In Praise Of Snow Peas
The threat of the freeze is past
And I survey those that cast
Their lot to Grow in this Wintery Season.
Some would say lacking Rhyme or Reason.
But there they stand, Soldiers
Against the Blast of Norther's Past
Bowing their head in reverence
But with a Godly perseverance.
With the Morning Sun
They again have Begun
To do what is written in their genes
To produce in abundance it seems.
For on one or two early risers
There is the suggestion of flowers
That will in a week or so
Have flattened pods that grow and grow.
Then when Once again I judge them
Many a pea will be suspend from wirey stems
Ready for picking and preparation
In a Winter time Celebration!
On a plot only three feet by four, a planting of snow peas was begun in late November, placing the white wrinkled peas in a double row, spaced some three inches apart. Within a week they emerged. Because they are a climbing plant, a support must be provided to enhance their reach for the sun. Slowly at first they grow but soon their tendrils catch the wire and entwine about it bracing the plant against the wind and leading the vine ever upward. A few flowers appear at first followed by a slender flat pod. One has to resist the temptation to pick them when they are only one inch or so in length, but by the third week in December a number are right for the picking. On Christmas day the time has arrived and those that have been carefully picked daily and refrigerated, are all together for the celebration.
The stem end and bloom end are harshly pulled from the pod, removing a thin wirey thread and leaving the pod ready for cooking. Into a microwave dish they are heaped in a pile and three generous pats of butter place on top. Then into the oven they go cooking them on the same setting used for popcorn, but only for thirty seconds. (Fewer beans require less time and more require a longer interval.) It's better to undercook them than render them sadly limp, but even when overcooked, they are a treat.
Of course you could have bought snowpeas in the market and avoided all the trouble. But you miss the reward of knowing that you have provided a most generous treat. One that will be repeated some thirty or more times before they give up the ghost.
And best of all a second planting can be made even while the threat of frost is there as long as the ground isn't frozen.
All snow peas require is their very own place in the sun.