1 qt. old peas
1 pint water
1 slice or chunk of ham
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. butter, rolled in flour
Put into a sauce-pan a pint of water, a slice of ham, a quart of old peas and a tea-spoonful of white sugar. Cover the pan closely, and let them stew two hours, or till tender. Take out the ham, and add a bit of butter rolled in flour.
The Good Housekeeper by Sarah Josepha Hale, 1841
Comment: There are few vegetables more lovely, not to mention tasty, than a young, fresh pea straight from the pod, straight from the garden. Then again, there are few things more discouraging than rock-hard dried peas, but when that’s all that’s left in the larder late in the winter, that’s what you will be eating. If the ham is particularly fatty the butter can be reduced or omitted, particularly since you are probably not working with nasty months-old winter-hardened dried peas anyway.