Recently when the Texas Peanut Producers Board invited me on a Peanut Blog Tour I jumped at the chance to learn about the field to fork process of peanuts.
They invited nine Texas bloggers to Lubbock to learn more about peanuts. Did you know Texas is the fourth largest peanut-producing state in the nation? To be honest, I didn’t even know peanuts were grown in Lubbock.
When I mentioned to my dad all I learned on the tour, he surprised me by saying his dad grew some peanuts on their farm growing up. Who knew!
We started the tour by checking in to the Overton Hotel. The rooms there are beautiful and cozy and close to the Texas Tech campus.
Wine, peanut butter, peanuts, peanut pattie, Slaton Bakery treats, to name a few. What a surprise and I’ve used practically everything in the box already.
Quick fact: Almost 90 million jars of peanut butter are sold annually.
Also in the box was a Peanut Butter Cupcake from a local bakery, The Ruffled Cup. As soon as I took a bite I knew I was going to recreate it. It was that good! (and here it is! – my own Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cupcake)
That night we went to the Bayer Museum of Agriculture for a reception and dinner hosted by Visit Lubbock where we were treated to a genuine Chuck-wagon dinner.
I never get tired of Chicken Fried Steak so I was stoked when I saw this team cooking up one of my favorites.
We also got to hear great cowboy music and cowboy poetry. Very entertaining.
The Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about Texas farmers and their crops and equipment.
The next morning, we headed to Brownfield to tour Monty and Kathy Henson’s peanut farm.
There we learned all about how peanuts are grown. Did you know peanuts are not nuts – they are legumes.
I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t even given it thought to how they were grown before the tour.
Rows and rows of peanuts are planted and the flowers bloom to show that peanuts are growing.
The shrubs are pulled and turned over where the peanuts will dry for a couple of days. Then they will be gathered and off to the processing plant.
It’s fascinating. And the Henson’s are passionate about their peanut farming.
We then headed to Birdsong Shelling where we got to witness the entire process of shelling peanuts. Sorry, no pics allowed. Super secret stuff here folks. But oh I wanted to take some pictures so bad!
This Brownfield facility supplies peanuts for many large brands, including Mars, Hershey’s and Planters.
Our day continued on with a wonderful picnic lunch overlooking the Lost Draw Vineyards.
Yes, vineyards in Texas. And the wine was very good and they gained nine new fans, I’m sure.
After a brief respite, we ventured to McPherson Cellars for a tour of their facility.
The tour was followed by a scrumptious seven-course dinner from North Catering.
First Course: Cheddar and Peanut Bread with Duck Fat Infused Garlic Butter (I seriously could have bathed in this butter)
Second Course: House Rolled Spring Roll with Peanut Butter Siracha
Third Course: Buffalo Slider Ground with Boiled Peanuts on a Sesame Peanut Bread
Fourth Case: Radicchio Salad with Peanut Oil Chimichurri
Fifth Course: Fried Maine Lobster Tail with Boiled Peanut Sweet Potato Polenta and Bacon Gastrique (I could eat this dish every day)
Sixth Course: Ribeye with Roasted Peanut Mir Poix and Chimichurri Butter
Seventh Course: Peanut Butter Banana Bread Napoleon with Housemade Pistachio Gelato and Coffee Spun Sugar
Oh my. Every dish was peanut inspired and every single blogger left satisfied and happy.
You, too can experience some of the great food by this amazing Chef, Sarah North, by visiting The Pickle and the Pig in Lubbock. Do it.
The following day we had an intimate brunch at the hotel and heard from Kyla Hamilton of CommonGround.
Kyla and her husband along with their family own Hamilton Farms and Kyla shared with us her perspective of a farm mom.
We were also treated to some of her sweet corn and honey.
All in all it was a great tour and it was fun learning all about peanuts. Thank you to the Texas Peanut Producers Board for such an inspiring and informative tour.
Tomorrow I’ll share a recipe inspired from the Texas Peanut Blog Tour and you won’t want to miss it. I promise. (here it is!)
The Texas Peanut Producers Board sponsored this trip and blog post – all opinions are my own.