Directions for freezing peas
Pea picking is addicting...let's face it (I am speaking from personal experience here). There is something relaxing about searching for the best pod that makes you want to just pick one more. So when you realize that you have more peas than you can eat fresh what's to be done? Freeze them!
My two reasons why I believe that everyone should freeze peas are that it is SO EASY and because a frozen pea is very close to being as good as it is fresh. Honestly, I think it is the memory of picking, shelling and freezing them for yourself that amplifies the taste to a whole new level. (Try homemade Alfredo with a helping of your frozen peas and you will see what I mean).
Are you new to freezing peas? Let's break it down step by step to show you what I mean when I say it is just so easy.
Step 1: Get Your Peas
We are partial to those grown in Caroline, NY on this wonderful piece of dirt known as the Elmer Family Farm. Have you heard of it? You should try them sometime.
Step 2: Shell Your Peas
Shelling simply means removing the peas from the pod. Crack the pod open, run your finger down the length of the pod to break the peas free and watch them fall into your waiting bowl.
Interesting tip: if you are shelling peas from a "stringy" pod, you can "unzip" the pod. Grasp the pod between two fingers and with the other hand pull on the end of the pod that was connected to the plant. Watch as the string that held the two halves zipped together pulls away and leaves the pod lying open. Try it.
Step 3: Blanch Your Peas
Add the shelled peas to a pan of already boiling water. Leave the peas in the boiling water for NO MORE than 1 minute. Remove the peas from the hot water and immediately submerge them into ice / very cold water to stop the pea from cooking anymore (if the pea overcooks it will become mushy).
Step 4: Wrap Up
Once the peas have cooled completely, strain the peas from the water. Then measure an amount of peas into a freezer bag that you consider to be a serving. Date the outside of the bag for later reference. Then simply place them in the freezer. You're done!
Step um .... Note:
Some would say that, after straining the peas from the ice water, they should be laid out in a single layer (for example on a cookie sheet) and placed in the freezer for a few hours (just until they're completely frozen). Then they can be measured into bags, dated, and placed back into the freezer. This extra step prevents the peas from freezing together into one solid mass so that you can use just a portion of a bag. I, however, have not needed this step and am able to use a portion of the bags that we froze (Though, I do recommend this step for freezing sweet corn or you will end up with a solid mass).