< Vegetables

Peas and Lentils


Americans in the 19th century used two broad categories to denominate peas: garden peas and field peas. Garden peas (Pisum sativum) were the various sorts of green, roundish seeds shucked from pods born on vines, associated with European cookery—pease porridge, green pea soup, boiled peas with mint, stewed peas and lettuce. Field peas (Vigna unguiculata) were myriad colored, sometimes spotted, seeds shucked from pods born on vines, consumed by livestock as much as humans, and associated almost exclusively with southern agriculture. Of the Field Peas, or Cow Peas as they were sometimes called, Black-Eyed Pea, Tory Pea, Crowder Pea, Rice Pea, and Red Pea all generated devotees at southern tables. Culinary tradition included several other items in the category of pulses: lentils and chick peas being the two that mattered most in American agriculture and cookery. Lentils were never more than an incidental crop in the 1800s, yet were universally known because of the popular association between lentils and the pottage for which Esau sold his birthright in the book of Genesis. [1] The Chick Pea was noted in garden books of the period, but not the cookbooks.

The green garden pea during the colonial period enjoyed the greatest esteem among Anglo-Americans, cherished as the first green vegetable of Spring and for its sweetness. Thomas Jefferson loved peas above all other products of his garden. The desire to enjoy the vernal pleasures of green peas in winter months drove the Europeans to perfect splitting and drying the peas in the 18th century, and canning them in the 19th century. Gardeners worked intensively during the 18th and 19th centuries to create new varieties, maturing at different times in the calendar, and possessing different taste profiles. The profusion of types led to a situation in which neither master gardeners nor master chefs had a comprehensive sense of what the tastes and qualities of available peas were for much of the century. Robert Buist in 1850 observed, “In flavor and quality there is as great a difference in the Pea as in any vegetable with which I am acquainted, through, from observation, cultivators and even cooks have little knowledge of the quality and flavor of the different varieties in cultivation. Some, when merely plain boiled and seasoned, are of themselves a luxury; others require more assistance from the culinary art to make them palatable.” (Buist’s Family Kitchen Gardener p. 92). Of the multitude he grew, Buist named 19 that most mattered: of the early peas he commended “Early Grotto” for its flavor and noted the local dominance of “Extra Early” in the Delaware Valley, of the Marrow Peas he favored Woodford for its brilliant color and “Matchless” for its taste, of the late peas he declared that “New Mammoth” excelled all peas in flavor, and that the “Sugar Pea” was so sweet that people consumed the pods as well as the seeds.

The field peas’ origins were mysterious to most commentators on southern agriculture.[2] Some sought clues about their genesis in names: “It is doubtless indigenous; and from the circumstance of its having been cultivated by the aborigines, it has long been known as the ‘Indian Pea,’ to distinguish it from the English garden pea, just as the indigenous maize has been denominated ‘Indian Corn,’ to distinguish it from the common cereals brought over from Europe by the first colonists. Under a wise system of farm economy this American Legume is second only in value to maize, from its natural adaptation to the soil and climate of the United States; and from the large amount of excellent forage and seeds that may, with little labor, be produced per acre.” By the end of the 19th century global surveys of Vigna varieties had convinced botanists that Africa was the home of field peas. African-Americans, for their parts, had long asserted the African origin of the Cow Pea, lynchpin of a cooking tradition that boasted iconic dishes such as Hopping John and Reezy-Peezy. George Washington Carver in 1908 demonstrated the culinary versatility of the pea in a cook book devoted to the vegetable. While African-American employments of the Field Pea tended to elaborate its uses as human food, most southern agriculturists from the 1830s onward were fascinated with field peas because of their productivity as animal feed, and because when grown with corn, it restored nutriments to soil (they could fix nitrogen). J. V. Jones of Burke County, Georgia, would become the earliest great experimenter in field pea breeding. In 1856 he published a list of varieties he cultivated and in some cases created.

