Even as Spring rolls into Summer, and most of nature is just beginning to take life and flourish, there are those whose lifespan is spent. In seemingly moments ago, they were thriving and full of life and beauty, bringing us joy everyday. Now we have to let go of them, hoping to have their void in our daily lives filled by another. Forever grateful for the sweetness they shared with us.
tired but beautiful
Our snow peas and sugar snaps are finished. No more early morning munchies as we pull their sweet, green crunch from the vines. The store bought just can’t compare, so we will rarely buy them. We’ve become too spoiled by the best. Better to cling to our homegrown snappers taste lingering on our palates than have the memory diluted by something not as precious.
Soon we will have tomatoes and basil filling the planters where we grew our pea vines. The recent warm, sunny days have exploded their growth and flowers. Silky Kentucky Beefsteaks, sugary Sun Golds and Sweet 100’s, and sexy Anna Russians will soon be a regular staple to our meals. So far we are up to 18 different varieties of tomatoes and all are healthy at this point. Summer is going to be luscious.
But as the pea vines ended, and their textures and flavor became less than prime, we still loved them. Those same peas, if we had bought them at the farmers market or a grocer, we may have moped with disappointment. However we knew these vines. We knew them in their glory.
Now that they were becoming tired and fading, we were still able to appreciate them for what they were. Just as a wrinkled, grey haired face is beautiful for the love shining through the eyes and the stories and life those lines show, our peas were still delicious in their final grace. Even those than had been enveloped in mildew from the funky spring weather.
In the end, as the peas swelled within their pods eventually splitting the sides, their texture lost some of its crunch, becoming more like an English Pea. Fantastic in flavor, well worth the time spent picking and shucking. One last moment to savor.
Sauteed Peas with Yuzu Kosho
Yield: Serves 4.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yuzu kosho is an amazing Japanese chili salt made with the grated zest of the citrus yuzu. A little goes a long way, so if you can find a bottle, it it well worth the purchase. There is a red yuzu kosho (red chilies) and a green yuzu kosho (green chilies), and either work well with this recipe. To substitute, use a nice sea salt, finely grated fresh lemon zest, and a touch of your favorite chili, maybe a Serrano, Thai chili, or a little bit of Habanero and adjust the quantities of salt, zest, and chili. It won't be quite the same, yuzu being the extraordinary citrus that it is, but it will still be quite tasty. This recipe will work with just about any pea you'd like to use, shucked or still in the pod.
- 1 lb fresh Peas
- 1/4 c chopped Shallots
- 1 t Yuzu Kosho, or to taste
- 1 T Grape Seed Oil or other neutral tasting oil (canola oil is our second choice)
- Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add peas and yuzu kosho cook until heated. Serve immediately.