|BFC Nutrition: Peas|
Spring is in the air and with it comes the appearance of fresh locally grown produce and flowers that we are all so ready for after many months of frozen earth and snow. We still have a couple months before peas are harvested but they are planted in April by many a gardener anxious for the growing season to begin. We gladly await the appearance of peas sometime in June or early July, depending on the weather conditions that Mother Nature has in store for us.
English Peas are definitely a harbinger of spring, being the first hardy vegetable off a vine, available after lettuce and other greens. They are some of the sweetest and most succulent of them all. One of my fondest memories about peas from my childhood was going to my uncle’s house outside Boston. He was an avid gardener and had a big plot of peas along with berries and other vegetables in his backyard. Every June we would have a family reunion and all the nieces and nephews would raid his pea patch since they always seemed to be ready to harvest just about that time. We then sat down on the lawn and enjoyed the mindless work of scooping out the tender small peas from inside the pods with our fingers and swallowing them down, enjoying their ever so sweet taste. I rarely remember cooked peas as a child except on a few occasions when my mother cooked them with mint for just a few minutes so as not to ruin their sweet and fresh taste. I do recall a few times being served canned peas for hot lunch at school and after trying them once I could never stomach their horrible taste that did not resemble a fresh pea whatsoever!! As far as I am concerned, they should not ever can peas—they are a disgrace to the real pea— although frozen peas are acceptable.