It’s getting to be that time of year when you want nice warm comforting things to eat… we had peas for dinner tonight but not peas pudding, nor even pease pudding:
Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this little ditty written down before, and it hadn’t really registered that it was ‘pease pudding’ not ‘peas pudding’. Pease pudding is made from peas, dried peas – but it was also made from any dried beans such as yellow split peas. Apparently the rhyme dates back to the middle ages and was probably pease pottage. Pease is what’s known as a mass noun… no, I’d not heard of it either… something else to look up! Pottage is literally something cooked in a pot – as in a mess of pottage which Esau exchanged for his birthright. Some versions of the rhyme have ‘pease porridge’ which is an understandable muddle from pottage.
Just in case you would like to make some pease pudding, here is a traditional recipe:
- ½ lb yellow split peas, soaked overnight then drained
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 oz butter
- 1 beaten egg
- stock (often from cooking a ham – but do check it’s not too salty)
- put peas, onion and stock in a pan and simmer until soft (adding more stock as necessary)
- sieve, liquidise or blend
- beat in butter and egg, check seasoning then pour into a buttered dish
- cook for 30 mins, gas mark 3, 325º F, 160º C
- serve hot with roast pork, ham or bacon
- any left over can be sliced and fried in bacon fat when cold – this is great for breakfast with bacon and eggs
I’ve used an image of toor dahl… I bet that would be delicious in this recipe!
PS A mass noun is a noun which denotes something that cannot be counted such as ‘beer’ or ‘love’ … strange that those two words should occur to me as examples!