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July 29, 2009
Putting Down the Pea
There is an unspoken danger at dinner. If you are the kind of person who
brings the food to the table, it means bringing in what you have to
offer to people who are, for all intents and purposes, armed. They have
knives, they also have forks. It’s as if you are presenting yourself
before a mob armed with spears and pitchforks that has yet to have its
blood angered up.
there are children involved, this is especially the case where
vegetables are involved. Vegetables for children are always a very dicey
issue, and the potential of revolt is raised with the degree of green
involved in the food. Such is very high with the common garden pea,
which comes with the fundamental flaw of being affordable. That means it
makes frequent trips to the kitchen table, has a texture that is unlike
cheese, processed meat, or dessert – three of the food groups most
commonly enjoyed by the young – and has a taste more prone to
appreciation by adults. As such, it is a very dangerous food to serve.
How to diffuse a revolt before it commences? Despots and military juntas
have long pondered this question. Fortunately, you probably, hopefully
not only have a greater sense of goodwill among the people, but you have
tools at your disposal that they don’t. Despots have guns and bombs. You
have a spice rack, eggs and cheese.
The route from frozen pea to heated pea is a fairly simple one. Place
your frozen peas in a pan, add some water and heat. The peas will thaw
and become rather warm. Steam will rise, and for a second you will
wonder if water-intense vegetables don’t carry with them the drawback of
potentially burning your mouth. Yet this is instead strength. This heat
is a critical step in reducing tensions at the dinner table.
Drain those peas and place back into the small pot. The peas are dry,
but hot. Make them wet again by adding some butter.
This may sound like a very simple idea – buttering vegetables, in fact,
is a very basic way to make them more palatable. Yet, if you’ve gone
this route, you have already exhausted that option. Your would-be
revolutionaries are too sophisticated for such tricks.
Add some garlic powder, pepper and salt. Stir all of these together with
a dash or two of balsamic vinegar and some Parmesan cheese until it
forms a thick sauce.
You are not finished. The peas will taste differently, but they will
have much of the same appearance and even the same dry-ish texture.
Chop up some boiled egg white and stir that in. This will not only break
up the all-green appearance but will add a different texture to the dish
if you are capable of recognizing it. Luckily, boiled egg goes well with
all other ingredients. It is a happy reunion of ingredients. What to do
with the yolk? Sprinkle it lightly over the top to garnish.
Serve, and report to your masters, the revolution has been put down.
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