Monday, July 20, 2009

Like Peas in a Pod

There is nothing better than being able to go out to the garden and go pick a fresh carrot, a new potato, or just filling up with warm cherry tomatoes while you're outside. My garden is finally starting to produce and its time to start slowly picking away at it.

Today I decided that I had put the inevitable aside for long enough. I needed to get out and pick some of my pea pods before they started going downhill. This is my first year doing them so I had no clue how to go about getting them ready for freezing so I turned to the "trusty" internet help give me some ideas. With a little bit of searching the answer was easily found and here what I did.

Step 1:
This is the most important step! You need peas that are FRESH and crisp. Peas are of the best quality when they are fully expanded but immature, before they become hard and starchy. The pods on the lower portion of the plant mature earliest.

Step 2:
Now you need to decide if you are going to hull the peas or if you're just going to eat the entire thing, pod and all. I'm not a fan of eating the whole pea pod so I opted to hull all the peas.

Step 3:
Get a pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled) and a large bowl of cold water filled with some ice for an ice bath.

Step 4:
Now dump the peas into the boiling water and blanch them for 1 minute to 90 seconds. Start counting from the moment you dump them in the water. When time is up remove them with a strainer and immediately submerge the strainer of peas in the ice bath. This rapid cooling prevents them from over cooking. Cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step. For example, if you blanch the peas for 90 seconds, then cool them in ice water for at least 90 seconds.

Step 5:

Now that the peas have cooled drain them thoroughly and place serving sizes in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. Now you have great tasting veggies year round!


Gumbo Lily said...

Nice step-by-step instructions. The peas look very good.


ash6 said...

Hi, I like your new blog. I do up my peas from a suggestion in an Amish magazine I once read and that is to pour boiling water over the pea pods - leave for 3 mins and drain. Then cool the pods in cold water quickly and pod and freeze as usual. That instantly stops the sugar turning to starch but is messy and not as pleasant as podding the peas in the usual way.

Jaimi_C said...

Thanks for the extra advice Ash, it's all welcome!