Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Bucket Of Fresh Peas And A Great Book About The Potato.


We picked a full bucket of peas yesterday from the vegetable plot.  A good half hour was spent shelling peas and blanching three and a quarter pounds and throwing them in the freezer.  I don't mind freezing them if they are frozen when they are fresh.

Did you know that our humble pea originates in the Middle East?  Yet again we discover that the ingredients of our favourite meals originate from over seas.  Remember years a go if you said to elderly people you had ate a kebab or a pizza?  They would probably say:

"I don't know how you can eat all that foreign muck."

Little did they know that the vegetables on their Sunday dinner plate originated in South America (potatoes) and the Middle (Peas..) East.


Time for a good book recommendation : the Potato: Larry Zuckerman.  I first came across this potato bible of a book a few years a go in a second hand furniture shop in West Cork.  I saw it on a shelf of a Welsh dresser looking at me.  The title just grabbed my eyes.  It was like it was saying:

"LOOK AT ME."

Any road.  Larry Zuckerman says:

"the potato has revolutionized Western civilization as much as the car and the railway - it has been a delicacy, a fast food, and a hedge against famine."

The author takes the reader from the Andes to Dickens London and its' fried fish shops, the Industrial Revolution and even the humble chip shops's beginning in Oldham. The chip shops sprang up to feed the shift workers from the cotton mills.   Steam vessels brought back the cod from Iceland and were distributed in land via the railways and canals.  I never realised how important the potato was in increasing the population and becoming such an important part of our staple diet.

I have read the book from cover to cover several times and I am always dipping in it for snippets of potato information.  If you grow potatoes or just eat them.  I think you will enjoy : the Potato.  

6 comments:

  1. I never get a proper harvest of peas because I can't resist taking a pod or two off the plants as I walk past them so I can have a quick snack!

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  2. Hi Vera. Yes fresh peas are very hard to resist. We froze some and pick the others when we want them. Going to sow some more this week in the poly-tunnel. Sowed a second crop of carrots yesterday. Peas are legumes so they actually put nitrogen in the soil instead of taking out vital nutrients like other vegetables do.

    Thanks!

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  3. The book sounds up my street. Although I think we eat too many potatoes in our house. Haven't grown any peas this year - completely forgot!

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  4. It is a very interesting book about the potato Kev. We eat potatoes every day and it's usually accompanied with beef or bacon or ham. You can still get some peas going in a plastic gutter or in the ground.

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  5. I do smile you know, when you say 'anyroad'. You write as you talk. Thought that was an old saying from my local area (England, midlands) Where were you originally from to pick that saying up from? Louise

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  6. Hi Louise. I am originally from the Manchester area. I try to write with a distinctive voice and like to add a few northern colloquialisms in my blog posts. It's refreshing to hear my children say words like: "Nowt and summat" in West Cork accents. I think the downside of the Internet is that we don't pick up on the dialect and accent of each other. Thanks for your comment.

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