Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Polish Pea Power



Before I met my husband Dan, he had never tried fresh garlic, just the powdery stuff and he returned the favor by introducing me to fresh peas. His family haunted the local farmstand for the brief pea-picking season in early summer and would bring home pounds of peas to steam up on the stove and then serve by the plateful, adorned with just a pat of butter. These "Polish Peas" (we are Jagareskis, after all) are still a favorite one generation later with our family.

If you grow peas yourself, even the bush varieties can stand a bit of support. We experimented with tomato cages this year, which have even toppled with the weight of these leggy legumes, so we must resort to sturdier supports next year. We pick and wash the peas still in their pods, string them, and then have a pot with a simmering couple of inches of lightly salted water ready for them to be steamed until tender (5-10 minutes depending on how fat the peas are, but they will turn from pea green to an avocado color. Then you just put them in serving bowls with a little butter and maybe a short shake of salt and pepper and then just pop each pod into your mouth, with your lips covering your teeth and gum the tender peas out. We have a communal pot in the middle to toss empty pods into. Simple, rustic eating at its best. Fresh peas are simply a different vegetable than the wrinkly, starchy things in your grocer's freezer or the swollen, mushy things that reside in tin cans.

It has been a string of hazy, hot days here in upstate New York, so yesterday we experimented with microwaving the peas instead of using the stove and that worked beautifully, with the pods retaining more of their brilliant green color. We placed one cup of pea pods in a microwaveable plastic container and zapped them on high power for 3 minutes. Then we stirred them around and then zapped them on high again for an additional 2 minutes.

Polish Pea Power. Try it on for size.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Found your site thru the web, and just wanted to say I love it, and how you explain things. I also wanted to say that it was a very kind gesture to the Goddess.
I have made the thai wraps several times, but we really don't like the texture of the rice wrap, so I make it and serve it as a meal sized salad. It is what our 16yo DD wanted for her birthday. I cook chicken for the meat eaters to add and use a peanut dipping sauce multiplied many times for a dressing. My husband Roger is celiac as well as his mother an aunt and several nieces and nephews. So we have been doing this almost 10 years now and find things are so much easier now than 10 years ago. It will get easier for you as well.
I love the combo title of your blog, it is where I am at the moment. I have not done too much by way of pasta dishes until lately, do you have more recipes to share of that nature? I have combed your site and written down the spinach and made the sesame noodles. The family LOVED the sesame!!
Please continue on with the wonderful updates of your home and garden. They are neat to see. Also love the Book Trout.
Thanks so much for your ideas and time.
Wendy

Rachel Jagareski, Old Saratoga Books said...

Thank you for your kind comments Wendy and glad you like the sesame noodle recipe. I forgot where I got it originally, but have fiddled with it here and there so it's a variant of the original recipe anyway. I don't have any other fabulous pasta recipes to share right now, but with zucchini and peas and string beans popping out, with threats of tomato tornadoes, I may invent something soon. Look for some weird daikon recipes soon, as they have also taken over the garden.

-Rachel

Sheltie Girl said...

Your peas have grown so beautifully large. I can't wait to get my fall garden planted.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go