  1. Blue Pea, hardy and prolific. A crop of this Pea can be matured in less than 60 days from date of planting the seed. Valuable.
  2. Lady, matures with No. 1. Not so prolific and hardy.A delicious table pea.
  3. Rice, most valuable table variety known, and should be grown universally wherever the pea can make a habitation.
  4. Relief, Another valuable table kind, with brown pods.
  5. Flint Crowder, very profitable
  6. Flesh, very profitable
  7. Sugar, very profitable
  8. Grey, very profitable. More so than 5, 6, 7.
  9. Early spotted, Brown hulls or pods.
  10. Early Locust, Brown hulls, valuable.
  11. Late Locust, Purple hulls, not profitable.
  12. Black Eyes, Valuable for stock.
  13. Early Black Spotted, Matures with Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
  14. Goat, So called, I presume, from its spots.Very valuable, and a hard kind to shell.
  15. Small Black, Very valuable, lies on the field all winter with the power of reproduction.
  16. Large Black Crowder, The largest pea known, and produces great and luxuriant vines. A splendid variety.
  17. Brown Spotted, Equal to Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 14.
  18. Claret Spotted, Equal to Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 14.
  19. Large Spotted, Equal to Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 24.
  20. Jones Little Claret Crowder, It is my opinion a greater quantity in pounds and bushels can be grown per acre of this Pea, than any other grain with the knowledge of man. Matures with Nos. 1, 2, 3, 9 and 13, and one of the most valuable.
  21. Jones Black Hull, prolific and profitable.
  22. Jones Yellow Hay, valuable for Hay only
  23. Jones No. 1, new and very valuable; originated in the last 2 years.
  24. Chickasaw, Its value is as yet unknown. Ignorance has abused it.
  25. Shinney or Java, This is the Prince of Peas.[3]

Jones associated profitability with its utility as a forage crop, yet did not scant its value as human food. The ideal forage plant was tall, bushy, leafy, prolific, and disease resistant. During the middle of the 19th century, southerners developed a decided preference for light colored peas for the table. These types did not have the habit of a forage plants, so no dual purpose field pea arose to dominate the market. Instead, multiple varieties flourished in fields below the Mason-Dixon line. By the early 20th century three varieties, Whippoorwill, Iron, and Clay, dominated feed cultivation, and were intercropped with corn and sorghum.[4] The Iron & Clay pea, a hybrid of the Iron and Clay peas, now reigns in the south’s corn fields. One pea on Jones’s list elicits superlatives for taste—the rice pea. While certain regions cultivated special tastes—Charleston for the red pea, and the Lowcountry for black-eyed peas—the universal preference of southern cooks throughout the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century was for the rice pea, so called for its color, small size, and grain-like configuration. I. M., a writer for the Boston Cooking School Magazine in 1915, sang the pea’s virtues: “[T]here is a field pea called the rice pea, grown extensively in southern states, which is white, eye and all, with a slightly creamy ting, and it is even ore delicate of flavor than black-eyed peas; these are as delicate as early June peas, and they retain their natural color when cooked, and do not change the color of meat cooked with them. Perhaps the reason rice peas are not grown more generally is that they are not as hardy as black-eyed peas and other field peas. These delicately flavored rice peas, cooked with tender young pork, are far and away more appetizing than pork and beans, and almost or quite as nutritious. They are good, either cooked after they have become dry in the autumn and winter, or when young and tender in the late spring and early summer. Southern ladies often cook the tender young peas, pods and all, as snap beans are cooked.”[5] Heirloom seed for the rice pea is available at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

1. A writer on lentils in Valley Farmer 5, 5 (May 1853), 174, remarks that they are not in general cultivation in the United States.
2. The earliest comment on the varieties were John MacLeod, American Farmer (1822), J.M.G. Farmers’ Register 2 (1835), p. 752. In Virginia there was a tradition of calling the cow pea a “cornfield pea.”
3. J. V. Jones, Burke Co., GA, The American Farmer 11, 11 (May 1856), 347.
4. C. V. Piper, Agricultural Varieties of the Cowpea and Immediately Related Species (Washington, DC: Gov. Printing Office for the U.S.D.A., 1913).
5. I.M., “Some Dainty Southern Recipes,” Boston Cooking School Magazine, 19 (June-July, 1914), p. 59.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties- Sibley’s First and Best    History

- Earliest variety grown; we especially recommend all market gardeners to try this, on account of its even growth of magnificent pods; sure to be the first Pea in market.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Extra Early Kent    History

- The old standard variety; enormously productive; excellent for market or for family garden; grows about 3 feet high; an early market variety when true, but has greatly degenerated of late years.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Kentish Invicta     History

- Second early, blue pea, delicious for table, superior in flavor to any white sorts.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Tom Thumb Dwarf     History

- True; very productive

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Carter’s First Crop     History

- Very productive, an English variety having been grown in the U.S. for several years now. It grows from 2 to 3 ½ feet high; of good flavor.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Caractacus    History

- nearly identical with the preceding, though perhaps not quite so early.

