Pass the Peas, Please!

TTABC final P phoneThere are two things I miss about living in north-central Montana: fresh-caught trout and garden peas. Though I love having an extra two weeks on the end of fall and an extra two weeks at the beginning of spring, southeastern Montana is too warm, on average, for either trout or peas to thrive.

Peas have been on my mind ever since spring arrived. My mother grew a fabulous garden on ground borrowed from a farm field just east of the house. She had so many peas we picked them into mop buckets. She laughed at us kids for shelling them and eating them raw. The cattle rushed the feedlot fence, swinging their heavy heads, when they saw us coming. “Cow candy,” we called the crunchy, juicy pods we dumped over the top rail.

“Peas in a pod.” Split pea soup, whose odor, wafting down my elementary school hallway, made my stomach clench in dread of lunchtime. And “Pease Porridge Hot.” What’s with that extra “e” hanging out at the end of “Pease”? Wikipedia states the word simply refers to a porridge (or pottage) made with peas. I guess the same Old English spellers who thought “shop” needed an additional “p” and “e” on the end are responsible.

Here’s to all the green thumbs of all the gardeners in the world.

Happy planting, everyone!