In London, at King’s Cross Station (any Harry Potter fans out there?), there is a pub, called The Parcel Yard. Intrigued by the intriguing name, The Boy made a decision that we should lunch there, while waiting for the train, on our way to Paris.
My husband and I wanted one last taste of England before leaving, so we settled on fish and chips and fried whitebait. Can you imagine an eatery in the US serving whitebait? The Girl did not want to partake in any fish-eating. The Boy also declined the fish. They shared an appetizer (can’t remember what it was) and a chicken sandwich instead.
I felt sorry for them. Their sandwich was bland. The fish and chips, on the other hand, were good, and the whitebait even better, not at all fishy-smelling!
But I want to talk about the side dish that came with the fish and chips. Mushy peas. I prefer tartar sauce with my fish, but we were in London, so why not. In the fish & chips photo above, you can barely see the mushy peas in a small ramekin bowl, next to the tartar sauce.
Guess who took over the mushy peas? TG ended up finishing the little bowl of it. And when the friendly young waitress came to ask if everything was alright, she said,”More peas, please!”
1 cup dried whole peas (Traditionally mushy peas are made with marrowfat peas, which are hard to find in the US. I’ve seen canned marrowfat peas in a grocery store, but most grocery stores don’t carry them. The dried whole peas make pretty good mushy peas.)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper
1. Soak peas overnight in water and baking soda. Use hot water from the tap, so the baking soda will dissolve. It’s supposed to help soften the peas.
2. The next day, drain and rinse the peas. Add water to cover peas by 1 inch. Do not put a lid on the pot. Boil over medium heat for 30 min. Or until they fall apart and look mushy. If it starts foaming, just skim the foam off. A lot of the pea skins will also start to float. You can remove them or let them in. Stir every now and then to prevent burning. If you like thinner consistency, you can add more water.
3. Stir butter in. Then add sugar, salt, and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
It tastes as good as the mushy peas we had in London. They added mint in theirs, but we like ours without. The mint leaves in the photo are just for garnish. You can stir in more butter before eating, if you like, just like TG usually does.
Peas are starting to come up in my garden. These are Cascadia snap peas, the open-pollinated variety that grows to only about 2 feet tall in my garden. I don’t need to provide them with a trellis. Using several tree branches as what the English call “pea sticks” will do.