Garden Peas Smooth Varieties - Bishop’s Early Dwarf Long Pod    History

- good yielder

Wrinkled Varieties - Strategem    History

- New (as of 1883); an English variety of great merit. In an experiment on the Rural New Yorker Farm last season the yield averaged 20 pods per vine; 200 pods weighed 20 ounces and contained 1420 seeds, which weighed 42 ounces; over 7 large seeds per pod. The vine branches below the surface into two stems, grows 2 to 2 ½ feet high, very strong and stocky.

Wrinkled Varieties - Champion of England    History

- The old standard variety, but much improved in size. Universally admitted to be one of the richest and best flavored peas grown, and very productive. Height 4-5 feet; seeds whitish-green and much shriveled; will always sell, green, better than any other variety.

Wrinkled Varieties- Dwarf Champion    History

- in quality and flavor equal to the preceding variety, while the vine is much more prolific. Peas white, much shriveled and indented.

Wrinkled Varieties - Telephone    History

- New Pea of great merit selected and bred from the Telegraph; pods enormous, large yielder.

Wrinkled Varieties - Bliss’ American Wonder    History

- Of remarkable sweetness; very productive for its size

Wrinkled Varieties -Blue Peter, or Blue Tom Thumb    History

- The earliest very dwarf variety; blue, large, semi-wrinkled pea, rich and sweet.

Wrinkled Varieties- Alpha    History

- Blue and of fine flavor and prolific; claimed to be the earliest wrinkled sort; dwarf habit.

Wrinkled Varieties - Yorkshire Hero    History

- Unsurpassed for sweetness and delicious flavor. Vines stout, about 2 feet high, bearing at the top a number of pods filled with large peas, which keep a long time in season, and never become as hard as most sorts; preferred by those who like a rich, marrow-like pea.

Wrinkled Varieties- Laxton’s William 1st    History

- an early pea of great merit introduced from England.

Wrinkled Varieties - Laxton’s Alpha    History

- blue wrinkled Pea; exquisite flavor, remarkable for its earliness and prolific bearing; Claimed to have beaten McLean’s Advancer and Little Gem in these respects.

Wrinkled Varieties - Laxton’s Superlative    History

- “Messrs. Carter, the English seedsmen, speak of this new pea as follows:--‘The Largest and finest podded pea yet raised; indispensable as an exhibition pea; pods have been grown 7 inches in length and are much larger than the parent pea, Laxton’s Supreme, which has taken the first prize for several years.’ Second early, color and flavor unsurpassed.”—James H.H. Gregory’s Seed Circular and Retail Catalogue, January 1880.

Wrinkled Varieties- Laxton’s Quantity    History

—a richly-flavored second early wrinkled marrow, selected from Laxton’s Quality for its robust habit and extreme productiveness; it also differs in the shape of its fine long pods. one of the best for exhibition or table use.

Wrinkled Varieties - Culverwell’s Telegraph    History

- A recent acquisition from England of great merit. The peas grow so closely in the pod as to appear to form a double row. Robust habit, immense pods; when cooked, of beautiful deep green color.

Wrinkled Varieties - Eugenie    History

- a delicious English pea.

Wrinkled Varieties - Napoleon    History

- sweet and tender.

Wrinkled Varieties- McLean’s Little Gem    History

- a very desirable early, dwarf, green, growing about 15 inches high. When in a green state, it is very large, sweet, and of delicious flavor.

Wrinkled Varieties- Extra Early Premium Gem    History

- new (as of 1874); a dwarf wrinkled pea, a very great improvement on McLean’s Little Gem, being more robust in growth, with longer pods.

Wrinkled Varieties- McLean’s Advancer    History

- a green, wrinkled variety about 2 ½ feet high, with broad, long pods.

Wrinkled Varieties - McLean’s Epicurean    History

- a new (as of 1871), early, wrinkled Pea; said to be very large, of delicious flavor, and very productive, about 2 feet high.

Wrinkled Varieties - McLean’s Premier    History

- a large, wrinkled Pea, in fact, the largest and finest looking Pea we have ever seen. It is claimed, in Europe, to be one of the best Peas in cultivation, for productiveness & flavor.

Wrinkled Varieties- McLean’s Wonderful    History

- said to be the best dwarf wrinkled Pea; large pods, sugary flavor; productive.

