(from my wife Sandy Glass):
Foods can frequently bring back recollections of childhood – happy, perhaps PB&Js, strawberry ice cream, cotton candy – or sad like clean-your-plate of Brussels sprouts, turnips, boiled cabbage. Occasionally tastes and aromas can even be as all-encompassing as Proust’s madeleines. Never did I imagine, however, that I would have such a vivid recollection at a Super King Market until I discovered their huge bin of fresh green peas in their pods.
Suddenly I was struck with the memory of a skinny, curly haired little girl being presented with a sack of fresh green peas to take out to the porch swing to shell. Most were required for dinner’s vegetable, but as many of the yummy morsels as one could hold could be eaten right out of the pods. No candy was a sweet as these little round green marbles.
These treasures are rare in markets today since most go to Bird’s Eye freezeries. Gourmet stores may occasionally offer a few at inflated prices. Thus, I had no shame in rummaging through the bin with several multicultural housewives to find my pound of the fattest, freshest pods. Of course, the peas can be used in soups or delicious vegetables dishes featuring crimini mushrooms and shallots, or they can enhance chicken veloute or lamb curry, but why not just sit on the porch and delight in one of nature’s spring bounties and spilt each pod to eat them raw?