I just love growing peas! It may be because my first gardening success was growing peas, and I still remember the pride and joy I felt the first time when my Mum went out in the kitchen garden and picked peas straight from the plant and declared them the best peas she had ever eaten. I also love peas as they are one of the best vegetables to freeze and store for winter, with their sweet summer taste reminding me that nothing lasts forever and a new season will be on its way soon.
The one thing I dislike though, is picking and shelling peas. By back handicap makes picking peas a chore, as standing bent for hours is not an option. So I modify, and take out my Grandmothers childhood stool placing it between the rows of peas and sit there patiently picking the pods until done. This year I grew an early variety called Early First May, but due to the cold and windy summer weather we have had it wasn't ready until the third week of July!
After picking and shelling, I boil the peas for just a minute. This means that I pour boiling water over them, and let the casserole start to boil again - just! If you boil for too long, they come out mushy from the freezer. (It doesn't really matter that much if it happens, just add a knob of butter or if you are vegan a spoon of coconut oil and some fresh herbs, warm them up and there you have a perfect dish of trendy mushy peas.)
I freeze the peas on baking paper in one of the freezer drawers, gently shaking them loose from each other every few hours, so that I can then bag or box them in appropriate sized containers to enjoy later in the autumn or winter when the time for fresh produce is long gone. Happy harvest time to you too!