[My friend David and I are simultaneously posting about peas today. Click here for his side of the debate.]

What looks like baby food, tastes like baby food, and is, in fact, probably baby food?

Mushy peas.

Americans everywhere are wrinkling noses in confusion. They’re running through memories of all kinds of peas– frozen peas, snap peas, canned peas, sweet peas– but not coming up with anything resembling mushy peas.

For today’s blog I went to the largest grocery store in Kalamazoo and searched the international food aisle for genuine mushy peas. I did find digestive biscuits, weird tomato sauce, and something called barley water. But no mushy peas.

This was the best I could do after searching two separate aisles at length:

Picture this in a little paper cup, like we put ketchup in at a fast food restaurant. Now you have exactly the idea.
Picture this in a little paper cup, like we put ketchup in at a fast food restaurant. Now you have exactly the idea.

A few months ago on Facebook, my friend David mentioned this international approach to an already sketchy vegetable and we were all grossed out. They’re basically pre-chewed peas, it appears.

When we were in Ireland I found a pub that served gluten-free fish and chips, a delight I haven’t been able to eat for almost six years. The meal was served with a little container of mushy peas, so I had my chance to try them.

Um, no. No good. My kids and my husband weren’t fans, either. Not even my own mother liked them, the very woman who forced me to eat peas from 1977 to 1994.

We asked the waiter how he liked mushy peas. And he made a little grimace and said, “Well, then. I don’t like the fish.”

Which was a random sort of thing to say, we thought. But after clarifying what he meant, it turns out mushy peas are always served with fish and chips. They go together, or so it is believed in the general area that is not America. Maybe nowhere else on the globe except England and Ireland, I don’t know.

I’m glad my British friend likes mushy peas, I really am. I’m glad everyone has different things they like and hate, different strengths and weaknesses. I’m glad God thought to add some variety to his creation and how we respond to it, because the variety adds a lot of fun and delight for us all.

But I’m not really that glad for the peas themselves, really.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10

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19 Comments on Mushy Peas: Something American Mothers Don’t Force Kids to Eat

  1. David
    November 11, 2015 at 7:12 am (1 year ago)

    Your mother forced you to eat peas Jessie? How did you escape brussels sprouts and the like? I cannot comment on my mother here because I know she will read this!

  2. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 7:21 am (1 year ago)

    Oh, those were forced too. She specialized in all orange vegetables– carrots, squash, sweet potatoes. Things I still can’t eat to this day!

  3. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 7:27 am (1 year ago)

    And I see that WordPress just went ahead and posted my blog whenever it felt like it again, not at 7am like I told it. Maybe I have my timezone settings wrong somewhere in my account…

  4. David
    November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am (1 year ago)

    Pork is something I can’t eat to this day.

    I was just wondering what comments might be made by our children concerning force feeding?

  5. Anonymous
    November 11, 2015 at 7:37 am (1 year ago)

    Your mother never forced mushy peas on you David. She hates them. They just look like regurgitated food. Yuk.i wholehearted agree with Jessie and as for pork you ate it home without any trouble-it wasn’t until you joined the Merchant Navy that that phobia started!We will draw a line over olives-my only comment is yuk !are you sure you are our son? (Ha ha) you are our only son and much loved as our Heavenly Father only had one son much loved too and we pray for our family that all may come to know Him and love him too.

  6. Debi Neddo Franklin
    November 11, 2015 at 9:13 am (1 year ago)

    When we visited Croatia, our host made a ‘special’ meal that they were sure us Americans would love and make us feel welcome to their country. It was canned peas, not just warmed, but cooked down to almost mush. We tried to eat them, to be good guests, but whew, it was awful!

  7. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm (1 year ago)

    I was just talking to a friend this morning who said that when they visited Norway, their hosts made sure to offer them the best fish– for breakfast. And they were so kind, but she just couldn’t do it. (The fish eyeballs were still in their little pointy heads!)

  8. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm (1 year ago)

    This confirms my belief that David is the only person on the planet who likes mushy peas.

    Thank you, Mrs. Welford. I win.

  9. David
    November 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Why are you anonymous Mother? I never said you forced mushy peas on me. I would gladly have eaten them instead of pork. I never liked it and the experience of nothing but pork for four months on one ship confirmed that while bacon and sausages are perfectly acceptable forms of food, pork meat is not.

    Anyway, as I had to eat everything you put on my plate when I was growing up I will be serving mushy peas with olives next time you and Dad visit. And whitebait (which Dad likes).

  10. David
    November 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm (1 year ago)

    Have you tried whitebait Jessie? Tiny fish about an inch to an inch and a half long – cooked whole in a fine batter. They are so small you don’t even notice the eyes. Normally served as a starter so without mushy peas!

    That said, there is some strange food knocking around in Scandinavia.

  11. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm (1 year ago)

    No. Nonononono. Do you eat them whole? Just pop them in your mouth?

    This is chicken and cattle country, unless you’re crazy enough to go stand in a freezing river to catch trout. We don’t eat minnows.

  12. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm (1 year ago)

    I can’t stop laughing.

  13. memyselfandkids.com
    November 11, 2015 at 11:32 pm (1 year ago)

    I like vegetables. Really. No wise guy line to follow.
    But I do hate peas – mushy or not!

  14. Gleniece
    November 12, 2015 at 12:44 am (1 year ago)

    Canned peas. Yuck!
    But have you ever tried Channa Dal?

  15. Jessie Clemence
    November 12, 2015 at 10:53 am (1 year ago)

    Nope! What is it?

  16. Gleniece
    November 13, 2015 at 10:51 pm (1 year ago)

    It’s a dish from India made from split peas. They add garlic, onion, turmeric, cumin seeds, and cream. (It’s actually quite good).

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