Purple hulled field peas... high in fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and lutein. We found them at the farmers market and bought a half bushel.
Field peas are related to the black-eyed pea... or cowpea... Cowpeas came over on slave ships from Africa to North America and figured largely into the diet of slaves on Southern plantations. The pea's association with "cow" comes from white landowners thinking that beans were fit only for cows, but ironically, the slaves were eating more nutritious, high-protein fare than the heavy salt-pork diet of their masters.
Field peas, black-eyed peas, cowpeas... are a Southern tradition!
My wonderful DH agreed to shell all those peas so I could can them...
|DH sits on the porch shelling peas, with his trusty assistant, Smokey at his feet, ever willing to help!|
Once the peas were shelled we washed them, and washed them again... making sure to remove any wigglers (worms or bugs). We like to season our peas with bacon or other meat, but we're not overly fond of worm meat... just sayin' (Hey, worms and bugs are a fact of life in vegetable gardening, it's something you deal with and move on... so let's move on)
I canned my peas using a hot-pack method, which means I put my peas in a saucepan and filled with water to cover the peas and brought it to a boil over medium-high heat and cooked for about three minutes until everything was heated through.
I prepared my pint jars by placing them in a pan of boiling water on two stove eyes and kept them hot until I was ready to fill them.
I simmered my lids and rings in hot water, keeping them hot until I was ready for them.
Once the peas were heated through, I ladled them along with the cooking liquid, into the hot jars to within about an inch of the rim.
I removed any air bubbles by running a butter knife between the peas and the inside of the jar and adjusted the headspace by adding more peas and liquid as necessary. I added a half teaspoon of canning salt to each pint jar, wiped the rims, then screwed the lids on to fingertip tightness.
Peas are a low acid food, so they must be pressure canned. I placed my jars into my pressure canner then (since canners vary, be sure to follow the directions that come with your brand of canner) processed them at 10 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes (quarts would process for 50 minutes).
After processing, I removed the canner from the heat and let the pressure return to ZERO naturally. I opened the vent, removed the canner lid, and removed the jars using my jar lifter. I set the jars on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool and to listen for that wonderful PING of each successfully sealed jar.
Mmmmmm... yummy!!! Can't wait for field peas cooked with a little bacon and some relish on the side this winter... comfort food at its finest!
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