Tag Archives: Peas

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Shell Peas Shelled

I love eating fresh English shell peas.

And when I see them at the farmers market,

I always buy a big bagful.

Then I get them home.

And I look at them.

And I remember how long it will take to shell them all.

And I wonder what I was thinking when I bought so many.

But I sit down at the table,

Or I stand at the kitchen counter,

And I start removing the tiny peas from their protective shells.

And it never really takes as long as I fear.

And when I’ve blanched them in salt water,

And tossed them in a little butter,

And popped them in my mouth,

I remember exactly what I was thinking when I bought so many.

Shell Peas Shelled

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Peas and Carrots

The older I get, the more I wonder why we teach our children not to play with their food.  Why not?  Playing is how children learn.  If they’re being fussy and refusing to eat something, wouldn’t it be better to allow them play with it rather than to push them into resisting it even more?  The more often they’re exposed to a food, the more familiar it becomes, and the more familiar it is, the more likely they are to eat it.  So the next time the children in your life refuse to eat something, try telling them to play with it instead . . . they might just pop it in their mouths.

Peas & Carrots

Asparagus Pea

Now that I have your attention, allow me to wax poetic about the week or two every year in which asparagus, shell peas, and snap peas are all in season simultaneously.  I celebrate that brief, joyous period by blanching all three separately in salt water, shocking them in ice water to make sure they hold their iridescent green color, tossing them in a homemade vinaigrette with shaved pecorino, and adding caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes, or even a little crispy bacon. . . and, if I find myself in a particularly hedonistic mood, I may add the onions, tomatoes, AND the bacon.

Asparagus Pea

Shell Peas

As a child, I listened intently to the countless stories told by many adults in my life about how they shelled peas when they were growing up.  To me, the concept of shelling peas was a mystery, as the peas of my own childhood were limited to canned and frozen.  My first opportunity to shell peas didn’t come until I reached adulthood. Now I shell them every chance I get.  Their beauty and flavor are incomparable, and I don’t even mind that I had to wait decades for the experience; it’s a joy to feel like a child at my age.

Shell Peas