On timing

I try to tell myself that I am a patient person, but there are a few tasks that do try me. Shelling peas is one such task.

The nightly haul.

Sure: the reward is such sweet loveliness! Peas, especially if you pick them daily, will produce for you over a long period of time. It’s the “pick them daily” thing that trips me up, for at dinnertime, I need to set aside time to shell them. I haven’t ever quite figured out the timing: even without a commute, the end of work and the beginning of eating dinner is such a compressed period of time, and we’re usually quite starving by the time I serve. I have a good friend who has always claimed her retirement will be spent on a front porch in a rocking chair, wearing a muumuu and slippers and shelling peas. I like this image. Maybe it will wear better with me later in life, especially the idea of a muumuu.

Not quite a muumuu, but do sweatpants count?

Maybe it’s just that fine motor tasks like this tend to get me right between the shoulder blades, tightening things up there until I need to do a tennis stretch or two. So my cure is to sit on the deck and sip some wine and take on the shelling as the wonder that it is: time-intensive garden bounty. This is what I need to get over. The pea shelling season is such a short one, after all.

And as you can see, no task is done alone.

10 responses to “On timing

  1. send ’em this way. I will shell them and eat some in the process : ) I got NO peas this year : (

    We have the very same table and 2 chairs we got at ikea. Yours look good. Ours have a wierd color scheme going on…..Its great for outdoor activities!

  2. peas…. aren’t they the appetizer course, shelled by all and eaten raw before dinner?

  3. I love fresh peas, but hate the work also! Lately I’ve been growing snowpeas – you don’t have to shell them!

  4. Ah peas! Next year is our year for peas; we started too late and it’s too hot now. I love to get a big bowl of peas and sit and watch tv and shell. Of course, that is NOT right before dinner either. heh.

  5. You have assembled a great pea-shelling team. How fun to shell peas with the Princess and her Peeps to help.
    I love the picture of her feeding peas to her friend.
    It’s good to have people you need to feed; it keeps things on a schedule when there are hungry people around to remind you about dinner. Last night I worked so late in the garden that when it became too dark to play any longer I came inside, ate a piece of cherry pie for dinner and fell asleep. I’m trying to get everything done before all of my kids come home in less than a month. I’ll have a more responsible schedule then.

  6. I like shelling peas. I have lots of time (and pea pods) on my hands.
    No muumuu.

  7. No, I’m sory, sweat pants don’t count. A muumuu is a muumuu and I absolutely intend to wear nothing else just as soon as I think I can possibly get away with it.

  8. Ahhhh, this is why I grow the sugar snaps. No shelling, no muumuu. 😉

  9. Makes me wonder if a Mr. Pea Sheller would be worth it…

  10. WF: Yeah, what’s nuts is the voles got 2/3 of what I planted: can you imagine how buried I would be going if they all came up? (Actually I would just freeze them so it wouldn’t be so bad.) I’m glad to learn though that you caught your veg thief! I’d imagine you’re lots closer to Ikea in Jersey than I am in the boonies! I have to go to Detroit or Chicago to get my outdoor furniture. I love that place though. But you’ve reminded me I need to put some preservative on that furniture in the picture.

    Hayden: Yes it’s quite amazing that any make it into the pot. And for the first few meals I just put the bowl of unshelled peas on the table so the family could DIY!

    Bobbi, shell peas are like sustenance and snowpeas and sweet peas are the appetizers! Now THOSE never barely make it to the house, they’re eaten in the garden itself.

    Cherry pie for dinner, Pamela, after a night in the garden? I would say that’s living very very well!! But I know what you mean. Without anyone to cook for I tend to do the same thing, unless I am really hankering for something and then I get out the dried mushrooms and make a polenta with onions, mushrooms and Madiera, with parmesan. Nobody else will touch it but I think it’s divine.

    CC, well, then again you’re a California girl and muumuus probably aren’t as ubiquitous as they are out here in the fashion-phobic Midwest. But I will admit I enjoy shelling too if I’m not under pressure to be doing something else.

    Alecto: My sentiments exactly. I am practicing. I have a couple of loose cotton dresses I throw on if my sweatpants are dirty. One even has a bandanna print on it. Good thing about living in the middle of nowhere is 1. your neighbors can’t see what you go to the chicken coop wearing and 2. the only person who comes to the door is the UPS lady and she’s a doll so she doesn’t care.

    Danielle: I am telling you, those are garden food, not house food! That’s one way I am able to keep the kid in the garden with me for long periods of time. But now that the carrots are ready too….

    Emily: Mr. Pea Sheller! Crack me up. I think my cabinets would burst though if I got one more veg/fruit kitchen implement….

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