Paean to the pea

by tmartin on July 10, 2011

Somehow my daughter has reached the ripe old age of 13 and never shelled a pea. How can that be?

She loves the little green critters. As she toddled through the terrible 2s, terrifying 3s and frightening 4s, frozen peas and red peppers saved my sanity more than once. When every other food received the evil toddler scowl, a handful of frozen peas could save the day. Some kids liked ice cream; mine liked ice peas.

The bag of peas sat between us on the the patio table, as green as the umbrella above us. Help me? I said, moving carefully around the land mines that almost-14 year olds hurl out in their mother’s paths.

You like peas. I made a simple statement of fact.

She nodded. Well, here then. Look at how they come.

She grabbed the pod from my hand. She twisted it. It resisted for a moment and then smushed into two pieces.

See, you snap the end then pull it down like a little zipper. I flicked it open with my nail and the pod separated, showing a tidy row of our little green friends.

She looked at me, for a moment acknowledging that I actually did know something. I handed her another pea pod.

Pop, she split it open. A row of peas smiled up at her and she smiled back.

Taste one. They’re really good raw.

She did. And it was. And then we shelled the rest of the bag and talked about peas and remembering when she was 3 and how she really liked the book she was reading and how funny that pod looked with a pretty curling tendril (was it from fairy land?) and how she wasn’t sure how she felt about growing up.

Then we snipped a spring of mint, put it with the peas, poured some water in, and microwaved it for four minutes.

1 bag of peas in the pod
1 mother
1 teen
1 summer afternoon
some water
a spring of mint

Shell peas.
Taste them raw
Cover the the peas with water, add a spring of fresh mint because it smells so good, and microwave for four minutes.

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