The boyfriend loves raw peas, and I try to grow some for him every year. Sometimes, there’s enough for a feast; in other years there is just one pod per day to savour.
He buys loose peas but I think their flavour is muted compared to frozen peas. However, he will never know of this superior taste because he won’t eat cooked peas.
As a child, it was a privilege to be asked to pick these gloriously english peas from the garden and sit around lazily shelling them into a bowl. Nothing compares to the juicy sweetness of freshly-picked peas. Stuffing tumbling handfuls into our mouths, not wanting to make a second trip into the garden for more, in case we missed some gossip from the Sunday lunch visitors lingering in the kitchen. Those were the days where lettuce was either round or iceberg and never came in a packet. It would never have occurred to us to use the pea shoots in salads or as a garnish, but now it is as ubiquitous as parsley or coriander are these days. Such simple memories of washing freshly dug potatoes and carrots from the garden, knowing that in an hour, two families would be squashed round a table, on different sized chairs, eating juicy chicken with fresh garden vegetables.