- Morrowfat Peas
Mushy peas are made with morrowfat peas, which are peas that are allowed to dry naturally in the field, as opposed to normal peas which are harvested while still young. I was unable to find morrowfat peas in any of my local grocery stores, but did find a British importer of Bigga Peas on Amazon.com. However, soon after I placed my order I was at Trader Joe’s and noticed that they were selling English Peas, which looked like the fresh version of the larger dried peas that we bought. In hindsight I think that the fresh peas would probably have tasted better.
Making this dish is very simple, although takes a while with the dried peas, as you have to first soak them for 12-16 hours in water with baking soda. We first brought water to a boil, and Elliott placed the baking soda tablets that came in the Bigga box. When he placed the tablets in the water they stood up on their edge, and he reached into the boiling pot to tip them over. Fortunately, he instantly stopped when I yelled at him, so he didn’t burn himself. We poured the boiling water on the peas and then let them sit overnight.
The next day we rinsed the peas and then placed them in a pot with enough water to cover them. We brought that water to a boil and then turned down the heat to simmer and covered the pot. 30 minutes later we had our mushy peas.
I like fresh peas, and I like split pea soup so I thought that I would like mushy peas. However, when I first tried them I wasn’t a fan of the taste. I don’t know if it’s because they were more mature peas, or if I’m sensitive to the baking soda we used when hydrating the dried peas, but I found them a little bitter. I did warm up to the peas after putting a lot of salt and pepper on them, and I did really like them when mixing with the codfish cakes we froze after our previous blog post. Mushy peas are traditionally a side dish for fish, and I agree on this pairing.
This was a dish that I enjoyed quite a bit. I was surprised how mushy the peas got, it almost takes a consistency like mashed potatoes. They did take a lot of salt but I didn’t get the bitter flavor Jason picked up on. It would be a good side dish to go with fish and chips, and I liked it with the cod cakes. It’s kind of hard to describe what it tasted like, maybe a little bit like split pea soup. Though the name might seem unappetizing, try mushy peas, you might be surprised. I even had some leftovers the next day.
Will Kids Like It?
Elliott was a little tired from his birthday party that we had earlier in the day, and was coming down from a sugar rush as well. He wasn’t into even trying the green mushy pile of peas on his plate, and had an emotional moment or three. Needless to say he isn’t a fan of mushy peas.
Miles as always continues to enjoy the fruits, or in this case veggies, of the British Isles.