green beans, but it wasn't really. It was kind of tedious. Maybe it's because we live in such a digital age where our fingers are always engaged with gadgets like cell phones or keyboards. My thumb hurts.
A lot of things taste better when they're homemade. Unfortunately, you can't tell the difference between shelling your own peanuts or buying some without the shell. They still taste the same. The other disadvantage to shelling your own -- besides sore fingers -- is that not every peanut is perfect. My peanuts didn't go through some conveyor belt to sort out the nasty ones. I had to toss out some that were shriveled or yucky looking. Most were usable though, and as you can see, I filled up a huge bowl with shells. I think we have enough peanuts to make two batches. Yay! Rick is upstairs making some right now. I'm thankful for that because my thumb still hurts. I think it's bruised. I remember one year I made a string of popcorn for our Christmas tree. Oh my goodness! Talk about sore fingers ... never again!