Peas and Snaps

By peas we mean field peas—black eye, pink eye, crowder, etc.—and by snaps, green beans, which we call snap or string. This combination of stewed beans (yes, field peas are a type of bean) has long been a down home favorite in the South, but seems only recently to have become a commercial item, in both supermarket freezers and deli lunch buffets. Store-bought tend to be heavy on the peas—maybe as much as 2:1—but I prefer a 50:50 blend. If you buy a frozen blend in the store, you just put it all in a pot and turn on the heat. But if you buy “fresh frozen” packs at the farmers’ market in the summer, you can add the peas to the pot, add liquid to cover by at least an inch (I use chicken broth, but there’s nothing keeping you from using salted water and bacon or streak-o’-lean) and bring it to a rolling boil for about five minutes before adding the snap beans and lowering the heat to simmer. This ensures a better color.

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