You know from my last post Dare To Compare: Strawberries, that I want to get out to pick strawberries. Unfortunately the patch at our local U-Pick farm is very popular. You really have to be on the ball to get the berries since it seems that they are always picked out. On the ball, is not what I would describe this first week of summer vacation. It has been a week of staying up and gettting up late. Too late to get to the berries.
But I was in the mood and motivated to pick, so what was available?…Peas.
We are a pretty pea friendly family, so I excitedly thought “What the heck? Let’s go pick some peas!”
So, off my son and I went, to the same picked out strawberry farm, to pick some peas.
I’ve never picked peas, so I didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived we were greeted with questions, I honestly wasn’t sure of.
“What kind of peas do you want to pick?”
UMMM?? I don’t know.
As far as my pea knowledge goes, there are peas and pea pods. I don’t know what varieties are which, what ones you take the peas out or what ones you leave the peas in.
Luckily the young lady was very helpful and didn’t make me feel too clueless (though I was). The options were sugar snap or english. She said the sugar snap, you can eat the pod, the english need to be removed from the pod. Now, if I’m preparing these peas myself, I’m all for the less labor of leaving them in the pod. And my son loves pea pods anyway.
So, sugar snap it is. I was feeling good, I made a decision.
“How many do you want to pick? A peck, a half bushel, or a bushel?”
Oh my, more decisions!
After the nice young lady again answered many of my silly questions (how long will it take to pick? Can we come pack and exchange it for a differnent size if we change our mind?), we decided on a peck to get us started. I tried to sell my son on at least the 1/2 bushel (because it’s cheaper the larger you go of course…my thriftiness was arguing it’s case), but he insisted on the peck.
Then off we drove out to field “S” to pick our peas. The first thing I noticed while heading out was how empty the place was. I’ve only been strawberry picking there, along with everyone else. Ahhh, now this was pleasant. We actually had all of field “S” to ourselves.
A field full of peas.
So we got to picking.
It didn’t take long before I started to think, “Ok, maybe a peck is going to be enough to pick”. Especially as my son got a little bored halfway through filling. So, he started to wonder the field a little. Suddenly, I hear, “MOM, I found a nest with EGGS”. Sure enough, under a pea plant, there were four killdeer eggs. We decided to respectfully keep a distance and pick somewhere else, as we got glares from momma bird down the row.
Before too long, we had our peck of peas, ready to take home to freeze.
I really enjoyed our little trip to the farm with my little man. Making memories.
Now, fast forward to 11 PM or so that evening. I thought to myself, I better do something with those peas now, otherwise, knowing myself all to well, I will wait too long and they will end up pitched. I tell you, when I set out to pick these things I imagined just washing them and throwing them in some freezer bags. Bing, bang, done.
Well, just to be sure, I pulled out one of my little reference books at home (Reader’s Digest Back To Basics: Traditional Kitchen Wisdom) to learn that they need to be blanched. Blanched!? I’ve heard the word, but I don’t know what that really means. How do you blanch something?! Luckily, my handy book had directions for blanching.
So much for my throwing them in the bag. Now I was really happy I hadn’t opted for the bushel or half. Not without extra hands to help me this late in the eve at least. So, here is what I learned and did…
Preparing Sugar Snap Peas To Freeze
First I washed the peas.
Drained and cut off the ends.
Added them to boiling water for 2 minutes. I had to do this in a couple batches. I used my pasta/steamer pot set I got a couple weeks ago on my yard sale finds. With the strainer insert, I could pull the batch out of the boiling water without dumping for the next batch.
After 2 minutes of boiling, they were placed in an ice bath for 2 minutes. Please excuse my “ice”. We were out of ice cubes. I keep frozen water bottles in the freezer to use as ice packs in the cooler. They did the trick.
Then they were drained and spread to dry.
I then bagged them and tucked them in the freezer. Not bad for undertaking another new task. I did it all myself and didn’t even have to call Grandma for help (See I Didn’t Know Beans). There may be hope for me yet.