Black Eyed Peas

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.

you lay the wet pea on the tray and push it through the hole,  it catches in the roller and separates the pea from the shuck

This is a pea sheller  you lay the wet pea on the tray and push it through the hole, it catches in the roller and separates the pea from the shuck. A hand mixer  connects to the metal rod and that makes the rollers turn.

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).

a pile of shelled peas and a pile ready to be shelled.

A pile of shelled peas and a pile ready to be shelled. I like snaps with my peas, those are the small tender ones that are too little to shell.

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.

Blanching peas in boiling water for three minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to cool

Blanching peas in boiling water for three minutes, drain and rinse in cold water to cool them off. Blanching stops the peas from maturing any further.

Drain and they are ready for the quart freezer bags.

Here are meal size packages of peas, ready for the freezer.

Here are meal size packages of peas ready for the freezer.

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~

New Trail etc. etc. etc.

New Trail to the Big Oak Tree, this job is done and this blog is done. I started clearing out the cactus and prickly pear from my house to the big oak tree,  It has taken me a lot longer that I had imagined.

Solid prickly pear, no way to walk through that stuff~

Solid prickly pear, no way to walk through that stuff~

One of the places you need to duck~

One of the places you need to duck~

from the ducking tree to the gate, pretty bad.

from the ducking tree to the gate, pretty bad. No, it WAS really  bad!

Finally made it to the gate.

Finally made it to the gate.

gate to the big tree, ready to start clearing a trail, it was bad~

on out toward  the big tree, ready to start clearing a trail, I started at 7:00 every morning and was worn out by 9:30.

This is one of the oldest oak trees up on the divide near Eldorado

This is one of the oldest oak trees up on the divide near Eldorado

The story is ‘Farmer Shay’ was going to plant a few acres of black eyed peas down in dry lake with hay or other stuff. I could see green but couldn’t get down there because of all the cactus, prickly pear and oak thickets. So last week I started clearing out a path to the big oak tree which sits at the edge of the field. From there I could climb the fence and go pick some peas. When I broke through to field, there were no peas, only hay or something nice and lush and green but no peas. It turned out he planted 8 acres of black eyed peas in 5 different fields and the deer found them. Got wiped out. I was disappointed but this morning I walked down my new trail to the big oak tree, it was just after daylight and it was so beautiful and tranquil. I have gone back several times today and will enjoy it from now on. The harder the job, the greater the reward. Buttermilk even came with me on the walk.

Buttermilk to Domino, "I don't know what's going on, nobody ever tells me anything, but I  I think it has something to do with black eyed peas"

Buttermilk to Domino, “I don’t know what’s going on, nobody ever tells me anything, but  I think it has something to do with black eyed peas”