The best thing that can happen to fresh green peas…

green peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

green peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenDo you want to see how the little calf will be born?- asks me Ani, my neighbor at the beginning of the week and I immediately say “yes” then start to hesitate whether I am really brave enough to see it. Finally my countryside living ability won’t be tested this way- the baby calf is born during the night. With its curly fell and long eyelashes he is absolutely beautiful and he is looking at me attentively when I ask him how life in this world one day after birth.
An old lady stops while pulling her bike on the street. She asks how we feel in our new home, in the small village.
“Actually we are relatives”- she adds to my surprise and tells that her mother in law was my grandmother’s sister. She used to visit also the other sister of my grandmother, Rózsika, who owed our house. She stops talking for a while and just looks at the house. Maybe she recalls old memories and remembers Rózsika while digging, planting flowers or sitting on the stairs, removing green peas from its pod.
I really like our world, it is like an old attic, full of undiscovered and hidden treasures. On the top of it this world gets really full of funny experiences since my sister’s family went on holiday and we became a “family with two dogs”. Two pairs of black eyes stare at us when we wake up in the morning, they created their own pack, they are rushing around together and fighting for who gets more love from us. Málna, the city dog discovers country life, she gets scared of neighbor’s hens and hunts white butterflies.
The wise nature cares for everything, for instance for the aphids, which disappeared from our cherry trees after the cool, rainy days and maybe thanks to the ladybugs and my attempts with nettle spray. Cherries are getting red and ready to pick which is really good news regarding the next blog post’s subject. When I pass by the tree, I always pick a cherry from the low branches, and the ones the wind blows down gets Beeper, my dog. She first plays with it, throws it as a ball for herself, then eats it and leaves the stone.
In the kitchen garden green peas are growing fast, so probably we can harvest them next week.

green peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenI would like to cook green peas főzelék, which is a special category in Hungarian cuisine, it is similar to stew and pottage. It is thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew. It is really a delicious and unique way to cook vegetables so I highly recommend to try it!
Until we can use our own green peas I buy some at my favorite grocery shop. I enjoy removing the peas from its pods, I love the sound when the pod opens and then when the peas land on the bottom of the bowl.

green peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchengreen peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen These are really young peas, cook very fast and I just need to add some fresh parsley leaves which come directly from our kitchen garden. Let’s go to our garden table and have our green peas főzelék, while two times four legs are rushing around our legs, guarding the house and feeling themselves very important. The cherry tree above us offers us a dessert. We accept it gratefully.

Green peas főzelék
For 4 persons
1000 g green peas
50 g butter
200 ml water
800 ml milk
2 tbsp. flour
2 pinches of sugar
approximately 1 tsp. salt or according to your taste
a big bunch of fresh parsley leaves

Remove the green peas from its pods, melt the butter in a pot and stirring frequenlty fry the peas a little bit. Add water, cover it, reduce heat and slowly cook the peas until they are half-tender. Add flour, stir it so it covers all the peas and add milk. Bring it to boil then reduce heat and cook it covered until it thickens and green peas are soft. Finally add finely chopped parsley leaves. Serve it with a slice of bread or with a piece of grilled chicken breast filet.

green peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchengreen peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchengreen peas "főzelék" from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

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