Purple Hull Peas
It is really a good feeling when you can plant a garden and fill your freezer with the fruits of your labors. When you move around as often as we do and are not sure if you will be in one place long enough for a growing season, the second best feeling to reaping the fruits of your labors is to benefit from the labor of others. As I mentioned before, we are in the midde of a move…and one process part of each of our moves is the using of all things frozen. My efforts to use up our well stocked freezer supplies revealed a wonderful discovery. I found two bags of purple hull peas from the huge (and I mean huge – over an acre) garden of great Uncle James and Aunt Mary. Each year their garden is smaller and smaller – they are well into their 80s now – I only hope I can garden when I am their age. The purple hull peas are about the size and texture of black eyed peas, but they have a stronger, nuttier taste than their black eyed cousins. I like the purple hulls much better. I don’t recall ever seeing purple hull peas in a grocery store, but found them in abundance at farmers markets and local produce stands. Seek them out and cook them up in a pot. You will not regret it.
Purple Hull Peas
4 cups purple hull peas
1 cup black eyed peas (only because I had a bit in the cupboard)
1 ham bone
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 quarts water
Combine all ingredients in a pot over high heat, making sure enough water is used to cover the peas. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat, but keep a low boil. Cook until peas are soft, about an hour. Remove from liquid with slotted spoon. Serve hot or cold.