Friday, June 24, 2011

Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

Why, oh why, oh slimy snakies, do you have to bother me? I don't know why snakes like to find me, maybe I'm a snake whisperer and I just don't know it yet? Maybe if I let them live long enough they would tell me what they are wanting, but I just don't give them a chance.  It doesn't matter where I have lived, or where I am walking, the snakes always find me.  I have learned to keep my trusty shovel or hoe near by so I can chop their little heads off when they sneak out of nowhere to scare me.  I know it is not their fault, they are just being snakes, trying to make their way through the world(without some woman chopping their head off!).  But, I can't take it when I'm trying to water my plants or garden and they want to surprise me,or they surprise my kids and then they won't play in the backyard again until they see mom kill it and see the proof of its dead body.  It really is a tough world for the poor things, not many people like them.  I don't mind them really, it is more about their sneaky snake appearances that bother never know where and when they will yesterday when I was headed out to the garden and I stepped on one! About a two footer and I stepped on it just right to make it go up in the air! About the same time my sandal flew off while I was trying to kick it(out of pure reaction)it took off under the fence, which was fine, but I know the summer is young and I know I've got to go out to that garden a million more times yet, and I do NOT want to think I'm going to step on that slimy snake every time I walk out to the garden! So, I watered and weeded the garden and then headed back to the house, knowing any step I take may send a slimy snake up in the air again if I step on it! So, I was being oh so cautious, I guess too cautious, because there was that darn snake again and I only missed stepping on it by a few inches....again! I swear I was looking intently before each step I took, but somehow those slimy critters are right in front of you and you can't even see them down in the grass until they move.  Darn things, why do they have to be so sneaky? Like last summer, my daughter was outside playing at my grandparents house in the country and I knew something was wrong when she was on a dead sprint toward me, with a look of terror on her face. Sure enough, up by the water faucet at the house, a 4-5 foot bull snake was cooling himself off.....which was bad news for me, because this momma wasn't going to let it get away so that later on one of my kids could find it again and get bit while playing..SO, off to get the shovel I went(and my grandpa!) and between the two of us with shovels trying to chop its head off, I'm sure it was pretty comical to watch! That 4 foot snake put up a good fight and boy the bigger ones sure have tougher skin, we couldn't even break its skin! But, with sheer mommy determination and about 30 minutes time, grandpa and I got it....pure teamwork! Each summer I end up killing a few, and a few get away, I guess this summer will be no different, ugh! I guess I will just have to hang moth balls off my clothes when I go outside!
Very soon my sugar snap peas and brussel sprouts in the garden will be making their way to our dinner table, so I have rounded up some of my favorite ways to eat them to share with you.  Sugar snap peas are one of those veggies that you don't tend to think much about, they aren't like the popular corn and green beans.  But, they are so very good and crunchy, with the perfect combo of tart and sweet. They are great by themselves(year around you can find them prepackaged by the bagged salads) or to put in salads or pasta dishes.  There is a huge difference between snow peas and sugar snap the store they are right next to each other. Snow peas are not as sweet, and in my opinion, not as good, so I always get the sugar snap peas.  You just eat them whole, you don't crack them open like regular pea pods and only eat the pea.  I hope if you have never tried them that you will very soon, I think you will like them. And if you don't like them raw, here is a great way to eat them with added flavor.  It is so fun trying new foods and trying new ways to cook foods. Fresh produce is always better than canned....and very often has a totally different taste than canned. Enjoy the summer and all the seasonal flavors that are out there....go taste something new, you just may like it! Go find your local farmers market and support the local farmers, and buy fresh!
Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms
1T olive oil
1/2pound sugar snap peas
8oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
2T, more or less, soy sauce
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the peas and mushrooms and cook until they are tender, 4-6minutes or so.  Turn off the heat and add in soy sauce and stir to combine.  Taste and add more sauce if desired.

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