Wrinkled Varieties - Premium Gem    History

- Somewhat like the preceding variety, but with a little heavier, more prolific vines and larger pods. This and the McLean’s Little Gem fully equal the later sorts in quality, which with their earliness, dwarf habit and productiveness, make them the most desirable for private gardens.

Wrinkled Varieties- Carter’s Little Wonder    History

- a new variety from England (as of 1884); a sweet, very early, and delicious pea; height 20-24 inches.

Wrinkled Varieties - Carter’s Commander-In-Chief    History

- a grand Pea for exhibition and general purposes of cultivation. It is a green, wrinkled marrow of exquisite flavor, with fine, slightly curved pods sometimes containing ten large peas.

Wrinkled Varieties- Veitch’s Perfection    History

- 8 feet; delicious, large, wrinkled.

Large Blue Imperial (not sure if wrinkled or smooth variety)    History

- about 3 feet high; pods are large, long, pointed, rather flat, containing 8 or 9 peas. Seeds large, blue and a little flattened. One of the best for summer use, but requires to be planted early, or it will mildew.

Dwarf White Marrowfat (not sure if wrinkled or smooth variety)    History

-similar to the Large White Marrowfat, but of stiffer habit and dwarfer growth, being only 3-4 feet high. Does well without bushing, and is much earlier than the Tall Marrowfat.

Large White Marrowfat (not sure if wrinkled or smooth variety)    History

-cultivated more extensively for the summer crop than any of the others. About 5 feet high; Pods large, round, rough, light colored and well filled; seed large, round and yellow or white, according to the soil. Excellent for summer use, though inferior to the newer sorts.

Large Black Eyed Marrowfat (not sure if wrinkled or smooth variety)    History

-an excellent variety, growing about 5 feet high; pods large and full; a prolific bearer, and can be recommended as one of the very best Marrowfat sorts.

Wrinkled Varieties - New Golden Pea    History

- The pods of this new Pea (as of 1880) are of a delicate ellow when sufficiently matured for green-shelling for the table—the Peas also being of a delicate straw color.

Wrinkled Varieties- Sutton’s Emerald Gem    History

- This new (as of 1880) first early pea is quite distinct from all others, and is undoubtedly one of the finest varieties in cultivation. The peas retain their green color when cooked and are of a delicious marrow-like flavor, much superior to most early sorts.

Wrinkled Varieties - Nutting’s No. 1    History

- a very excellent Pea; dwarf, about 15 inches in height, very early, productive.

Wrinkled Varieties - Harrison’s Perfection    History

- a large, rich, marrow Pea, of stout growth, and productive; 8 feet high.

Wrinkled Varieties - Blue Peter    History

- “A gentleman writing from Canada, says: ‘This is a remarkably dwarf variety, not over six inches high, dark green foliage, a splendid bearer and of exquisite flavor, with large well-filled pods.’ This may be called a larger, better, and earlier form of Tom Thumb, with round blue seed.” –W.H. Spooner’s Seed Catalogue, 1874

Wrinkled Varieties- Cook’s Favorite, or Hundredfold    History

—when boiled, these peas become dark green. The plant exhibits large green pods, which have a beautiful bloom are produce abundantly.

Edible Podded Sorts - Dwarf Gray Sugar     History

- grows one foot high; early and prolific; pods broad, flat and crooked; seeds darkcolored.

Edible Podded Sorts - Dwarf White Sugar    History

- Similar to above; seeds white.

Edible Podded Sorts - Tall White Sugar    History

- Similar to above; seeds white.

Edible Podded Sorts - Tall Gray Sugar    History

- Grows 5 feet high, with bushing; ends dark colored; pods and seeds very sweet and tender.

To Boil Green Peas (American Cookery 1796)    History

When your peas are shelled and the water boils which should ot be much more than will cover them, put them in with a few leaves of mint, as soon as they boil put in a piece of butter as big as a walnut, and stir them about, when they are done enough, strin them off, and sprinkle in a little salt, shake them till the water drains off, send them hot to the table with melted butter in a cup or boat. Amelia Simmons, American Cookery, or the Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables (Hartford: Hudson & Goodwin, 1796), p. 46.

