Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Garden Peas

Garden Peas
Dorcas Annette Walker

Every time we visited Grammy Lehman’s house she always made sure to have frozen peas just for me. Whether it was the dark green color or the taste of fresh garden peas- we only had canned peas at home- I loved my grandmother’s frozen peas. So after I got married every spring I planted a couple rows of peas in my garden. Neither one of my kids shared my love of fresh garden peas. To them peas didn’t taste that great and were not worth all the work involved. Long and loud were the complaints when it was time to pick and harvest my precious peas. After “torturing” my kids for several years I finally gave in admitting that peas did make a lot of work for the amount gained. Dawn and Dwight did a victory dance to celebrate the year I announced that we wouldn’t plant peas- not that I was going to give up having garden peas mind you. If you don’t plant peas this year and run out of frozen peas my Garden Peas recipe is a nifty way to turn your canned peas into tasting like fresh garden peas.

Traditionally peas (round-seeded varieties or wrinkle-seeded kinds) are planted on St. Patrick’s Day because they perish in the heat and have a brief growing season. Peas grown either for their edible seeds or pods are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables; the sweetness of garden peas is legendary. From 1858 to 1866 an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel discovered the basic rules of inheritance by testing roughly 28,000 pea plants where he bred and analyzed garden peas in his monastery garden. There are two main types of peas- English or garden peas and sugar pod peas. Garden peas have a valuable source of protein and iron, along with vitamins A, B-3 and C, but are low in fat and fiber. Last year a new Canadian study showed that the protein in peas fight high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

My Garden Peas are the perfect vegetable to eat this St. Patrick’s Day. Not only will the Garden Peas add color to your menu, but they give the taste of fresh peas just picked out of the garden instead of coming from a can. Preparation time for my Garden Peas is fifteen minutes and this recipe serves three to four.

Garden Peas

1 (15 oz) can of peas
1 heaping tsp self-rising flour
2 tb margarine
salt & pepper

Drain the liquid from the can of peas into a small saucepan. Add flour and shake in salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a Wisk while bringing to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and add margarine. Stir until melted. Fold in the canned peas, cover, let sit for five minutes, and serve. Can garnish with mint leaf and a pat of butter!

Weekly tip: Frozen peas are a colorful and nutritious addition to any tossed salad. Simply sprinkle in frozen peas as you prepare the salad. By the time you are ready to eat the salad the peas will be soft enough to eat and yet be full and round!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read your column in the Herald Cit. newspaper & enjoy it very much.
I have a ? for you--March 19, 2010
Lasagna Supreme recipe, you said to boil lasagna 25 min's??? I've never heard of cooking any pasta for that long! Was this a mis-print or if not why boil it for that long and then bake for 30 more min's?
My curiosity is getting the best of me so please answer as soon as you can. Thanks