Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peas in a Pod

I'VE never been a huge fan of southern cuisine, but the exception has to be some of the summer dishes when peas, tomatoes, corn on the cob, zucchini (courgette) and even okra are at their finest. We hold a CSA (community supported agriculture) share, where we pay a set price to a local farm co-op every week and receive a share of the crop. It's kind of pricey, so we actually only do it every other week supplementing with regular old veggies from the shops. But the CSA is all organic, it supports local and small businesses, and the produce isn't ueber-refrigerated and shipped half way around the world. Best of all, we never know what's going to be in our box so it's kind of exciting wondering what we'll get this week!

Purple pink-eyed hull peas. I'm glad that this particular bag was labelled, because I with my urban ways would have probably cooked them as beans and then wondered why they were so tough. Then it struck me that I had never actually shelled peas before. Many a country grandma would have probably watched with a mixture of horror and disbelief as my fingers - so skilled on the computer, so nimble on the piano and so good at shoulder massages - painstakingly pried the obstinate pea pods open. By the time there were only four left in the bag, I had figured out that you just need to squeeze and they pop right out. Sigh... live and learn.

Onto the corn. Ah, a familiar vegetable. Well Emma and I fixed a delicious fresh summer dinner of corn and tomato casserole with peas and bacon. The southern Grandma would have been proud. One of the ears of corn didn't quite make it into the casserole - this is how I found my daughter after I left the kitchen for a moment. Yes, the corn was raw but it didn't seem to bother her.

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