Louisiana Green Pea Recipe (Mrs. Elliott’s Housewife 1870)    History

Wash the peas and put them in a clean spider, cover them up and set them over the fire; let them steam in this way half an hour. Then put in a spoonful of butter and two of cream, and serve them hot. The flavor of the pea is far better than when boiled in water. If they are not soft, let them cook a little longer, but not add the butter until just before you take them up. Mrs. Sarah A. Elliott, Mrs. Elliott’s Housewife (New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1870), p. 111.

Marrowfat Peas (La Cuisine Creole 1885)    History

This is a late sort of green pea, and is much richer in taste than the earlier ones, but not so delicate. They must be dressed like the early pease, by boiling in water, and when soft, pour off the water. They are sometimes a little strong if the water is not changed. Fill up with milk, or milk and water, and boil a little longer, then season with butter, pepper and salt, and thicken with a teaspoon of flour stirred in among the pease. Lafcadio Hearn, La Cuisine Creole (New Orleans: F. F. Hansell & Bro., 1885), p. 90.

Pease Stewed in Cream (Dixie Cook Book 1885)    History

Put two or three pits of young green pease into a sauce-pan in boiling water; when nearly done and tender, drain in a colander, quite dry; melt two ounces of butter in a clean stew-pan, thicken evenly with a little flour, shake it over the fire, but do not let it brown, mix smoothly with a gill of cream, add half a tea-spoon of white sugar, bring to a boil, pour in the pease, keep moving for two minutes until well heated, and serve hot. The sweet pods of young pease are made by the Germans into a palatable dish by simply stewing with a little butter and savory herbs. Mrs. W. A. Croffut recipe. The Dixie Cook-Book (Atlanta: L. A. Clarkson, 1885), p. 340.

Field Peas (Virginia Housewife 1838)    History

There are many varieties of these peas; the smaller kind are the most delicate. Have them young and newly gathered, shell and boil them tender; pour them in a colander to drain; put some lard in a frying pan; when it boils, mash the peas, and fry the in a cake of a light brown; put it in the dish with the crust uppermost—garnish with thin bits of fried bacon. They are very nice when fried whole, so that each pea is distinct from the other; but they must be boiled, and fried with great care. Plain boiling is a very common way of dressing them. Mrs. Mary Randolph, The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook (Baltimore: Plaskitt, Fite & Co., 1838), p. 111.

Pea Fritters or Cakes (Common Sense in the Household 1874)    History

Cook a pint or three cups more peas than you need for dinner. Mash while hot with a wooden spoon, seasoning with pepper, salt, and butter. Put by until morning. Make a batter of two whipped eggs, a cupful of milk, quarter teaspoonful soda, a half teaspoonful cream tartar, and half a cup of flour. Stir the pea-mixture into this, beating very hard, and cook as you would ordinary griddle-cakes. I can testify, from experience, that they make a delightful morning dish, and hereby return thanks to the unknown friend to whom I am indebted for the receipt. Marion Harland, Common Sense in the Household (New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co., 1874), p. 226.

Pea Fritters (Instructions in Cooking 1897)    History

Mash cold peas of any kind (English peas are best); to each pint allow one teaspoon of melted butter, one egg beaten without separating, two tablespoons of flour, one-half teaspoon salt, one-eight teaspoon pepper; mix all well together; flour the hands and form into cake[s]; drop into boiling lard and fry until brown. Drain free of grease and serve hot. Mrs. John W. Cringan, Instruction in Cooking: with Selected Receipts (Richmond: J. L. Hill, 1895), p. 174.

Green Peas a la Bourgeoise (Creole Cookery Book 1885)    History

Wash 1 ½ pints of green peas, put them into a stewpan, with fresh butter, parsley, lettuce cut in fours, and a little sugar. Let these boil in their own juice over a slow fire. When all the liquid is boiled away, add a thickening made of the yolk of 2 eggs and a little cream; let the whole remain a few minutes on the fire. Christian Women’s Exchange, The Creole Cookery Book (New Orleans: T. H. Thomason, 1885), p. 67.

