Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shelling Seasonal Southern Peas


It's summertime in the country, 
And the kids buzz around like bees; 
But, when that silver tub is placed on the porch, 
It's time for shelling peas. 
From the smallest to the oldest, 
It's something we'd all do; 
At first, of course, the little ones, 
Didn't have a clue. 
They'd watch to see just how it went, 
And soon , they'd give a try; 
Then look amazed as fingers stained, 
As though dipped in purple dye. 
When we'd first get started, 
It seemed an insurmountable chore; 
There looked like half a million peas, 
Or maybe even more. 
But, after we all got the flow, 
We'd turn it into fun; 
We'd have a race to see just who 
Would be the first one done. 
We'd each one have our own bowl, 
and a paper sack; 
We'd slip our fingers through the hull, 
Then throw it empty back. 
At last, when all the shells lay empty, 
And a tub of peas was done; 
We'd let the grownups take the haul, 
Then look for some new fun. 

~Patricia Neely-Dorsey 

Heirloom Southern Peking Black Peas

Most southern folk have heard of Purple Hull Peas, Field Peas or Crowder Peas.. These black beautiful peas are the same sort of pea.......only black and delicious.

Southern Living Magazine has a great guide, complete with photos of all sorts of southern Pea type.

The neat thing about southern peas are they can be eaten fresh along with a few snaps.  Simply add some pork pieces to a big pot, add the peas,  snaps (young pea pods), slice up some onion and cover with water. Bring them to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. YUM!!

Once the pods are brown and dry the peas are harvested for putting up as dry peas. This is a great way to store up for winter time. Just be sure to place them in an air tight container, such as a mason jar. 

Be sure to save out plenty to plant again next summer.

I would so love to hear you share some of your fondest memories shelling peas!

Happy Gardening!


  1. Pammy, thanks for stopping by my corner of Katy! It's always nice to meet a fellow Texas gardener. I don't remember ever shelling southern peas ... now I'm wondering if my grandmother grew them? So many things I wish I could ask her!

    1. Hi Cindy! It's always so much fun to share our gardens in Texas. I'm so lucky to have found you. I feel the same way, wishing I could have spent more time with my own grandmother and try to learn all I could. Thanks for sharing xox