Peas are an unloved vegetable. Sandra Boynton has a song called”Poor Lonely Peas” and the chorus is: “Poor lonely peas, so green, so round and so small. Poor lonely peas, there’s no one who loves you at all.”
To appreciate and really like peas, ideally you would get some fresh-from-the-garden, still-in-their-pod peas at your local farmer’s market. Shelling peas is fairly easy, the pods pop open when you pinch and bend one end, and you can run your thumb down the middle and strip all the peas out into a bowl. Shelling peas while sitting on a rocking chair on a porch is ideal, but standing at you kitchen sink is acceptable. Steam them, or microwave them just until tender. Add a touch of butter or salt or finely chopped mint. The biggest problem with peas is that they are overcooked to mushiness and a chartreuse-y yellow-green color, neither of which are appealing.
Frozen peas are also quite good, if – IF! – you just heat them up and do not really cook them. Ignore the directions on the package as to how long to cook them. Just heat them until hot, either on the stove top or in the microwave, and they will still be green, just a touch wrinkled, and filled with delicious fresh flavor.
Canned peas are barely edible – they come out of the can already soft and a weird green shade. Don’t buy them; don’t try them.
I’ll close with a poem you may remember from childhood: “I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny, bu it keeps them on the knife.”