I packed the last of the peas today. An enormous unshelled bag yielded a meager 2 cups of tender green pearls. It crossed my mind the whole 'grow your own pea' thing may be more work than it's worth, but then I pictured them dressed with butter on the Thanksgiving table, and looking perky in a February risotto, reminding me that spring will eventually come. Not to mention the multiple pea adorned meals (pea carbonara with pancetta, pea & fava bean favenade, minty pea soup) we've already enjoyed. They're worth the work. So into the freezer they go, smothered by a vacuum seal, my new country woman "tool". Yes, a vacuum sealer. I actually wished for such a thing for my birthday this year. Toto, we're not in Manhattan anymore. Last year my wish was to get the heck out of the city (silently, as I blew out the candle that rounded out our 'reconstituted emulsified codfish, raw razor clam with cinnamon oil, watermelon cum beef carpaccio" avant-garde meal at Mugaritz in Spain. It was terrible. At the height of gastronomic experience, all I wanted was something simple... to eat, and to live by). I had no idea then, how fast we could make both happen.