If from the garden, pick and shell the peas with clean hands; if from the market, wash the pods before shelling, so that the peas will not require washing, as they are much better without. When shelled, put into a colander and sift out the fine particles and undeveloped blossoms. If not of equal growth, sort the peas and put the older ones to cook ten minutes before the others. Use a porcelain or granite-ware kettle, with one-half pint of boiling water for each quart of peas, if young and tender; older ones, which require longer stewing, need more. Cover closely, and simmer gently till tender. The time required for young peas is from twenty-five to thirty minutes; older ones require from forty to fifty minutes. Serve without draining, season with salt and enough sweet cream to make them as juicy as desired. If preferred, the peas may be stewed in a larger quantity of water, and served in their own juices thickened with a little flour and seasoned with salt.
Carefully examine and wash the peas, rejecting any imperfect or worm-eaten ones. Put into warm water and let them come to a boil; then place the stew-pan back on the range and simmer gently until tender, but not mushy. Season with salt and a little cream if desired. They make an excellent and palatable dish without the addition of the cream.
Soak a quart of Scotch peas in cold water over night. In the morning, drain and put them to cook in warm water. Cook slowly until perfectly tender, allowing them to simmer very gently toward the last until they become as dry as possible. Put through a colander to render them homogeneous and to remove the skins. Many of the skins will be loosened and rise to the top during the cooking, and it is well to remove these with a spoon so as to make the process of rubbing through the colander less laborious. Season with salt if desired, and a cup of thin cream. Nut butter in the proportion of one tablespoonful to the pint of peas may be used instead of cream, if preferred. Serve hot.
Soak and cook a quart of peas as for peas puree. When well done, if the Scotch peas, rub through a colander to remove the skins. If the split peas are used, mash perfectly smooth with a potato masher. Season with a teaspoon-ful of salt and a half cup of sweet cream, or a tablespoonful of nut meal, if desired. Beat well together, turn into an earthen or granite-ware pudding-dish, smooth the top, and bake in a moderate oven until dry and mealy throughout, and nicely browned on top. One-third or one-half toasted bread crumbs may be used with the sifted peas when preferred. Serve hot like mashed potato, or with a tomato sauce prepared as follows: Heat a pint of strained, stewed tomato, season slightly with salt, and when boiling, thicken with a tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little water.
Stew the split peas as previously directed, and when tender, add an equal quantity of freshly stewed or canned corn. Season with salt, and serve with or without the addition of a little thin cream.