Pisum sativum

Neither the photo nor the title has anything whatsoever to do with yesterdays drunken episode.

In fact, the title describes the main feature of today's photo, made out of a combination of Pisum sativum var. saccharatum (or possibly even var. macrocarpon) and your everyday simple Pisum sativum.

Now I actually like to eat these fresh, perhaps adding some of the peas or the mangetout directly to the last minute or two of a sauce or even raw as in a salad, both of which I have done in the last week or two. But the weather and the recent dreadful 10:00 pm 22:00 cooking habits and thus lack of energy to go picking in the dark, has meant the things have exploded and even many of the mangetout have developed good size peas.

So today I attacked the plants and collected everything that looked ripe and overripe. The chickens got the very overripe ones and quickly demolished them (see extra). No not Cicer arietinum ! I know my peas when I see them - my first serious Botany lessons at age 13 and for which I got my first O-Level pass at 14, started with Gregor Mendel and his theories on genetics based on peas.

The plan was to quickly de-pod, blanch and freeze them but it all went wrong. It took me hours to extract the bulging peas from their pods and by the time I eventually finished the task, I was sure the 5.5 lbs 2.5 kg of shelled peas would no longer get anywhere near the quality of Birds Eye's premium Norfolk Frozen mint peas. Unlike the bumper UK wine crop that will now rot on the stems as there are no cheap EU immigrants to pick them, peas are machine harvested. 

So I went for a soup and then kicked myself for not separating the best of the mangetout pods which I could have used whole. Quickly whacked together some potatoes, onions (no spring onions sadly), garlic and cooked it up with some chicken broth before adding the peas and some mint from the garden for a few minutes and whizzing it all through the food processor. I didn't add any sugar and was amazed at how wonderfully sweet the final result was.

Filled into containers and in the freezer, I can look forward to some warming lunchtime soups when the Beast from the East returns - just adding a big spoonful of creme fraiche or similar. Roll on winter, I'm ready.

Heard last night that due to the drought, there will be an Xmas (not even I would use the "C" word at this time of year) tree shortage in the UK this year. Just to add to all the other shortages. No doubt the EU will be blamed.

Talking of which, one of my current misery-causers is the whole Brexit thing. OK it has been my sole misery-cause for well over two and a half years but I now have to concede that the only sensible solution is for the hardest of Brexits - no deal, zero, null, nichts, niente - the same status as North Korea or Zimbabwe. At least UK residents can then apply for Asylum in Europe without the fear of being pushed back into the Channel.

Anything less will mean the deranged Brexiteers continuing to rip the country apart for the rest of the century just as they have done ever since the day the UK voted in a referendum to join back in the early 1970s.

Everyday one hears reports on things "breaking" in the UK. Whether NHS, police, defence, education, crime, prisoners, pensions, homecare, environment, water leakages, smart meters ... you name it and the UK has a crisis which is simply being ignored or at very best, Mrs May is promising to throw £XX billions at it from the non-existent Brexit Bonus once B-Day arrives.

No deal is the answer, a couple of years of Stanstead Airport/Eurotunnel chaos. Queues at the bread counters of Tesco's, the IMF along with Jeremy Corbyn, like his predecessors Harold Wilson or Michael Foot, being placed in charge to rescue the place and when they can't find anyone to blame, will resort to a Referendum on joining the EU.

Added Bonus is that as my good friend Nogbad, a "Yorkshire Caviar" expert would say when the next pea-souper descends off the coasts of his adopted Kent:

"Fog in the Channel, the Continent cut off" 

My thanks to all the star TV kitchen chefs who gave me the idea for the decorations which may help some Blipers from throwing up after reading the text.

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