Rinse the peanuts really well. If the shells are extra-dirty, soak them in water for an hour, drain the water away, then rinse again.
Place the peanuts, salt, garlic, and pepper in a large (at least 12-quart) stockpot. Fill the pot with enough water that it tops the peanuts by a good 2 inches.
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Let the peanuts boil for at least 2-3 hours, depending on how fresh your peanuts are. Fresh-dug nuts will cook faster. Some folks do this step overnight in a slow cooker on medium heat.
When they're done, the peanut should still hold its shape, but the shell should no longer be crunchy at all and should pull easily apart so you can get to the soft nuts inside. Remove the pot from the heat when you're done and drain the water away. Let the nuts cool a little before eating.
Store in the refrigerator in the shells in an airtight container, or freeze in plastic freezer bags for protein snacks later in the year.
Jamie DeMent was raised in Eastern North Carolina. As she saw family farms disappearing and industrialized farming taking over, she searched for ways to revive the simplicity of eating healthy, locally grown food. In 2001, after completing her degree in Southern History and African American Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she became a Legislative Aid for Representative Brad Miller on Capitol Hill, then was a Director of Special Projects for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences where she supported fundraising efforts for the Nature Research Center. DeMent left the Museum to join Richard Holcomb at Coon Rock Farm. The couple also own Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, and Bella Bean Organics online farmers’ market. Jamie’s days are spent writing about food and farming and planting, harvesting, cooking and selling products from her farm. Jamie’s cookbook, The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from my Carolina Farm, is out in Fall 2017 from UNC Press. She is also a guest lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, Duke University, and teaches cooking classes around the country. Jamie was recently named one of North Carolina’s “Outstanding Women in Business” for 2016 and was in the 2017 “40 Under 40” class by the Triangle Business Journal and has had featured articles and recipes in many local, regional and national publications.