Shriners, volunteers busy with peanuts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2005

Dr. William Beall said he couldn't count how many times he's been asked about the World's Largest Peanut Boil in his travels abroad.

"It's probably one of the first things people ask me when I tell them I'm from Luverne," said Beall, a Shriner who helps coordinate the club's annual 10-ton peanut boil that attracts visitors near and far. Ever since the Guinness Book of World Records designated the event as, indeed, the world's largest, Beall said the peanut boil has gone national.

And in some cases international.

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"We've had people from Germany and Sweden stop by to buy a bag of peanuts," he said. "There's people who plan their vacations around it."

Beall, himself has frozen peanuts and mailed them to his friends in Maryland, New York and Chicago. Two were pastors originally from Brantley who wanted their congregation to sample the melt-in-your-mouth, salted flavor of a boiled peanut.

"Their congregations had never had them," he said.

The recipe hasn't changed much in 34 years, said Beall. Three boxes of salt, 35 pounds of peanuts and boiling water with an average cook time of one hour and five minutes.

"We've got it down," he said. "We could probably cook them in 45 minutes but we don't use lids. And we won't use lids."

The Shriners peanut boil started on Tuesday of this week and will conclude on Labor Day. In between, is the annual parade on Saturday morning. Beall said parade entries would start lining up at 10 a.m., with the parade scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

Peanuts, in small or large bags, are available at the Shriners Building on US 331 or from individual Shriners selling in Luverne.

Beall said this year's boil is dedicated to Papa Jack and Lenora Thrower.