Writing purple podded pea soup was irresistible, but this post is really about my garden and these peas I dried. Right now my little garden is under two feet of snow with a thick crust of ice on top. So, when I take things out from the pantry or freezer it's really like a postcard from summer, and a glimpse into next summer.
It doesn't necessarily have to be from my own garden to get me verklempt. I pulled a quart of huge, red tomatoes from the freezer that were from my friend Dana's garden and used them to make some incredible chili. The red of these great big heirlooms was a shock to my winter-glazed eyes. What's so cool is that it was Dana's first garden in many years. She was a little worried that it wouldn't work out, but it not only supplied her family with food, she had to unload some on me! Bless her soul.
|He called them Thai fish chilis...|
When I bought the purple podded peas seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library, I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten. I thought I would be able to eat them off the vine. Technically I could, but they were a bit tough. A tweet answered from those nice folks at the library told me what I suspected: they were peas for drying. What happens with legumes that you dry? Very simply: they dried on the vine, I shelled them, stored them in a mason jar, and took them out recently to make some pea soup. They did not look like split peas at all. The look like pea seeds, which they are. My yield from a little row of peas was one and a half cups. I tossed them in a pot, added eight cups of water, some chunks of ham, and let it cook for quite a few hours. It tasted just like pea soup, even though it doesn't quite look like pea soup.
|It's nice to have a helper for shelling dried peas.|
|Purple podded peas!|
|The walk to the compost pile is arduous.|