Time.—From 10 to 25 minutes. Average Cost, from 6d. per peck. Seasonable from May to September; most plentiful in July and August.
Origin of the Pea.—All the varieties of garden peas which are cultivated have originated from the Pisum sativum, a native of the south of Europe; and field peas are varieties of Pisum aravense. The everlasting pea is Lathyrus latifolius, an old favourite of flower gardens. It is said to yield an abundance of honey to bees, who are remarkably fond of it. In this country the pea has been grown from time immemorial, but its culture seems to have diminished since the more general introduction of herbage, plants and roots.
1557.—PEAS, FRENCH STYLE. (Fr.—Petits Pois à la Française.)
Ingredients.—1½ pints of shelled peas, 1 oz. of butter, 1 dessertspoonful of finely-chopped parsley, mint, salt and pepper.
Method.—Boil the peas as in the preceding recipe, drain off the water, and shake the saucepan over the fire until the greater part of the moisture has evaporated. Then put in the butter and parsley, season pepper, toss over the fire for a few minutes, and serve.
Time.—From 20 to 35 minutes. Average Cost, from 6d. per peck. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable from May to September.
Varieties of the Pea.—The varieties of the pea are numerous; but they may be divided into two classes—those grown for the ripened seed, and those grown for gathering in a green state. The culture of the latter is chiefly confined to the neighbourhoods of large towns, and may be considered as in part rather to belong to the operations of the market gardener than to those of the agriculturist. The grey varieties are the early grey, the late grey, and the purple grey, to which some add the Marlborough grey and the horn grey. The white varieties grown in fields are the pearl, early Charlton, golden hotspur, the common white, or Suffolk, and other Suffolk varieties.
1558.—PEAS, GREEN, STEWED. (Fr.—Petits Pois à la Française.)
Ingredients.—1 quart of peas, 1 lettuce, 2 ozs. of butter, pepper and salt to taste, 1 egg, ½ a teaspoonful of powdered sugar.
Method.—Shell the peas, and slice the onions and cut lettuces, into fine shreds; put these into a stewpan with the butter, pepper and salt, but no more water than that which hangs round the lettuce after washing it. Stew the whole very gently for rather more than 1 hour, then stir into the mixture a well-beaten egg, and about ½ a teaspoonful of powdered sugar. When the peas, etc., are nicely blended, serve, but after the egg is added, do not allow them to re-boil.
Time.—1¼ hours. Average Cost from 6d. per peck. Seasonable from May to September. Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.
The Sweet Pea, and the Heath or Wood Pea.—The well-known sweet pea form a handsome covering to a trellis, or lattice-work in a flower garden. Its gay and fragrant flowers, with its rambling habits, render it peculiarly adapted for such purposes. The wood pea or heath pea, is found in the heaths of Scotland, and the Highlanders of that country are extremely partial to them. The peas have a sweet taste, somewhat like the root of liquorice, and when boiled have an agreeable flavour, and are nutritive. In times of scarcity they have served as an article of food. When well boiled a fork will pass through them; and slightly dried, they are roasted, and in Holland and Flanders served up like chestnuts.