Peas, Please

I love peas. Sometime late in June the first pods fill out and are ready to eat. This is my pea patch.

I grow peas from seed. They were sown at the same time, but the peas ripen over the course of a couple of weeks. At first there’s just enough peas for me to shell and eat right there in the garden. Barely a handful. I don’t tell anyone that the peas are ripe. I don’t share. That bout of hoarding doesn’t last long. Soon there’s a bowlful to bring inside. We eat them raw, as snacks, and at the end of dinner. It’s a summer pleasure to eat dinner in the screen porch and leisurely shell peas.

We eat peas raw for a week and can’t imagine that they can taste any better than that, but at some point there are lots of peas and I’m finally tired of the simplicity. I’m ready to cook.

Peas, like corn, should be harvested and eaten on the same day. Perfect peas look like this – plump and shiny green.

If the pod gives when pressed, the peas aren’t ripe yet. If the pod is fading and you can see the shapes of the peas inside, then it’s past prime. This one is edible but not ideal. It’s okay cooked, but not good raw.

I’m going to cook the peas, but I still believe in keeping it simple. I have mint. (The variety pictured is apple mint.)

There’s enough for the goats, too. They love mint, and I love minty whiffly goat kisses.

I shell the peas (it takes time!) and wash and chop the mint. Melt less than a tablespoon of good butter (I prefer cultured butter, or very good salted butter – there really is a difference) in a skillet. When the butter is just bubbly add the peas. Toss with the mint and a pinch of salt. Cook until the peas look brighter, only a couple of minutes. Done!

I eat the leftovers cold, with cottage cheese, for lunch.


  1. I also love peas. I don’t have a garden so I don’t have fresh peas, but it sounds delicious with the mint.

  2. Just bought my first fresh peas and can’t wait. Love them raw, too. Terry, Concord Cheese Shop has some French goat butter that is delicious. I think I will try some with my peas. Great picture of the boys with their mint.

  3. Hum-m-m: peas, mint, butter. Wish the boys were visiting my yard as I have a huge batch of mint growing in the rosemary, that must be trimmed today! By the way Terry, does Little Blue hop instead of walk, or is my web connection deceiving me? I swear, she does not look like she perambulates the same way as the other girls.

  4. Little Blue has been panting on camera all morning. Is she okay?

  5. Hi Claire and Judy – Little Blue walks like her pants are falling down. I’ve no idea why. Her legs and feet are fine. The cochins are not designed for hot weather and they’ve been panting. I’m almost sorry that I got them – I hadn’t realized the extent of their feathering. I don’t approve of dogs bred so that their noses are so smushed in that they can’t smell or breathe. All for looks. Perhaps we’ve taken the feathers on the cochins too far? There’s not much I can do for her. She’s in the shade and there’s cool water for her.

    • Poor things, I never knew that Cochins suffered so much from the heat. With all this global warming, heating up places that don’t normally get so hot. Turkens seem to be the best breed to get when dealing with this unexcepted heat. They are quite ugly but at least won’t die off in the heat as easily as others. I don’t suppose you could bring the cochins indoors maybe in an aquarium to cool off ?

          • Some of them can be quite ugly. But some of the crosses such as a with a silkie, well you have instant Jim Henson Muppets. The showgirls after the Polish have captured my heart, though I know they can have just as many health problems. And a few other crosses I have seen on look like baby
            Velociraptors. Here they are in all their glory at age seven weeks
            Their father is a Turken with green eyes and their mother a Brahma. It seems that mix really brings out the dinasour look in Turkens. And

          • Mine had a sweet personality. she was always friendly.

      • They’re fine – really. Definitely not a good idea to bring them inside! She’s in the shade. She has water. It’s not even 90º.

  6. your peas are so beautiful! Mine have a rough speckled appearance that might be from too much rain?

      • Well, I do find they need to be in a raised bed, but it is only getting up into the 70s, so I think I,m cool enough. We are at 2700 feet, or a little more.

  7. Peas are my favorite vegetable, and your peas and mint recipe looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing. Your photos are beautiful, too – especially the one of your adorable, chomping ‘mint boys’.

    • The shelling peas are T. Laxton. I’ve also got a small patch of snap peas. Those are the classic hybrid “sugar daddy.”

  8. I’ve never been able to grow peas so beautifu, and your little goat boys get cuter every day!!

  9. Your peas are lovely. Our springs in WI have been so cold that I forget I can actually plant something. By the time I get around to it it’s too late.
    Can I ask how your chickens have been laying since they were sick? One of my small flocks got a respiratory problem and I treated them with antibiotics. They got better then two of them molted. None of them has laid a single egg since then and it’s been over two months. I’ve never had that happen before. They seem very healthy now, they’re fully feathered and there’s no sign of parasites or other pests. No way they’re hiding those eggs and we don’t have snakes or rats to sneak in and eat them- they just aren’t laying. Just wondering if you’ve ever had that happen. They’re at their prime laying point in their lives and it’s discouraging.

    • How old are they? They molted at the wrong time of year – they should molt late summer or fall. Sounds like their systems are out of whack. No sign of egg eating?

      • No, no sign of egg eating. These are 11 month blue Ameraucanas I got from a breeder. I know for sure they had been laying. I had several 1 year old chickens from another flock also molting late spring. We had an unusually cold spring with a few 90 degree days thrown in and I wondered if that was causing problems. They’re gorgeous birds and like I said they seem very healthy now. No other chicken-keepers in my area I can ask for their experience this year. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

        • It can take months after a molt for birds to lay again. I suspect you’ll find eggs in September. Are they free-ranging? They can be very clever at hiding eggs.

          • My little sillies only get to free-range when I’m out with them- generally about an hour a day or more. We have too many hawks and other predators and I’d feel awful to find one (or more) missing. Today one of them finally did the “squat” so I’m hopeful she’ll start laying soon. I, too, thought it was odd that they molted in spring so I hope that wasn’t an indication of something else going on. I’m sure they’ll start laying in Sept. only to go through their “real” molt in fall…

  10. Hello. I don’t know how I found your blog, but boy am I glad I did! I have read many posts back, and am amazed at the information you have here. I sure could have used it a few weeks back when I was going through a disease of some sort in my flock. I am new to chicken farming, and have learned SO much in a few short months!!! I am saving your site, so that I may come back often. A couple questions.. I read a reference to Tillie lays an Egg, here on your blog. Did you write that childrens book? I just checked it out at the library a few weeks ago, and my grandson loved it! So did I. In fact, I named one of my little one’s Tillie, she is a Delaware, and it is short of Matilda. I also read you had a Lady Gaga!!! So did I. She was the one that brought in the trouble I think. She has died.
    At any rate, I shall be back!!!

    • Welcome, Kris! I am the author of Tillie Lays an Egg. I don’t have a Lady GaGa, but I do have Tina Turner and a Siouxsie.

  11. eating them cold the next day with cottage cheese sounds so freaking delicious!!! thanks for the recipe. now i know that peas grow well in my yard i’ll be growing many, many more next year and i’ll be using this recipe for sure! thanks again!!

  12. I have just discovered your terrific blog with its wonderful photos. I can’t believe you peas are doing so well. I live near Vancouver. I planted my basil and other veggies by seed at the end of may. It’s been so cold I they are barely up. You have a lovely looking farm. I have never kept goats, but I am giving it some thought.