The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stewed Peas: proof that the Victorians ate their vegetables (at least during the spring and summer)!

This is from Godey's Lady's Book of 1860, the May issue or thereabouts. I love peas, and I happen to have some in the freezer, so I may be making this sometime soon!

Stewed Peas.

Take very young, tender green peas, and put into a stew-pan, with sufficient fresh butter to keep them from burning, but no water; season them with a little black pepper and a very little salt; set them over a moderate fire, and stir them about till the butter is well mixed through them; let them simmer till quite soft and slightly broken, taking off the lid occasionally, and give them a stir up from the bottom; if you find them becoming too dry, add some more butter; when done, drain off what superfluous butter may be about the peas, and send them to table hot. They will be found excellent. To the taste of many persons, they will be improved by a lump or two of loaf sugar put in with the butter, and also by a few sprigs of mint, to be removed before the peas go to table. Lima beans may be stewed in butter, as above; also, asparagus tops cut off from the white stalk.

Not that I need that much butter in my diet, though!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)