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Peas (in different ways)

April 30, 2012

Planting the garden always holds great promise for the upcoming season.

We’ve been enjoying some nice days at the 1900 farm.  We are wrapping up the school enrichment programs and preparing for the 1000+ school children that will visit us during the month of May.  In the middle of all of that we have also managed to get some of our garden planted.  Seven rows of potatoes are already in the ground.  In addition we have two rows of lettuce, one of radish, and two rows of onions.  I was kind of excited because we also managed to get the first of two rows of peas in the the ground, and peas are my favorite.  In my opinion the best way to eat peas is straight off the vine (standing in the garden if need be).  There are, however, many fine ways to prepare peas.  I wanted to share a couple of the farm recipes with you.

 Fannie Farmer’s recipe reads like this:

Creamed Peas

Drain Boiled Peas, and to two cups pea add three-fourths cup White Sauce II. Canned peas are often drained, rinsed, and reheated in this way.

The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, 1896

We’ve adapted this one for more modern kitchens:

Creamed Peas

7 cups frozen peas

¼ c butter

1 ½ T flour

1 ½ c half and half

½ T sugar

Boil and drain peas.  Melt butter, add flour, stir over heat until it bubbles, add cream and sugar.  Simmer until thick.

Adapted from The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook,1896.

If creamed vegetables aren’t your thing here is another recipe to try:

Green Peas a la Francaise

2 lbs. Peas

½ medium Onion, sliced

½ cup Butter                  1 Tbls.. Flour

1 Tbls. Parsley               1 Tbls. Sugar

Cook peas in 2 inches of water.  Drain and keep warm.  In separate pan, melt butter and sauté onion.  Add flour, sugar and parsley. Add warm peas, mix and serve.

Adapted from Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861.

I am a little bit sad; peas could have been planted so much earlier and we could be eating them already.  Those of you who are enjoying early peas, try a couple of new recipes.  If you are like me and just now getting them sown in the garden enjoy the warmth of the sun and look forward to the harvest.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the farm.  Living History Farms opens for the touring season on May 1st.  Visit lhf.org if you are interested in coming to see the 1900 farm!

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