Yesterday while in town I bought some fresh picked purple hull peas from a local farmer on the town square. He was selling the peas by the bushel and half-bushel but happily obliged my request of only buying a mess. There’s nothing better on the summer supper table than a mess of cooked fresh purple hull peas.
Shelling the peas didn’t take any time at all. It was a pleasant cool evening so I took my peas and bowl to the front porch and had had them shelled in no time. After washing the shelled peas I put them in the pot of boiling water, added a generous portion of salted pork fat, pepper and salt. The aroma of the cooking peas was so pleasant. After about ninety minutes of cooking, the peas were ready for consumption. I fried a cornbread fritter and went to the tomato garden for a juicy red ripe tomato. And that was my entire meal – fresh purple hull peas, cornbread, sliced tomato and a big glass of fresh-brewed iced sweet tea.
I can blame my purple hull pea supper on Terry Thornton over at Hill Country of Monroe County. I was simply trying to emulate a meal I had earlier during the week. Last Wednesday I was a dinner guest in Terry and Betty’s beautiful Itawamba County home. Words cannot describe the sumptuous meal. We enjoyed fresh purple hull peas, seasoned rice, beautifully cooked pork chops, southern cornbread and even fried corn fritters made with Itawamba County stone-ground corn. A beautiful tray heaped with fresh tomatoes and peppers and one of the best buttermilk pies I have ever savored topped off this wonderful southern country meal. The three-hour visit complimented with sumptuous food and pleasant leisurely conversation with good folks who have a keen appreciation for their family roots was definitely a refreshing treat for the week.
However, I must say my bowl of purple hull peas I enjoyed last evening didn’t even come close to the culinary delight I experienced last Wednesday.