Halleluah! Jelly and jam making is finished. At least until the pears come in then I will be making Pear Preserves. Ended up with 19 jars of plum jelly and 12 jars of peach jam. Today was my canning day (“puttin’ up” day – typical southern phrase) using the freezer method of crowder peas and butterbeans. There are numerous types of peas grown in the south – field peas, purple hull, pink eyed, lady, just to name a few. My family’s favorite is the silver crowder so that’s all daddy grows. As far as butterbeans – there are green and speckled – we prefer the green but would never pass up a helping of speckled with cornbread.
I am grateful to have come from a family of canners. Over the years, I have kept that family tradition by stocking my shelves and freezers with everything edible that stood still long enough to be shoved into a jar or freezer bag. I’m sure my mother and granny would approve of my bounty.
I remember one time on a visit to Greg’s family in Plymouth, MA, we went to lunch at a little cafe downtown. There was a blackboard with the daily specials and it had peas, just peas. The waitress comes over to take our order and I asked her what kind of peas they were; she looked at me like I was crazy and said “There’s only one kind of pea and that’s green peas.” I knew then that they didn’t know or understand anything about good old southern food. And no, I did not order the peas!
If someone goes out of their way to find beautiful, seasonal field peas, like the crowder, the pink lady or the zipper cream, it usually means that they have been cooking form scratch in a family kitchen that never stopped cooking from scratch. This is a really important distinction in the south! While most of the population succumbed to the ease of Jell-o and instant gravy, many others are hell-bent on keeping their culinary traditions alive. And that be me!!