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Thursday, June 23

My First Freshly-Shelled Peas

This week I did something in the kitchen I’ve never done before: I shelled fresh peas. I remember clearly a picture book from my childhood where a little girl who lives in the mountains shells peas with her grandmother on the back porch. That scene is so clear in my mind, soaked in nostalgia, what I perceived as the perfect childhood pastime. For whatever reason, however, fresh peas in the pod have never crossed my path, whether on a back porch in Appalachia or in my own kitchen!

Last week we received a bag of English peas in our CSA bag. I was super excited to eat super fresh peas, to see if it made a difference in flavor. So, on Sunday, I set to work!

First off, shelling them was actually kind of fun and satisfying…just what I thought it would be years ago reading that story as a child. BUT…you have to shell a LOT of pods to get not-so-very-many peas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Secondly, they did taste better. I mean, they’re still peas. If you don’t like peas, then fresh or frozen, you’re probably not going to fall in love. They tasted how I expected, maybe just a bit fresher. But the real advantage is the texture was better, crisper, fresh.

It’s official: freshly shelled peas are great!

If you like peas…

And if you don’t mind manual labor…

But really, they’re great! ;)

As always, feel free to share any pea recipes you love!

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18 Comments »

  1. 1
    Nadia

    fresh peas the the best. I also used to shell them with my grandmother when I was a child. :)

    I love peas cooked in rice, with potatoes, salads, and the list goes on!

  2. 2
    Grace

    I grew my own peas this year and I found the task of shelling them both soul-satisfying and frustratingly time consuming. Eating my first fresh peas ever was wonderful. Freezing the rest really made me happy! The pea mystique – is anything better?

  3. 3
    heww

    I was 7-years old when my grandfather and I went to a truck farm to harvest peas. Following my grandfather’s example, I can still remember the unique taste when I bit into a peapod. He liked it, so I liked it.

  4. 4
    Jean von B

    Shelling fresh peas?? Horrors!!! :) We used to just wash them well and dip them like any other crudite’! They are awesome just the way they are!!

    • i heart salt

      I just eat them straight off the vine like candy! I don’t have the patience to shell them, much less cook them!!

  5. We just got our first CSA box last week and I love all the fresh veggies. Can’t wait to get some fresh peas, too. The color in those looks amazing.

  6. This was the first year we’ve had fresh peas in our garden, and we’ve been loving them! The shelling is not so fun, but sometimes I just steam the whole pod and open them when they’re warm to let the peas out that way. Much easier :)

  7. If these are the same as the peas my parents grow or that I get at the store, we eat the whole pod, either plain, dipped in a dip, or cut up in salads. Just don’t eat the pokey stem part.

  8. Shelling peas is one of my favorite things to do. My kids love to help too even though they won’t eat the peas. My CSA runs on a point system so you can pick out what you get up to the number of points available to you. Yesterday they had sugar snap peas and my son was so excited. He declared that they were his peas but that he would share them with me.

  9. 9
    Mawa

    I can remember shelling peas with MY Grandmother on her back porch in Richfield Utah! She would make creamed new pottatoes and peas – it was delicious.

    BTW – the reason it takes so long for me to get enough peas for anything when I shell my own is because I LOVE them fresh out of the pod…..

  10. 10
    Kelly

    Jane, I had the best way to eat peas at a very posh party this past weekend. Peas, pured and folded into creme fraich (sounds like fresh), it was so delish! Only way to eat peas!

  11. 11
    natalie

    I love peas, but I’ve never had them fresh like that. I went to a cooking class and they made pea humm116us. it was amazing. You can either use fresh or frozen, and they recommend blanching the fresh peas first if you don’t like them raw. Basically blend the peas and add what you’d add to normal hummus- lemon, garlic, tahini. soooo yummy.

  12. 12
    natalie

    I love peas, but I’ve never had them fresh like that. I went to a cooking class and they made pea hummus. it was amazing. You can either use fresh or frozen, and they recommend blanching the fresh peas first if you don’t like them raw. Basically blend the peas and add what you’d add to normal hummus- lemon, garlic, tahini. soooo yummy.

  13. I spent many a summer here in the Blue Ridge Mountains shelling peas, shucking corn, and breaking green beans with my grandmother on her back porch. Everything to do with fresh vegetables brings back memories of those long summers spent with her. She always just boiled the peas with a little butter, salt, and pepper.

  14. Peas are a favorite of mine. My daughters and son use to put a little honey on them to help them stick to the spoon. I have a great recipe for creamed chicken and peas that is awesome. I will share on the recipe page.

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