Storage and Preparation:
Like corn, all varieties of fresh green peas should be eaten as soon as
after picking as possible, certainly the same day they are purchased.
If something unexpected happens and you must keep them longer than a
few hours, seal them, unwashed, in a perforated plastic vegetable bag
and use as soon as possible, preferably within a day or two.
Shell peas just before they are going to be cooked. To shell peas, each
pod must be opened individually. I find it easiest to string the pods
first. Grasp the blossom end and pull along the "seam". The string
should come away in one long fiber. Then use the pressure of your thumb
and forefinger to press the pods along the same seam. If they do not
pop open with this pressure, run your thumbnail along the seam until
the pod opens. Then run your thumb down the inside of the pod to
release the peas. The shelled peas should be washed lightly in running
water and cooked immediately. In our house, shelling was often a job
relegated to children, and I remember many wonderful early summer
evenings sitting on the back (or front) steps with my mother, shelling
peas for dinner and talking.
Sugar snap peas and snow peas need to be strung before eating. Grasp
the blossom end and pull gently along the seam. The string should come
away in one long fiber. Sugar snaps will have to be strung along both
seams. Wash the strung pods well and drain. Once washed, the pods are
ready to arrange raw in salads or to be cooked immediately. If you are
adding sugar snaps to a stir-fry or cooking them in hot oil, it is best
to dry the pods so that they do not spit fat on the cook.