Fresh Peas: Lady Cream

Heavenly Father,

Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain Proverbs 30:7-9

This week I took on the task of shelling peas. I have been researching CSA’s “vs” Farmers Markets for about a year now and have decided to go with the farmers market.
Our first purchase was a $20 bushel of unshelled White Acre (or Lady Cream) field peas. White Acre peas are a tiny, delicate, cream colored, buttery pea. I’d like to share what I have learned from this experience as well as our goals for preserving fresh vegetables.

Goals: We’d like to eat more fresh vegetables, buy in season and also purchase foods grown as close to our home as possible. We looked at the option of a CSA but learned that we would be paying $15 more per bushel just to have it delivered.

The average price for a weekly share is $35 (low) – $50 (high) per week. I have learned that a share is equal to about a bushel.

The pros of using a CSA is that I can get a bushel of mixed veggies for a set price. The cons are that there are some veggies in the bushel that we are not going to eat.

We’ve decided to buy a bushel of one veggie each Monday at the farmers market. Bushels average around $20-$35. The pros of the farmers market is that I save on average $15-$35 a bushel. Another pro is being able to choose only veggies I know we will eat. Take a look at our first purchase.

Measuring un shelled peas: Four pounds of un shelled peas makes about four cups shelled.

Shelling time: Shell and discard any old or immature seed and those with bug spots. An adult should be able to shell four cups in about an hour. To shell peas snap off the top point of the pea. Using your thumbs begin separating the shell at the seam until the peas are exposed. Run your thumb down the inside of the shell from the top to the bottom causing the peas to dislodge.

To preserve field peas: Wash and drain. At this point you can water-blanch for 3 minutes or jump straight to the freezing phase. To water-blanch, cover beans in water, allow to come to a simmer, then begin timing. Cool promptly and thoroughly in ice water. Package and freeze. If you choose to skip the blanch stage, which my Mother In Love said is completely o.k to do, simply transfer peas to a freezer bag or plastic tub. Leave half-inch head space. Squeeze out any air from the bag and freeze. Frozen peas can be stored for up to 12 months.

Recipe for Lady Cream Peas

4 cups fresh shelled peas

2 1/2 cups water (you can substitute chicken stock or pork stock)

1- 1/2 ounces of salt pork or other cured fatty meat such as smoked turkey. Try a few small pieces of heavily-salted fresh pork belly or fatback that you rendered slowly in a pan until well-browned.

Substitutes for cured meat are: 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt or a teaspoon of bacon grease

salt and pepper to taste

Put the peas in a pot and cover with water or stock. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and add salt and pepper. Once foam begins to accumalate, skim off . Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook covered until the peas are tender,not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot with cornbread or rice.

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  1. BarbaraLee says

    I am blessed to grow my own veggies and we are picking peas too. The kids have been picking and shelling b/c I have been at work but the canning is my job.
    It gives the kids something to do too.


  2. Upstatemomof3 says

    Okay see you are so smart. I totally never though to buy that much and save it. I just buy what is fresh and go from there.


  3. Christy says

    I love shelling peas out!

    As a vendor at our local farmers' market, I am thrilled that you are getting your produce there!


  4. Mrs. S says

    Great job hashing out the pros and cons of each. We did the same thing and found that we spend about $25/week and end up with more veggies than we can eat – so we can store some up. One of the biggest factors for me was the convenience of just picking it all up in one location. A toddler on one side and the baby in the ergo make it difficult to do some serious shopping at the farmers market.

    Thanks for participating in food roots. I hope to see you back there again. I am glad to have found your blog.

    nourishing days


  5. renee @ FIMBY says

    What a clever idea. I hadn't thought of comparing csa's to farmer's markets this way. Our csa is a 10 minute drive from our here and I love how it's expanded our repetoire of vegetables we eat. I don't throw food away so we've learned to eat interesting things we never would of tried before. Glad this is working for you.


  6. The Proverbs Wife says

    That's a great question, C.

    A CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture.

    A CSA consists of a community of individual (like me) who pledge support to a local farm. In a sense the farmland becomes the community's farm. CSA's normally operate on a system of weekly deliveries of vegetables and fruit in a box scheme. Deliveries sometimes include dairy products and meat.

    I hope that this answers your question, C.


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