Ode to Spring Peas

2005.Oct.04 Tuesday · 0 comments

in Food & Recipes, Life

Buenos Aires – I’d like to wax poetic over the first arrival of fresh green peas in my local market. My poetic talents, even if I’ve had a glass or two of wine, run towards Mary had a little lamb or limericks about gefilte fish.

Fresh green peasI’d wax prosaic, which is more in line with my talents, at least from my ego’s point of view, but truthfully, these beauties speak for themselves.

I made some vague, half-hearted, quasi-attempt at making dinner out of them last night. I can’t say it was an unmitigated disaster. It was mitigated. I didn’t feel like cooking. I didn’t feel like going out. Being hungry, I was stuck between a crockpot and a hearthplace. I threw a bunch of these gorgeous peas, not one of which had ever done anything to me to deserve the fate, into a saute pan with olive oil, salt, garlic, salt, onion, salt, celery, salt, fresh basil, and salt. I tossed the whole mess with some pasta, salt, butter, and salt. I’m fairly certain that must have been the process, because what I tasted was salt.

My incredibly artsy green pea pictureI also took this amazingly artsy picture. A long overdue homage to spa cuisine.

According to the website The World’s Healthiest Foods, green peas are “one of the important foods to include in your diet if you oftentimes feel fatigued and sluggish.” I wasn’t clear what they do in response to fatigue and sluggishness, and what if you don’t feel that way “oftentimes?” Do they respond in some manner to infrequent fatigue or sporadic sluggishness? They are apparently just chockful of vitamins (8 of them), nutrients (7 of them), dietary fiber, and protein.

I grew up in the 60s. Despite living on the border of farm country, peas came in two varieties. Green Giant, in a can, and Birdseye, frozen in a bag with butter sauce. Needless to say, I, and all my siblings, at least the ones who were willing to eat peas, preferred the latter. Actually, I don’t think any of my siblings were willing to eat peas, so maybe it was just me. Like many things we Americans do, we took the whole world of home economics and packaged foods down a long, dark, twisted path. With all due respect to Jolly and Clarence, canned and frozen just aren’t the same as fresh.

That’s not to say that I never had fresh vegetables growing up, my parents were big on the concept of the salad bar, and iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and carrots were quite common in their fresh state. Corn on the cob during the summer. Baked squashes and potatoes. There were certain vegetables, however, that never seemed to make it to the table direct from their fresh form. Peas were amongst those. What a shame.

I do hope I feel much more up to cooking this evening. Not that there won’t be more fresh peas at the market. These were just the first.

—————

For those of you who are on the edge, the very edge, of your seats waiting for news about Henry; assuming all goes well, he will be arriving back here late tonight. All paperwork garnered, his very first airplane flight, and he’s arriving at 3:30 in the morning at the airport. I’ll be there.

By the way, really, really, really, it’s okay to comment on my blog. I’d love to see some discussion happen, and not just with me. I know it’s not that you don’t have questions or comments, I’m now averaging 5-6 e-mails per day with one or the other, and nobody’s sent me something that would be publicly humiliating for either me or them.

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