Peas and Lettuce (Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book 1898)    History

Use a pint of peas and two young lettuces cut small. Put in as little water as possible to use and not burn, let t hem boil until tender, then add a square of sugar, the yolks of two eggs well beaten and two tablespoonfuls of cream. Stir together a short time but do not boil. Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book (New York & Chicago: Vaughan’s Seed Store, 1898), p. 44

French Way of Cooking Pease (Successful Housekeeper 1884)    History

Put some thin slices of bacon in a skillet and brown a little on both sides; then put in your pease, with one large onion cut in flour, one head of lettuce, and a few sprigs of parsley, tied up, water enough to cover them; salt and pepper (not much salt, as the bacon salts them); cook one hour. Ten minutes before serving sprinkle a little flour to thicken the gravy. Remove the bunch of lettuce and parsley. [F. B. Dickerson], The Successful Housekeeper, A Manual of Universal Application (Detroit: M. W. Ellsworth & Co., 1884), p. 231

Ducks with Green Peas (50 Years in a Maryland Kitchen 1881)    History

Put a piece of butter in a deep stew-pan, and set it over the fire. Singe the ducks, flour them, and put them in the pan. Shake it lightly for two or three minutes, and pour out all the fat, but let the ducks remain in the pan. Put to them a pint of gravy, a pint of peas, two lettuces cut small, a small bunch of sweet herbs, and a little pepper and salt. Cover it up well and let it stew for half an hour, every now and then giving the pan a shake. When nearly done, grate in a very little nutmeg and beaten mace, and thicken with a piece of butter rolled in flour, or the yolk of an egg beaten with a spoonful or two of cream. Shake all together for two or three minutes, take out the sweet herbs, lay the ducks on a dish, pour the gravy over, and serve. Mrs. B. C. Howard, Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1881), p. 63.

Puree of Peas (Philadelphia Cook Book 1886)    History

1 quart of green peas or two pint cans, 1 pint of milk, 1 tablespoonful of butter, 1 pint water, 1 tablespoonful of flour, 1 bay leaf, 1 onion, 2 loves, 1 spring of parsley, Salt and pepper to taste. Wash the peas in cold water; then put them in a saucepan with the water and boil twenty minutes. When done they should be almost dry. Press through a colander. Put the milk on to boil in a farina boiler. Add the bay leaf, onion, cloves and parsley. Rub the butter and flour together until smooth. Strain the milk into the peas, then return to the farina boiler, stir in the butter and flour, and stir continually until it boils and thickens; then add the sal and pepper, and serve. Mrs. S. T. Rorer, Philadelphia Cook Book, A Manual of Home Economies (Philadelphia: George H. Buchanan & Co., 1886), p. 191.

Split Peas Pudding for Corn Beef or Salt Pork (Cookery as it Should Be 1856)    History

Wash and pick one quart of split peas; put ito a cloth, not tied too closely; put them on in cold water, and let them cock slowly until tender; take them out and rub them through a sieve into a deep dish, mix with them two well beaten eggs, a large spoonful of butter, and a little black pepper, stir these well together, then flour the bag well, put in the mixture, and tie as closely as possible; then put the pudding into the pot which is boiling with the corn pork or beef, and let it cook one hour. Serve hot with the meat. A Practical Housekeeper, Cookery as it Should Be (Philadelphia: Willis P. Hazard, 1856), p. 152.

Green Peas, with Bacon (What to Eat 1863)    History

Put four ounces of butter in a stewpan and set it on the fire; when hot, add four ounces of bacon cut in dice, fry it ten minutes; add then two quarts of peas, wet with half a pint of broth, same of water, season with two sprigs of parsley, one of thyme, and a bay leaf, four small onions, salt, and pepper; boil about forty minutes, throw away the seasonings, and serve peas and bacon together. Pierre Blot, What to Eat, and How to Cook It (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1863), p. 188.

Peas and Bacon (The Cooking Manual 1879)    History

Cut a quarter of a pound of fat bacon in small bits, and fry it brown with two ounces of onions sliced; then add four ounces of split peas, one tablespoonful of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper, one teaspoonful of sugar, and four quarts of cold water; boil it until the peas are reduced to a pulp, which will be about three hours; then stir in sufficient oatmeal to thicken it, and boil slowly twenty minutes, stirring it occasionally; serve hot; or when cold, slice and fry it brown. Juliet Corson, The Cooking Manual (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1879), p. 114.

Good Pease Soup (Frugal Housewife 1803)    History

Take a quart of split pease, put them into a gallon of soft water, with a bunch of herbs, some whole Jamaica and black pepper, two or three onions, a pound of lean beef, a pound of mutton, and a pound of the belly piece of salk pork; boil all together, till your meat is thoroughly tender, and your soup strong; then strain it through a sieve, and pour it into a clean sauce-pan; cut and wash three or four large heads of celery, some spinach, and a little dried mind, rubbed fine; boil it till your celery is tender, then serve it up with bread cut in dice, and fried brown. Sussannah Carter, The Frugal Housewife, or Complete Woman Cook (New-York, C & R Waite, 1803), pp. 101-02.

