There is no other food that compares to
a big ol' bowl of Purple Hull Peas and cornbread!
Ok...I admit, yes, there is.
But this meal takes me home...
back to memories of my family,
my grandma, my aunts, my cousins...
sitting around, talking, shelling peas.
As soon as the first batch of peas were shelled,
my grandma would blanche them,
then in the pot they'd go.
Within a few hours, we would be finished shelling peas
and we'd sit down to enjoy a big ol' bowl of this
I've been cooking them a lot lately.
I thought I'd share a piece of this southern tradition with you.
I always do as my mom and grandma did. Fill my sink full of water and add the peas to the water. This way, they'll float around a bit so I can pick pieces of the shells that I missed or bad peas..the ones that are mostly black or too dry.
There are two ways to blanche them. Grab your large stock pot and fill it over half way with water. Bring it to a boil, then add your peas. Boil for 15 minutes. Some folks boil for less time, some boil for more. This is the time that suits me. Pour peas in to a strainer. Immediately put the peas in a bowl full of ice cold water. This will stop the blanching process. When the peas are cool, drain the cold water. Lay a towel or two on your table, slowly pour the peas on the towels. Allow them to completely dry before putting in freezer bags. This prevents freezer burn.
Or, you can boil water, and add it to a clean sink or large bowl. Put peas in the water and allow them to sit for 15 minutes...give or take a few, depending on your preference. Drain hot water, then add cold water and a few ice cubes. Follow sames directions for drying on a towel.
Purple Hull Peas
Add your peas to a large pot.
Fill with water, making sure the water level is
at least double the amount of peas.
Bring water to a boil.
Boil for approx 20 minutes.
Turn down to medium heat.
Add salt and pepper, according to tastes.
Cook for at least one hour more.
At this time, you can add bacon or ham pieces.
I also add approx 1 TBSP of brown sugar per quart of peas.
(we like them sweet)
Cook for one hour longer, being sure to keep an eye on the water level. Do not allow water to get below 2 inches from top of peas.
Make up your batch of cornbread. We prefer sweet cornbread with our peas. (if the cornbread is sweet, then the peas aren't!) Sometimes, I use Jiffy cornbread mix. Sometimes, I make it from scratch.
Crumble up your cornbread. Pour peas, with juice, over the cornbread.
Having a good ol' pea pickin' time!