Grandmother’s Peas with Bacon

A Cornish recipe of the early nineteenth century.


  • 2 lb. (1 k.) peas
  • 4 rashers lean bacon cut in fine strips
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) butter
  • 2 medium onions or 4 shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 or 4 lettuce leaves
  • salt
  • sugar
  • a little chopped mint and parsley


Shell the peas. Fry the bacon in butter in a saucepan. Add the chopped onion and fry another minute. Do not allow the butter to colour or the onions to brown. Put in the peas and shake so that they are coated with the butter. Add 1 teaspoonful sugar and 1 of salt. Put in the lettuce leaves. Add ¼ pint ( dl.) of boiling water. Cover closely and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add a little more water. if it is all absorbed. When the peas are tender serve without draining, sprinkled with chopped mint and parsley.