Green Pease Soup (Frugal Housewife 1803)    History

Have a knuckle of veal of four pounds, a pint and a half of the oldest green pease shelled, set them over the fire with five quarts of water; add two or three blades of mace, a quarter of an ounce of whole pepper, a small onion stuck with three cloves, and a bunch of sweet herbs; cover it close, and let it boil till half is wated; strain it off, and pass your liquor through a sieve, put it into a clean sauce-pan, with a pin of the youngest pease, the heart of a cabbage, a lettue or two, and the white part of three or four heads of celery, cut small, cover it close, and let it stew for an hour. If you think it isnot thik enough, take some of your soup, and put in half a spoonful of flour; stir it in a bason till it is smooth; pour it into your soup; stir it well together, and let it boil for ten minutes; then dish it up wit the crust of a French roll. Sussannah Carter, The Frugal Housewife, or Complete Woman Cook (New-York, C & R Waite, 1803), p. 102.

Red Pea Soup (Carolina Housewife 1847)    History

One quart of peas, one pound of bacon, (or a hambone,) two quarts of water, and some celery, chopped; boil the peas, and, when half done, put in the bacon; when the peas are thoroughly boiled, take them out and rub them through a cullender or coarse sieve; then put the pulp back into the pot with the bacon, and season with a little pepper and salt, if necessary. If the soup should not be thick enough, a little wheat flour may be stirred in. Green peas may be used instead of the red pea. [Sarah Rutledge], The Carolina Housewife, or House and Home: by a Lady of Charleston (Charleston: W. R. Babcock & Co., 1847), p. 44.

Field Pea Soup (Kentucky Housewife 1839)    History

There are several kinds of field peas, come of which are unfit for soup, being very dark; there are two kinds that are white, and very nice fort he purpose; the one is large, and the other quite small, being far the most delicate of this species. They should be full grown, but not the least hard or yellow. Take three pints of either after they are hulled, rinse them clean, and boil them with a small piece of pork or bacon. When they are quite tender, take out the meat; and if they are of the large kind of pea, mash a part of them, to thicken the soup, but if they are small ones, do not break them, as they look much prettier to serve whole. There should be at least three pints of the liquor, to which add four ounces of butter, broken up and rolled in four table-spoonfuls of flour; season it to your taste with salt and pepper, boil it up, and then stir in gradually a pint of rich sweet cream, and one and a half dozen of little force-meat balls, not larger than a nutmeg, made in the usual manner, and fried brown I butter. Mrs. Lettice Bryan, The Kentucky Housewife (Cincinnati: Shepard & Stearns, 1839), p. 21.

Economical Pea Soup (Valuable Cooking Receipts 1880)    History

Boil two quarts of green-pea hulls in four quarts of water, in which beef, mutton, or fowl has been boiled, four hours; then add a bunch or bouquet of herbs, salt and pepper, a tablespoonful of butter, and a quart of milk. Rub through a hair-wieve, thicken with a little flour, and serve with croutons. Thomas J. Murrey, Valuable Cooking Receipts (New York: George W. Harlan, 1880), p. 10.

Cornfield or Black Eye Peas (Housekeeping in Old Virginia 1879)    History

Shell early in the morning, throw into water till an hour before dinner, when put into boiling water, covering close while cooking. Add a little salt, just before taking from the fire. Drain and serve with a large spoonful fresh butter, or put in a pan with a slice of fat meat, and simmer a few minutes. Dried peas must be soaked overnight, and cooked twice as long as fresh. Mrs. S. T. Marion Cabell Tyree, Housekeeping in Old Virginia (Louisville: John P. Morton, 1879), p. 354.

Resipee for Cukin Kon-feel Pees (Housekeeping in Old Virginia 1879)    History

Gether your pees ‘bout sun-down. The florin day, ‘bout leven o’clock, gowge out your pees with your thum nale, like gowgin out a ma’s eye-ball at a kote house. Rense your pees, parbile them, then fry ‘em with som several slices uv streekt middling, incouragin uv the gravy to seep out and intermarry with your pees. When modritly brown, but not scorcht, empty into a dish. Mash ‘em gently with a spune, mix with raw tomarters sprinkled with a little brown shugar and the immortal dish ar quite ready. Eat a hepe. Eat mo and mo. It is good for your genral helth uv mind and body. It fattens you up, makes you sassy, goes throo and throo your very soul. But why don’t you eat? Eat on. By Jings. Eat. Stop! Never, while thar is a pee in the dish. Mozie Addums. Marion Cabell Tyree, Housekeeping in Old Virginia (Louisville: John P. Morton, 1879), pp. 153-54.

