Try one of Martha Washington’s favorite dishes: Peas Porridge

Peas Porridge

 What you’ll need: 

  • 1 quart green peas
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 bundle dried mint
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Walnut size ball of butter (about 2 T)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 quarts milk

 Here’s how: 

  1. Pick a quart of green peas, and put them into a quart of water with a bundle of dried mint and a little salt.
  2. Let them boil until the peas are quite tender, then put in some ground pepper, along with a piece of butter as big as a walnut rolled in flour.
  3. Stir it all together and let it boil a few minutes.
  4. Add 2 quarts of milk.
  5. Let it boil for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the mint bundle and serve. 

Did you know: In August 1789, Pennsylvania Sen. William Maclay listed in his diary the foods the Washingtons served in New York at a dinner the senator attended.

“It was a great dinner,” he wrote. “First was soup [followed by] Fish, roasted & boiled meats Gammon Fowls &ca.” [fn, WM, pp. 136-137]

Click here to watch the historians at Mount Vernon who opened the doors — and the outdoor kitchen — to welcome three of our Grateful American™ Kids, AJ, Avery, and Callie. They prepared two dishes the Washington’s and their guests would have enjoyed: curry of catfish and peas porridge. These students from Longfellow Middle School in Fairfax County, VA, were our reporters for the day as they were guided through a Revolutionary cooking lesson by Deborah Colburn, the interpretive programs supervisor at Mount Vernon, and her colleague, interpreter Sara Marie Massee.

Recipe from: The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, 5th edition p.79