Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Grumpy old pod

Fussy eaters, universally mocked, admirably stubborn.

Children fly the fussy flag in this battleground. Every meal a challenge for the parent to get as much from plate to tummy with as little persuasion as possible.

That you could write a book on tactics employed by exasperated kiddie creators to get their cherubs to know what's good for them shows just what a hard battle this is to win. Child relishing the mayhem from the sudden position of control, the (high) seat of power.

My friend actually grows her own veg purely to help her daughter get more involved with food she refuses to eat. Playing the long game. Persevere Heidi, or else she might be waiting another 30 years before she experiences what I did on Saturday.

I ate peas straight from the pod, for the first time in my life.

Today's freshly picked peas, eaten in seconds
I have used every strategy to avoid trying these little green pearls, from flat refusal to hand picking every single pea out of the special fried rice.

The first time I remember eating peas it was only so that I didn't pass on my fussiness to a five year old who needed no encouragement to refuse. She actually mocked me, knowing full well I didn't like them.

The second time was last year when, suitably shamed, I grew them. I cooked and ate them and was one step closer to maturity. No, seriously.

Saturday. That was a different experience altogether. If you've never eaten freshly picked peas then don't wait a moment longer. If you've not started growing yet, no harm in trying straight away. There may still be time this year. Then when your pods are looking full, ready to be split open, pick them.

Open them up, pop them in your mouth and burst. Juicy and almost sweet enough to be little green pomegranate. Except with a fresh earthy note. Totally totally different to anything I expected.

I've been saved.  Start off fussy, become stubborn. If you're stubborn, you become set in your ways. Once set, it takes a strong character to change you. And if you don't change...

(click me)


Hanzy said...

We've just had mange tout from the garden - be brave Tom! Delicious.

Esther Montgomery said...

Fresh peas are wonderful. Peas in pods go starchy very quickly so although I buy bags of them each year to munch as I walk along, I am really pretending they are as good as they should be.

However . . I have never managed to grow peas. I tried again this year and the one plant I still haven't lost is about three inches high and refuses to budge any further skywards.



Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Mange tout - very fancy! Just the humble old pea for me!

Sorry to hear of your pea troubles Esther. Mine have worked best surrounded by other veg, which may have given them protection, but I don't get many. How do you normally grow them? In pots and then transferred? or straight in the ground? Maybe email me a short pea story?!

I was truly stunned at the difference in flavour even from the ones I cooked fresh.

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.