After her husband’s death, in December 1799, Martha Washington supervised some of the planting at Mount Vernon. On February 11, 1802, she noted in her almanac that she had “sewed peases . . . under the wall in the lower garden.”
Hannah Glasse’s combination of vegetables and herbs makes another appetizing addition to a spring menu. “If you find the Sauce not thick enough,” Glasse suggested, “shake in a little more Flour, and let it simmer, then take it up.”
This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.
4 cups fresh or frozen green peas
About 1 head soft-leaf lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups loosely packed)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
2 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1/4 teaspoon dried chervil
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried winter savory
1 medium onion, peeled
1. Combine the peas and lettuce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the butter, salt, pepper, and mace, and stir to combine. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the flour with the broth. Stir into the peas, along with the chervil, marjoram, thyme, and winter savory. Bring back to a simmer.
3. Stick the cloves in the onion, and add to the simmering peas. Cover and continue simmering for about 15 minutes, until the peas are tender. If you find the broth needs to be thicker, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the hot broth into a small bowl, and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir the flour and broth back into the stewed peas, and simmer for about 3 more minutes, until thickened. Remove and discard the onion.
4. Season the peas with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and pour into a serving dish.
Serves 6 to 8
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