Sunday, March 17, 2013


Peas and Corn

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), "The Right Kind of Farming," in Eyes and Ears (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1862), pp. 125-129 (at 125-126):
Speaking of vegetables, it may be cruel to say to people in the city, that they have no idea of the flavor of peas or of corn; not unless they remember how they used to taste when they lived in the country.

They must be eaten alive, or they are poor luxuries. They should be plucked only long enough to be shelled or shredded for cooking.

Then, in the sultry days of July and August, as the great tureen comes steaming with the one, and the huge platter smoking with pyramids of the other, who cares for meats, or for all costly confections? Peas alone are a feast; and sweet corn, in its various methods,—on the cob, cut off and mixed with cream, or raised into the ineffable glory of succotash,—is a banquet which would have made all the gods forget ambrosia and nectar, and stroke their beards with celestial satisfaction.

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