Monday, April 28, 2008

Pea Week

Welcome, friends of vegetables, to pea week. Not so challenging a challenge really as these are fairly innocuous little buggers. While I can't say I would ever sit down for a nice bowl of straight peas--they do add a nice complement to many a dish. And there's something comforting about these friendly little orbicular greens, especially when paired with carrots (which I still find kind of gross, but we're mostly talking aesthetics here).

Pea week was something of a wash in terms of actual cooking. I'm growing lazy and preoccupied with other things lately, so many of my pea purchases were ready made. Case in point, I had fully planned to make a chicken pot pie. I grew up making chicken pot pies for my family; however, I would always make myself a mini personal pot pie minus the mixed vegetables. I know, I know, was I ever so young? Making a chicken pot pie with peas, carrots, and green beans (the typical Birds Eye blend), seemed like a symbol of my changing habits. But then instead, I just bought a Marie Calendars individual pie. Marie does a decent job, and the vegetables suit the dish well. Not only was this much easier, but I wasn't saddled with my usual slew of left overs. No one wants to eat chicken pot pie for five days straight.

The same can be said for making an entire pot of soup. So instead I again copped out and went the root of Campbell's split pea soup. I can definitely recommend this product; its a good hearty soup with chunks of ham in it and plenty of peas. There was also a nice smoky flavor! Well souped, Campbell's, well souped. Peas certainly do speak to a certain level of comfort--or at least they appear in a lot of foods I would consider "comforting". While I may always prefer frozen waffles or tomato soup as my comfort foods of choice, I see the appeal of peas in that respect. I think it might be because they're so small. It would be nigh impossible (once your esophagus is larger than an infant's) to choke on a pea, and how comforting is that?

I tried some snow peas though unfortunately I never got around to a proper stir fry. I ate them raw and dipped in things I found in my refrigerator. I realize that sentence makes me sound a little more intrepid and disgusting than I had intended it to. To rephrase: I ate them raw and dipped in leftover salad dressings that I needed to get rid of. Overall, not bad.

As this last paragraph my suggest, I'm currently in the process of trying to clean out my fridge. To that end, my last pea encounter was a mostly just my combining things I'm trying to get rid of. I steamed some peas (actually they steamed themselves in the bag in my microwave--isn't technology swell?) and threw in a sauce made from the blue cheese crumbles that I've been meaning to eat for a week now and then mixed that with the bow tie pasta that I can't even remember buying. Surprisingly yummy.

I'm afraid vegetables are friends may be going on a short hiatus for the next two weeks. I'm in the process of moving out of my apartment, and I'm trying not to buy more food, especially perishables. If there's one thing I've learned in these last few months, its that buying vegetables seems to necessitate buying all sorts of other things to eat them with. Thus, I'm not interested in starting a new vegetable which wouldn't really get the attention it deserves right now. I'd considered doing okra because at the end of this week because I'm going to a local festival at which I know there will be fried okra; however, I'm not planning to eat okra the rest of the week or in any other fashion ever, so I'm pretty sure that won't count. I may post next week on all fried vegetables I encounter this weekend--fried green tomatoes, fried okra, etc.--but I'll wait and see if I can actually make that interesting.

Another option is to enlist the advice of my readers on how to dispose of the vegetables I currently have in creative ways. I still have steamed peas, a few snow peas, a can of corn, carrots, and an onion. I also have a surplus of most staples, a large quantity of apple cider vinegar, many salad dressings, and a collection of cheeses. Any thoughts?

Next week: who knows?


Susan Thompson said...

How to dispose of stuff? I've long since given up using reusable containers for storing leftovers in the fridge. I use ziplock bags or used plastic margarine containers. That way the stuff can go directly from the fridge to the trash.

I love fried okra. But then I love fried anything.

Anonymous said...

With the peas, carrots, onion and corn you are a quarter of the way toward another chicken pot pie..

Alternatively, stir-fry the snow peas, carrots and onions. No, wait, pretend the corn is baby corn and throw that in as well! Add soy sauce or teriyaki...


Elaine A. said...

Ok, Tim and I just laughed out loud several times while reading this post. You are so funny girl!

We especially loved the part about dipping the snow peas in whatever was in your fridge. Oh you brought tears to our eyes.

I love your Mom's little "recipe" comments! :)

Anonymous said...

Make a curry, lady! Everything tastes good when it's spicy! (This is Megan, by the way).