I don’t know why I find something romantic and charming in the image of a woman sitting in the shade of a porch shelling peas. I don’t even like peas.
It has something to do with hot days and the smell of old wood in a hot house. Comfort. Cold ice cream. A swim in a cool lake.
I never had these experiences. I don’t know why they speak to me. But every time we have a heat wave and my old house smells hot, I think about sitting on a shaded porch on a swing shelling peas.
The fan drones behind me as I sit in my office, writing. I prepped dinner, but my husband got stuck at work. Food is on hold. That’s fine with me. It is too hot for hot food. The pasta with steak and veggies will taste just fine cold. Better cold than hot today.
I harvested snow peas today, as I did yesterday and the day before. It is too hot for snow peas. The plants are suffering. I sliced them and sautéed the snow peas with mushrooms and tomatoes in olive oil and butter. They’re sitting in the skillet waiting.
The tomatoes aren’t growing as they should. I was happy when they sprouted from seeds so quickly. I babied them but I knew they wouldn’t grow until it got warm. Cold skipped to hot. It is too hot for anything to grow. The heat shuts down photosynthesis and water absorption. Plants wait for cooler temperatures. They don’t produce leaves or flowers or fruit when they are shocked with such immediate hot weather. That ‘s what I remember from by botanist days.
My mother used to cook canned peas. She said she like peas. But she boiled them to a slushy khaki mess. She can’t have really liked peas.
I couldn’t swallow those slushy things she called peas. I sat at the dinner table more than once long after everyone else left because she said I had to eat my peas. I smeared butter on saltine crackers and ate those instead. That’s my experience with peas.