Shelling Peas with Grandma

May 14, 2016
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By Debra Morris, PCFMA Marketing/Promotions

"How luscious lies the pea within the pod." Emily Dickinson

Spring is here in all its glory. The hills are green, the flowers are blooming, and spring produce is in abundance at your farmers’ market. The produce to buy now - sweet English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas.

I’ve always loved peas. I think it’s because they remind me of my grandmother. Of picking the peas from the field next to the house. Of sitting with her on the back porch with a glass of homemade lemonade and a big bowl of pea pods. Of feeling like we were special. And of watching her steam the peas to perfection for Sunday dinner.

Going to Grandma’s house on a Sunday afternoon was an adventure for us. We would always join her for what she called a “shelling party.” She would sit in her rocking chair, and we would sit cross-legged on the porch, all of us with big bowls of pods. We shelled as we talked about what was going on in our small lives. Pull, string, snap, and pop, the peas went into our bowls. We felt like we were part of the family, part of helping with the big gathering. There was a sense of belonging. I don’t know if anyone still shells peas on the porch anymore, but they should.

It’s sad that we have become so used to pulling a bag of peas (or any other vegetable) out of the freezer that we don’t really connect with our food, with the seasons, and with the people who grow the food.

Gather your family and friends, connect with your food and create your own memories. Visit the farmers’ market this spring to pick up several bags of fresh garden peas and have your own shelling party. Pour a glass of lemonade, have a good gossip, and enjoy.

Grandma’s Spring Peas

1 pound shelled garden (English) peas

1 tablespoon real butter

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt to taste

Shell peas. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When the water reaches a boil, add some salt and the peas. Cook for only a minute or two so they are still crisp but tender. Drain. Put in a warmed bowl and stir in lemon juice, salt and butter.

Enjoy fresh spring peas while you can because the season only lasts a few months.

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