Every one likes peas and everyone wants their season extended as late as possible. My orders to the gardener are to plant a new crop as soon as the first is two inches above the ground and to continue doing this until the middle of June. The first two and the last crops are always the largest planted; and, as the late ones art apt to suffer from dry weather, a last crop can be planted about August 1st. If the weather at this time is dry it will be well to soak the seeds for twenty-four hours before sowing and when they are up, to mulch them two or three inches. The first crop should be planted as early in the Spring as the ground can be worked.
A bed of Anemone Japonica Whirlwind September nineteenth.
For years I grew only the tall varieties, but they required so much labor and occupied so much room that in recent years we have grown only the dwarf peas. Old-fashioned gardeners and men who have been trained under them will still pin their faith to the tall-growing peas, and I know some people who think that the Champion of England is the only kind to raise. However, the Little Gem and American Wonder, both dwarf, are sweet and juicy and produce large crops, so I plant them every year with most satisfactory results.
Four quarts of pea seed will raise an ample quantity for a medium sized family.
There is such a difference between the French and American ways of cooking peas that if they have been once eaten as the French cook them, the American boiled peas will never again be seen on the table.
One Summer we spent several weeks at a delightful inn on the Normandy coast, kept by the nicest Frenchman and his wife, who could not do enough to please us. When they noticed that I did not care for "haricot vert" (and who ever returns from a Summer on the Continent without registering a vow never to look another string bean in the face?) there were generally some peas prepared for me; upon request the Frenchman told me how to cook them, and I give the receipt, as it does not seem to be generally known.
Place enough peas for eight persons in a double boiler, add two tablespoonfuls of butter, six leaves of lettuce, and three tiny onions as big as the top of one's finger. Keep the water boiling under them for three hours, when they are ready to serve. The butter and lettuce add to the juice, and the baby onion gives such a soupcon of flavor that one scarcely knows it to be onion.