Feasting on summer veggies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2012

Purple hull peas and sweet corn. That’s what I thought of when I woke up a few minutes past seven Saturday morning. I told myself I should get right up, dress, and head straight for the farmers’ market and/or the curb market. I knew if I didn’t leave quickly, I might very well lose out on those delicious purple hull peas. Before I sat down for a hasty breakfast, I took time for my daily Bible and devotional readings and prayers for those on my church and personal prayer list.

I finally got out the door on my way to my favorite curb market. I chose it as my first stop because I like to buy their freshly bagged cleaned and shelled peas and butterbeans. To my disappointment, there were no purple hulls available that morning, only zipper peas. I left with two bags of zipper peas, a huge beautiful tomato, and several ears of sweet corn. One slice of that red, luscious-looking tomato was so big it would cover a slice of bread. Yum, BLT’s coming up.

The corn was the first fresh corn I had bought this summer. Besides just enjoying delicious corn on the cob, I wanted to try a new way to cook it. A friend sent me an e-mail with a video of a man who placed ears of corn with the husks on in the microwave. “Eight minutes for two ears, six for one,” he said. Then he removed them and cut a little off at each end of the ears. When he slipped the husks off, the silks came right off with them. Would it work that way for me?

Next, I headed to the Andalusia Farmers’ Market in hopes some of the vendors had brought purple hull peas. I wasn’t interested in buying a big bag that would take me forever to shell. I just wanted enough to cook for dinner that day. I moved past the friendly venders with tables filled with various items until I thought I was in luck. Ah, there was a table with some purple hull peas on it. I was pleased when I saw them, but right away, I sensed that I was too late. I heard the farmer explaining to another prospective customer that he was selling all those purple hulls to someone who was coming back to get them. They were all he had left. Just that minute, the customer he was talking about walked up to claim them. He bustled around waiting on her. “I’ll have some more next week,” he promised as I turned away in disappointment.

I missed the purple hulls, but my quest wasn’t wasted. For dinner that day, we enjoyed zipper peas, canned asparagus with my special sauce, sliced tomatoes, corn bread muffins, and corn on the cob. The new way to cook corn on the cob was successful. And despite the absence of purple hulls, my daughter declared our meal “a feast.”