Monday, May 5, 2014

It has begun... Local Eating Starts with Peas

I am so excited to share the first farm update of the growing season. Of course behind the scenes things have been busy. There was dirt to work, seeds to plant and then seedlings to replant. The first edibles on the farm, as usual, are in the pea patch.

This past weekend we ventured in to grab our first bowls of sugar snap peas.

Fresh picked, they are sweet as candy, crisp and bright green. Nothing tough or chewey about them. This is a crop my kids love to come in and help pick. It is also a great time to spot ladybugs and even a few of the pupal stage of the ladybugs. Those are a little odd looking. I meant to grab a photos of them on the leaves of the pea plants, but by the time I went out today most had already changed and moved on.

Life on the farm never stands still.

I even had a little extra help this year.  My cat Chloe seems to think she is a dog and followed us around as we picked. Hard work isn't her thing though, she just looked on and sunned herself while we filled our bowls.

Okay, how do you like to enjoy your sugar snap peas?

I love them because there is no need to shell them, the pods are crisp and sweet too. the peas are not developed enough to eat on their own at this stage. Whether you like them raw and tossed into a salad, blanched or used in a stir fry, they are a great fresh treat that won't be around locally for long.

Either snap off the blossom end and peel any strings, or use a knife to cut and then peel. The outter ridge is a little tough so I like to remove it this way.

If yours are as fresh as mine, be sure to give them a good rinse. I seem to have picked up a little freeloading aphid. (Do you see him?)  I can't really blame him. These peas are so good!

My favorite way to serve sugar snap peas is to give them a quick blanch (1-2 minutes) in boiling, salted water and then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Served up with a little dip of Chinese Hot Mustard and mayo or a homemade roasted garlic aoli, they are lovely.

I am also excited to say that strawberry recipes are on their way. My son found the first ripe berry of the year and he couldn't be prouder. I have already started compiling my wish list of strawberry recipes and I can't wait to get my fingers all stained red for the season.

Happy eating everyone! Take advantage of your local farms and produce when possible. You will be helping to support farm families just like mine.

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