What’s in my lunch box? Peas and the past

Lunch box and book

Ever keen to expand my knowledge of pulses, I decided to give marrow fat peas a go. I vaguely recalled reading somewhere that they were grown and produced in the UK (although I haven’t investigated this any further. I’d also read somewhere about the benefits of eating seaweed, something I do enjoy. So I purchased a nice packet of Hijiki harvested in Japan to keep my carbon footprint skyhigh!

Putting these together I planned to make something fish and chips inspired. Theoretically the marrow fat peas should have been made into mushy peas for dipping polenta fries into. Old habits die hard though and I ended up making something more akin to refried beans. Guess my love affair with chilli isn’t anywhere near cooling off.

Clockwise from bottom left:

  • Refried marrow fat peas – soaked, boiled and fried up with oil, onion, lemon juice, salt and chilli.
  • Polenta fries – from The Vegan lunchbox cook book
  • Roasted Brussel sprouts with toasted garlic from Vegan with a vengance. These are favourite vegetable and I love them so much that I hate the thought of interfering with the flavour. However the oven was on so I gave them a go. Tasty and they keep better than steamed sprouts.
  • Hijiki seaweed – bought dried and soaked in hot water

To read: The boy who loved books by John Sutherland. I don’t know where I picked this up but I put off reading it for ages.the appeal had been the thought of someone else who’s childhood was definded by what they were reading but I thought it might get heavy or overtly sentimental. I was also worried he’s waffle on about books that passed me by as a child (Roald Dahl for example). Instead it turned out to be a smashing read for the most part. Sutherland shares his largely neglected childhood in war time time Colchester. It was wonderful to get a glimpse of how the town used to be. He’d read different things to me but it didn’t matter. He’s fabulous at summing up a book, and offering what he thought then, and what he thinks as an adult. The last few chapters where he talked about his time at university and his alcohol problems were less engaging but that hardly surprising. He clearly found them gloomy too.


Wishing you all things green,



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