Yesterday on Instagram I posted a picture of the creamed peas I made for dinner. I realized that I’d never, not once seen creamed peas served outside my parents’ house. I wondered if this was a regional thing from where my parents are from in Maryland and Pennsylvania, if it was something Southern my mom picked up since moving South 30 years ago or perhaps it was generational. I asked if anyone was familiar with them, but no one seemed to be.
Creamed peas were a staple for us growing up. One of my mom’s classic dishes was roast beef and mashed potatoes and more often than not, creamed peas. The creamier, the better. I’ve never been a huge fan of anything green, but there’s something about creamed peas. Emma had two helpings last night and was spooning huge spoonfuls one after the other. If you have kids—or hate vegetables yourself—you know you’ll take them however you can get it.
Google seems to think creamed peas is a Southern dish but I’ve lived in the South my whole life and as I said, have never seen them around. One site said creamed peas on toast was popular during the Great Depression since most people couldn’t afford meat and it’s quite filling.
Either way, creamed peas are a comfort side dish like no other—they’re easy peasy and need to be shared.
Here you can see this is one of the first recipes I wrote down as a new wife and even with all the stains, I hope it’s one I don’t lose any time soon.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour)
1 cup milk
1 can of peas, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small pan, melt the butter on medium-low. As soon as the butter melts, sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir with a fork or whisk. Continue stirring until it is thick like a paste. Usually this just takes a few seconds. Once it’s thickened, slowly pour the milk and continue stirring. I usually pour about 1/8 cup in and then stir until it’s thickened again and then pour more. I like my cream nice and thick. Once the milk is in and it’s nice and creamy, fold in the peas. Cook it just long enough to get the peas warmed. Season with salt and pepper to taste—I do both generously.
If you want the full effect of my childhood meal, here are the roast and gravy recipes and I recommend Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes even though Mom always made the Idahoan Premium instant ones. Those are great too, I just love making fresh ones.
Make them with your next meal and let me know if any picky veggies eaters are swayed by the creamy goodness!