Blackeyed Peas (Instructions in Cooking 1897)    History

If fresh, shell the peas into cold water; let them stand in it about one-half hour; drain off through a sieve; throw into boiling salted water and cook until you can mash one of the largest peas with a fork. If dried, soak and put on to boil in cold water; cook until done; mash, and to each pint of peas allow one-half teaspoon of salt, one-fourth teaspoon of pepper, and two slices of sweet bacon; mix the salt and pepper into the peas; form them in a cake; put the bacon in a frying-pan and fry until all the essence is extracted; dish the bacon and fry the peas in the essence until brown. Serve hot, with the pieces of bacon on top of the peas. Mrs. John W. Cringan, Instruction in Cooking: with Selected Receipts (Richmond: J. L. Hill, 1895), Pp. 174-57.

Hopping John (Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book 1872)    History

Pick out all defective ones from a quart of dried peas; soak them several hours in tepid water; boil them with a chicken or pieces of pickled pork until the peas are thoroughly done. In a separate stew-pan boil half as much rice dry; take the peas from the meat, mix them with the rie, fry a few minutes until dry. Season with pepper and salt. This may be made of green English peas. Mrs. A. P. Hill, Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book (New York: Carleton, 1872), p. 196.

Pea Salad (Salads and Sauces 1884)    History

Put a pint of green peas into a saucepan with a piece of butter as large as a hen’s egg and add a very little water; simmer them over the fire until tender, stirring the constantly; remove and let them cool. Put into a salad-bowl a few crisp leaves of lettuce; cut up nearly half a pound of roast spring lamb, add to the lettuce, then add the peas; pour over the dish a liberal quantity of plain salad-dressing. Chop up a few tarragon-leaves and three leaves of mint, sprinkle them over the salad, toss lightly, and serve. Canned French peas may be used instead of fresh peas; they only require heating, and when cold are added to the salad. Thomas J. Murrey, Salads and Sauces (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1884), pp. 183-84.

Peapods Stewed (Centennial Cook Book 1876)    History

Take the supgar-pea when young, pare off the outer edges of the pods, carefully removing the strings; then put them into good gravy, and thicken with a little butter and flour; and let them stew gently until quite tender. Mrs. Ella R. Myers, The Centennial Cook Book (Philadelphia: J. B. Myers, 1876), P. 88.

Sugar Pea Salad (Salads and Sauces 1884)    History

The edible, podded pea is very good served as a salad. Pick them when they are an inch long; put them into a salad-bowl with the same quantity of garden cress; send to table with a plain salad-dressing. Sometimes sliced tomatoes are added. Thomas J. Murrey, Salads and Sauces (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1884), p. 184.

Pea Tops Used as an Ordinary Vegetable (Young Wife’s Cook Book 1870)    History

A delicious vegetable for the table may be obtained by sowing peas in shallow boxes, at intervals during the winter months. They will come up slowly, but strongly. When about five inches high, cut them for use, and boil them in the same way that cabbage is done. Dish up plainly, to be eaten as an ordinary green vegetable. H. M. B. Peterson, The Young Wife’s Cook Book (Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, 1870), p. 255.

Boiled Lentils (United States Cook Book 1859)    History

Take some good lentils, pick them thoroughly, wash them, and boil them slowly, in cold water, till soft, pour offt he water, dish them quite dry, and pour over them some very hot butter, in which you have fried some onion, cut fine, or grated white bread, to a yellow colour. Or, for two quarts of lentils, boiled in water, brown a table-spoonful of flour in four ounces of butter, stir into it sufficient gravy, soup-stock or water, to reduce it to the consistency of a sauce, now add to this the lentils, from which the water has been poured off, season the whole with salt, pepper and a couple of table-spoonfuls of vinegar, mix it all well together, and boil it up once. In dishing it, strew over it some white bread crumbs fried in butter. William Volmer, The United States Cook Book (Philadelphia: John Weick, 1859), p. 121.