Summer time in the Midwest! I just returned from spending two weeks with my family in Missouri. Of course there were many highlights like taking long walks down country roads, going to local garage sales, and indulging in blackberry malts. The best part was simply being with my ninety- year-old mother. One afternoon we went to a farmer’s market in Quincy, Illinois. We were on the hunt for peas and lettuce. When I grew up on the family farm, I helped tend a large garden to feed a family of six. One of my favorite things to do was pick and eat green peas—right out of the shell, standing in the garden. My mother always told me I would make myself sick, but I did not!

So imagine my delight when the very first vendor I saw had boxes of peas. I quickly scoped out the other vendors and found leaf lettuce, green onions, tomatoes, little red potatoes, and strawberries. That set the menu for our old fashioned summer supper. The menu was simple but oh so yummy: Wilted lettuce, creamed potatoes and peas, sliced tomatoes, baked pork chops and strawberry shortcake. We worked all afternoon preparing each of the dishes, laughing, and reminiscing. It takes a long time to shell enough peas to make a meal, but it is worth the sore thumb.

The April-May 2009 issue of Taste of Home (my favorite cooking magazine) features a recipe for creamed potatoes and peas—using frozen peas if you don’t have fresh ones. I am definitely clipping that recipe to use for future nostalgic meals.

Bountiful Blessings!