Days of picking peas by the bagful, getting home and sitting down at the kitchen table and podding them by the bowlful. Blanching them in rolling , boiling water. Quickly draining the peas and plunging them into iced water. And when cooled and drained packing the green gems into containers for freezing.
I’m nearing the end of the shelling peas, but I’ll be able to enjoy them in winter in risottos, rice and pasta dishes. But while they are still young and fresh I eat them raw in salads, or cook them in butter with lettuce hearts - Petits Pois a la Francaise.
And as one job ends another starts, seed saving for next years crop. I leave the plants to dry in-situ. The pods turning a pale brown, becoming papery thin. and then it’s a waiting game so as to only store the peas when they are thoroughly dry, not a hint of moisture left in the pods.
The trick around here is to get them before the mice do. Not always easy. I’ve already lost a substantial number of the Salmon Flowered Peas - a beautiful heritage shelling pea. I should have remembered from last year, but life is in imperfect, or rather this human is imperfect. I have to accept what I have. Whether or not I will have enough to share with others is yet to be calculated, the pods have been systematically stripped and emptied. Those mice went away with seriously bulging bellies!
I need to remember this time next year, to be more vigilant and to pull the plants up out of the ground just as the pea pods are losing their green, the pods becoming leathery and the vines are browning.To bring them home to finish drying.
Memo to self – you don’t need to feed the mice living on the allotment so generously with your precious peas!