March 2016 Country Kitchen
Peanuts are one of America’s favorite foods — they’re versatile, nutritious and affordable. Without peanuts, many cakes, cookies, main dishes and party snacks would cease to exist, and peanut farmers Fred and Mary Helms of Rehobeth aim to make sure everyone knows just how valuable the peanut is.
“Every way we can push peanuts, we do,” Mary said. “Anytime we go anywhere, we bring something made with peanuts. They’re good for you, and you can use them for so many things.”
Mary’s favorite peanut tradition is her family’s annual Cookie Bake, which takes place during the holidays in the Helms’ barn kitchen.
“My mother started it, and we’ve kept it going every year,” she said. “My oldest daughter and I buy all the ingredients, and we invite about 40 people — our family plus lots of people who don’t have family around — and they always come back every year.”
Along with other guests, Mary’s five children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren make about 12 different types of cookies, including several peanut butter varieties. It’s a great way to promote peanuts and enjoy friends and family, Mary said.
“We just love to get together, and what better way to get together than over food,” Mary said. “Traditions are important, and I wish more people did them.”
March is National Peanut Month Find more recipes at AlPeanuts.com.