Shelling & Freezing Sweet Peas — How to Do It Like Grandma

shelling peas

shelling peas

Sitting on the porch, sun-tea at hand, shelling away in the afternoon heat I imagined myself back in Grandma’s generation.  Last June I filled two gallon size freezer bags with peas we enjoyed last winter and I’m repeating the process now. I’m reminded of how much of life is filled with sweet, life-affirming simple routines.

I recommend sweet pea shelling.  Get yourself some shelling peas at a farmer’s market, make yourself some tea, and shell away. Something soothing and wonderful transpires in the patient labor of pea shelling, and you will not likely take sweet peas for granted again!

Here’s a step-by-step for any new to freezing vegetables.  These instructions work for most vegetables though the time of blanching will vary depending on the hardiness of the vegetable (chard doesn’t take very long at all!).

Step one: Shell the peas!  Invite your spouse, children/grandchildren, or a friend to shell with you, or else enjoy the solitude.  Auden and Mark helped me with the last bit, and I enjoyed the gentle quietness of the afternoon for the rest of it.

peas1Step two: Boil a pot of water, and meanwhile fill a bowl with cold water and ice.

Step three: Add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes (this is called blanching).  Drain quickly.

Step four: Immediately after draining dump the peas into the ice water to stop the cooking process.  icedpeas



Step five: drain well and freeze in a single layer on cookie sheets. Break apart once frozen and store in freezer bags.

Remember to set some aside to eat fresh, either raw, or cooked for just a couple of minutes.   You could eat some of the ones you blanch–that’s about all you need to cook fresh peas for them to taste delicious!



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