Fight night and pea blanching

By EMILY JACKSON,

This weekend was one of those weekends were there was not much accomplished. I have not been feeling so great lately after a few blood pressure issues. This weekend I tried to get out and do a couple things which ended with me feeling pretty bad, but it is Monday and I am here with a looming deadline for the next special edition. I guess that means I will just have to press forward.

Saturday night I was able to watch Lake’s own Kaleb Harris in his second Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship fight. It was aired online and I was able to watch at no cost. The fight ended with a second-round knockout by Harris. It was an impressive fight with Harris coming into the ring full-force in round 1. Harris is definitely a strong fighter and someone to watch as he continues his career. I know for a fact he is not an opponent I would ever want to face.

Sunday I was determined to get some rest because I feel that’s what I really need to get adjusted to this new blood pressure medication, but that was quickly spoiled when I opened my refrigerator and saw it pretty bare. I would have to venture into town and try to grab a few groceries. Before I could head out, I had a task ahead of me because in my refrigerator sat a bushel of fresh peas that were picked up Saturday by my boyfriend and I knew I needed to get them put up before they soured. My momma also had a bushel so I told her just to come down to my house and we would do them together.

So, the process started. We picked through the peas looking for any missed shells or bad peas, rinsed them, and put them on the stove to blanch. We took turns skimming the foam from the top, draining them and letting them cool. We put about 2 cups in each bag and got them ready to freeze. After a few boils we ended up with 12 bags each so I will be putting up some more hopefully this weekend in order to prepare for the winter ahead.

I had forgotten how much I love the smell of peas blanching on the stove. It is another one of those smells that takes me back to my younger years. Back then we had a pretty good size garden on our hill side and lots of time was spent working it with my parents and my grandma. I remember picking enough peas to fill up my bucket, then plopping down with a bowl to start my little fingers shelling them. Then we would blanch them and put them up for winter. I have heard lots of people talk about the dreaded garden work and shelling, but I never really minded doing any of that. In my little mind I was contributing to the groceries so I felt pretty good about that.

We had intentions of plowing up where the old garden used to be and planting us a row or two of peas along with other vegetables this year, but with the non-stop rain and our busy lives we never got around to doing it. So, we are forced to buy up what we can find fresh and get it put up for winter at the expense of others labor. Maybe next year I will be filling my own bucket and sitting down with a bowl to shell my own little fruits of my labor or either it will be another search to see who has the best deal on a bushel of peas or two to put up.

Either way I will be sure to have some in my freezer because although store bought peas can be pretty decent nothing compares to the fresh out of the garden taste and opening those frozen bags just does not give you the same smell or experience as the fresh ones do.