I am currently knee deep in writing my newest canning book when I realize it's suddenly time to plant spring peas! How in the world did that happen? With the temps still in the low 30's at night, peas don't care and will grow nicely. You can plant them early and harvest them early. The cool weather seems to make them sweeter.
Of course, once you plant a few rows, even your hungry little chefs won't be able to keep up with the bounty and you have to find a use for all those plump peas. I suggest canning some of them! Here is a recipe that I wrote from the first food preservation book I ever worked on: Canning and Preserving for Dummies. It's a simple recipe that introduces you to the joys of pressure cooking. I halved the recipe to make it a more manageable size, but since it's only two ingredients, feel free to double it.
Canning Spring Peas
10-15 lbs of fresh peas in the pod
Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot (it is no longer recommended that you boil your lids-boiling hot water is fine)
Wash and remove the pods. Place the peas in a 8 quart pot, cover them with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Allow the peas to boil for 3-5 minutes or until they have turned bright green but not fully cooked
Remove the peas from the cooking liquid (but reserve liquid) and loosely pack peas into prepared jars. Pour hot cooking water over them, leaving 1 inch headspace.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint jar
Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive utensil, adding liquid as necessary to maintain the proper headspace.
Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two-piece caps and hand tighten bands.
Pressure can at 10 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes.
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