This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Peas, like corn, lose their sweetness almost as soon as they are picked. If you should be so unfortunate as to get stale or wilted peas, shell and throw them into cold water one hour before cooking, and add a teaspoonful of sugar to the water in which they are boiled.
Fresh peas should not be shelled until just before the the time of cooking; then wash them quickly in cold water, drain, throw into a kettle of boiling water, add a teaspoonful of salt to harden the water. This will prevent the skins from cracking. Boil rapidly from ten to twenty minutes. After they have been boiling ten minutes, take out one or two and press with a fork; if they mash easily they are done. Drain, turn into a hot dish, add a lump of butter the size of a walnut, and serve,
The great point in cooking peas is to have plenty of water, boil rapidly and drain as soon as they are done. Peas cooked in this way will retain their color and sweetness.
After opening the can, drain the peas free from all liquor. Turn them into a saucepan, and to every pint-can add a piece of butter the size of a walnut; salt and pepper to taste; stir gently until thoroughly heated, and serve at once.
1 quart of green peas or two pint cans 1 tablespoonful of butter 1 bay leaf 2 cloves
1 pint of milk
1 pint of water
1 tablespoonful of flour
1 sprig of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the peas in cold water; then put them in a saucepan with the water and boil twenty minutes. When done they should be almost dry. Press through a colander. Put the milk on to boil in a farina boiler. Add the bay leaf, onion, cloves and parsley. Rub the butter and flour together until smooth. Strain the milk into the peas, then return to the farina boiler, stir in the butter and flour, and stir continually until it boils and thickens; then add the salt and pepper, and serve.
Puree of lima, or any other green beans, may be made according to this recipe.
In the spring the young shoots are much used as food. They should not be over four inches long, and should show only a tuft of leaves at the top. Older than this they are poisonous.
Wash and lay in cold water for one hour; then tie in bundles, as you do asparagus. Put it into a kettle of boiling water and boil three-quarters of an hour; drain, lay on buttered toast, dust with salt and pepper, cover with Drawn Butter, and serve.