Shell, but do not wash them. Soak for half an hour in just enough water to cover them. Put them on to boil in the same water, without adding any more. Cover and boil slowly (counting from the time they begin) from half an hour to one hour, according to their age. When tender, and the skins look shrivelled, they are done. Drain off most of the liquor, add pepper and salt, dredge in a little flour and stir in a lump of butter. Serve hot, covered. Some persons prefer them dry; others pour into the boiling liquor, half a cupful of cream, or milk in which one tablespoonful of flour has been rubbed. Let it boil until the sauce thickens. Use what may be left, for "Pea Fritters."
Old peas should have a pinch of soda thrown into the water a few minutes before serving them.