It would be hard to find another thing as good as fresh black eyed peas. Most times it is just hard to find them anywhere. I had some lined up with Farmer Shay but after planting 8 acres of them in five different fields, the deer found them and he didn’t make a crop. I mentioned on Face Book that I was looking for some to buy and a good friend knew of a source, that same evening there were two big sacks hand delivered to my front door by her son Austin. He said he would take me to the pea patch the next morning when it was cool and we could pick more. So I ended up with about three bushels.
Now comes the fun part, shelling them.They need to be taken care of within day or so, the sooner the better. I put a damp towel over the baskets while I worked on others. I have had this pea sheller for maybe 50 years and it does a good job. A hand mixer is attached to the side with the metal thing and it turns two black rubber rollers inside, much like a washing machine wringer. The peas drop in the container while the shuck goes out the back onto a towel. I like to sit and shell them by hand too, it is pleasant work. (It is not noisy either).
When I have enough shelled to blanch, I wash those and put them in boiling water, bring it to a boil again and let them roll around in there for about 3 minutes, then cool off quickly in cold water.
Drain and they are ready for the quart freezer bags.
I season my peas with about three slices of bacon and boil until they are tender~ maybe 20 minutes, check on them and don’t cook them to death. This along with corn bread, a pork chop, and a glass of buttermilk, you have a feast. It makes your kitchen smell good too~