SPRING 2011. PEAS. 05.27.11
Being married to an identical twin invites an array of questions. Are they easy to tell apart? Have you ever mixed them up? Are you attracted to your brother-in-law? My guess is that even the most indistinguishable of twins have a feature or two that sets them apart in some way, however small. Though the people who know them best may be aware of these features, they are not needed to tell one from the other.
The saying “two peas in a pod” is often used to refer to close friends that share common likes and dislikes. The phrase also speaks to the fact that two peas from the same pod are nearly identical, sort of like twins. One would need to look very closely to find the small differences setting one apart from the next. Here is a bit of a shameful truth – I find frozen peas nearly identical to fresh once cooked. There. I said it. I don’t know that I could tell the difference if challenged in a taste test. I know what you are probably thinking. Here I am featuring a seasonal ingredient at its peak, and after all that talk about supporting your local farmers market, I’m now telling you to rush over to the freezer section. Blasphemous? Perhaps. I’m not saying that frozen is better, I’m just saying I truly cannot tell which is which. I am also saying it’s up to you, the home cook. Do you have time to shell fresh peas this week? If so, then use them. I used a mix of fresh and frozen peas for the dishes featured this week. On days when time was short, the frozen peas won out. You can achieve that unmatched spring flavor either way.
Lately, I seem to be all about spilling my secrets. Now you know my position on peas. You may also know that I’ve been concealing cutlery in the name of proper care and safe handling. I’ve just started writing a weekly column appearing on the Whole Foods Market Cooking website and if you read the column, you will know what I’m talking about. Next Monday’s piece will uncover another little secret I’ve recently discovered. And then I’ll be fresh out of secrets, much to the relief of my husband and perhaps even his twin brother (the one with the mole on his cheek).