Over the past few weeks, I have been making a trip to the farmer’s market each Wednesday to check out their fresh produce. We have not had fresh black-eyed peas in years, and I decided that no matter what I had to pay to buy some this year, I would do it. Fortunately, a nearby market has had two separate crops, one early and one later, and I have now shelled and blanched almost four bushels of peas, putting most up in the freezer for later in the year. Of course, I also cooked a couple of pots of peas during the process, too. They were just awesome!
Growing up, I took fresh produce for granted, as I had relatives that lived on farms and grew it for us. Now, it is much harder to find good produce, but certainly it is not impossible. We also planted tomatoes again for the first time in years in our backyard, and despite this lingering drought, we have had some nice ones to eat.
On my last trip to the market, I also bought a half bushel of fresh corn and attempted to make creamed corn for the first time in my life on my own. I tried to recall how my mother and my aunts made it many years ago, and with the help of some online recipe searches, I think I got pretty close to their recipe. Oh my gosh, this was so good, and I put up six quarts in the freezer for this winter.
There are few comfort foods that I love more than fresh black-eyed peas, yellow squash, creamed corn, tomatoes fresh from the vine, and homemade cornbread. Together, these just have to just be a little “taste of heaven,” and eating these wonderful comfort foods again almost instantly takes me back to those growing-up days when we visited the farm and enjoyed all those great meals and fresh vegetables, straight from the garden to our table. It is such a tasty and delightful memory and quite a welcome distraction when life is throwing lots of darts my way.