The flavor of peas, and also the time required for cooking them, depends very much upon their freshness. Put them into salted boiling water, and do not cover the saucepan; boil ten to twenty minutes, or until soft enough to be easily mashed. Drain off the water, and season with pepper, salt, and butter. Mix in the seasoning carefully with a fork, so as not to break the peas. Sometimes a little sugar improves them. Use plenty of water in boiling, and do not let them be overcooked, as this is as bad a fault as having them underdone. When canned peas are used turn them onto a sieve, and rinse them off with cold water (this will remove the taste of the can, which they sometimes have); add the seasoning, and let them become thoroughly heated. They do not require any more cooking.
Boil the peas until very tender; mash and press them through a sieve. Place them again in the saucepan, and stir into them enough hot milk, pepper and salt, to well moisten and season them; add also some butter, and a very little sugar.
Dried peas may be used in this way, but require soaking and long boiling. The puree makes a pretty garnish pressed through a pastry bag like potato roses (see page 202), or into a fancy border around a dish.
Remove carefully all the strings; cut the beans into one-quarter inch pieces, laying a number together, and cutting them at one time; or cut each bean lengthwise into four strips, and lay them evenly together. Place them in salted boiling water, and 14 boil uncovered until tender; drain off the water, and season wit] salt, pepper, and butter, or mix with them just enough white sauce (page 277) to coat them well.
If the dried beans are used soak them several hours in cold water; then throw them into salted boiling water, and boiling until tender, but not soft enough to break. Use plenty of water in boiling them, and drain well. Season with butter salt, and pepper. If cooked right the beans will be glossy.
They are good also as a puree, the same as puree of peas (see page 209).
Put them into salted boiling water, and cook until tender then drain off the water. Moisten them with butter, and sea son with salt and pepper; and add, if convenient, a little ho cream, or cover with white sauce.