Memories of eating Peas straight from the vine has no doubt led many of us down the garden path with our watering can. Peas prefer cool weather so direct sow in sun and fertile soil in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant tall, climbing varieties along a sturdy or netted structure to support the plant and to elevate the pods. Harvest Shelling Peas small and tender, and Snow Peas once the pod is flat and shiny. Pick daily once Peas begin to mature. (Peas are open-pollinated and ideal for seed saving: a great activity for humans of all ages.) Found in nurturing American chicken pot pies and tuna casseroles, sinfully rich Fettuccini Alfredo, refreshing Middle Eastern minted-salads, creamy emerald-green soups and scores of winter stews, the Pea is revered around the world. Barely blanched fresh Peas with sweet butter and a light sprinkle of sea salt is the best. But admit it, who among us does not love the seven layer salad of the 1970s? In a large glass salad bowl, layer from the bottom up: 3/4 head chopped Iceberg Lettuce
, 1 cup chopped Celery
, 1 cup chopped red or green Sweet Peppers
, 1/2 cup diced Red Onions
, 1 cup fresh Peas, 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts and 1/4 head chopped Iceberg Lettuce
. Mix together 2 cups mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread over the top of the layered salad and chill for 24 hours or overnight. To serve, top with 1/2 cup crumbled crispy bacon, 1/2 cup chopped hard boiled eggs and 2 cups grated cheese. Toss and serve to rave reviews. Average seed life: 3 years.