Nothing Like Fresh Peas at the TownHouse Gardens


Harvesting fresh peas from the garden can turn into a snack time as they are tasty and sweet right off the vine. Canned peas are not a substitute. 🤮

 Fresh Peas Please

Fresh Peas

👴 A food that is often part of a dad joke, "Lettuce Turnip and Pea". Millions have grown up with the magical ability to eliminate peas from a dinner plate without eating them. After all, they roll so easily. If you were so fortunate to be barefoot at the table, you could flick the fallen peas under a cabinet with your toes. Not saying I ever did, my legs were too short. 

My grandparents were farmer/gardeners in Canada. I am sure they fed my parents fresh peas. Maybe when my mom opened a can of peas, it was expected to elicit the same natural joy of fresh goodness at our table. 

The nutritional value of canned peas is questionable. Once fresh peas are picked, the natural sugars of the pea begin to turn into starch. 

Fresh Peas

The makers of canned peas try to reverse this effect by adding salt and sugar.

Fresh Peas

I think canned peas are terrible. I can not imagine using them in any dish. However Del Monte has this as a suggestion for a family dinner using their product:

Fresh Peas

A high salt, high sugar diet that will stay with you for a long time. Unfortunately. In my humble opinion, those peas look like an open invitation for "toe soccer" under the table.

Fresh Peas
Frozen Peas are Better

Clarence Birdseye is responsible for giving us frozen peas. A remarkable invention! A bag of frozen peas is great for sport's injuries. Just slap that bag on your contusion to reduce the swelling. The peas act as small ice cubes taking the shape of the joint.

Another advantage of frozen vs canned peas is fewer additives. 

Clarence Birdseye did not invent frozen food. That has been going on for millennia. No doubt wooly mammoth hunters noticed their food could stay good on the ice for a long time. Two hundred years before Birdseye, the philosopher Sir Francis Bacon may have died from an experiment with frozen chicken that went bad.

Clarence Birdseye was an American naturalist working in Labrador. He noticed that fish frozen in mid-winter was better than the fish frozen in the beginning or end of winter.  He asked the question "why was mid-winter freezing better?" He observed that ice forms smaller ice crystals under the extreme cold of mid-winter. Larger ice crystals are created closer to the freezing point of water, such as in the early and late winter. Just freezing food was not enough. The food could be mushy and more likely to spoil. He created a process called "flash freezing" to rapidly reduce the temperature of the food. The process froze the food at -6 and -45C (21 to -49F) for an hour. The water within the food had small ice crystals, just like freezing at mid-winter in Labrador. The frozen food industry was born. 

Garden Fresh

Fresh Peas

Fresh Peas from the garden are the sweetest. However peas from the produce section of the local grocer could be days old. Ask the produce manager. The natural sugar of pea turns to starch as it sits in the bin... dead peas.

The best alternative is to plant peas. That's what I do. It doesn't take a lot of space. Peas fresh from the garden do not need to be cook. You just pick'em and eat'em. 

I plant peas all over the garden. Hence there is a "Where's Waldo" effort as the pea pods and the pea plants are the same color. But the reward of finding a ripe pod is worth the effort. 

Fresh Peas

It is a good thing that peas are great companion plants since I push the seeds into any bit of free soil. I have plants popping up all over. 
Companion plants share the same growing requirements and also help each other grow better. Peas, along with their symbiotic bacteria and fungi, convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium ions that are nutrients for plant growth.

Here's a quick list of common garden plants that are companions to peas.
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

Fresh Peas
Mature pea plant

Fresh Peas
Peas with a pepper plant companion. 

Don't like peas? Gregor Mendel enjoyed his peas. You will too if you taste a fresh pea just off the plant.

My Favorite Pea Recipe (rather than raw)

Fresh Peas

Here's a link to a recipe from our family cookbook. The picture shows peas added to the noodle even though they are not mentioned in the recipe. 

Do you have a favorite fresh pea recipe? Share it in the comment section below.

Other Resources: 

BBC: How freezing changed the green pea - Read how a food freezing experiment killed Sir Francis Bacon.

Pea Guacamole (not peas in guacamole)

Green Pea Guacamole (peas AND guacamole)

Del Monte's pea recipe (just being fair!)



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Townhouse Gardening: Nothing Like Fresh Peas at the TownHouse Gardens
Nothing Like Fresh Peas at the TownHouse Gardens
Harvesting fresh peas from the garden can turn into a snack time as they are tasty and sweet right off the vine. Canned peas are not a substitute. 🤮
Townhouse Gardening
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