Invariably as soon as school reopens in September the weather starts to improve much to the frustration of pupils and teachers alike! However much we love these last sunny days, the autumn season is fast approaching and with it a return to more rustic, warming and hearty dishes. This is a classic Italian side dish that keeps the memories of summer alive and the use of frozen peas ensures this is a year round winner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g pancetta or streaky bacon diced
1 large shallot (or ½ red onion) finely sliced
350g frozen garden peas
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped mint (optional)
Heat the oil in a 10 inch frying pan, add the pancetta and shallot and cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until the pancetta is browned and the shallot is tender.
Add the frozen peas, salt and pepper and cook over medium- low heat for 5 minutes until the peas are hot. Stir in the mint and serve immediately.
Rhonda’s Food for thought
Garden peas are without a doubt my favourite vegetable. I have many happy memories as a child shelling peas from the pod and eating them raw. They are an incredible food packed with vitamins B and C, dietary fibre and antioxidants and frozen peas are actually a better source of vitamins than fresh unless you are eating them straight from the garden.
Jesus loved to teach using parables and in my quest for inspiration I discovered the parable of the 3 peas.
A pea plant flourished in the garden and brought forth a beautiful pod with three peas in it. In the fullness of time, the wind blew and the pea pod fell to the ground and split open, spilling the peas onto the dirt.
The first pea, looking around, saw the dark damp earth and it said to itself, “It is dirty out here, and damp and I feel so uncomfortable”. So it crept back into the pea pod and drew the two halves together to keep warm and dry.
The second pea, looking around, saw the dark damp earth and said to itself, “It is dirty out here and damp and I feel so uncomfortable and I stick out like a sore thumb”. So it immediately rolled in the dark damp earth and covered itself with mud until no one could tell that the green pea was there any more.
The third pea, looking around saw the dark damp earth and said to itself, “It is dirty out here and damp and what this place needs is a lot more green!” So it put down its roots and germinated and grew into a tall pea plant above the dark damp earth and produced a fine crop of fresh green peas.
It is all too easy for us as Christians to stay in our comfortable little pods with other like minded people. God however has other plans for us. Like in the parable he wants us to get out there into the world dirty and scary as that may be and to plant ourselves firmly in our communities. Rooted firmly in Him, with the help of the Holy Spirit we grow bringing life, joy and hope to those around us and bearing fruit for the Kingdom of Christ. So to conclude perhaps we can all focus this month on 3 Ps
- Praise – give thanks to God for all His rich blessings
- Prayer – connect with God more often
- Patience – an essential gift as nothing grows overnight.