Appalachian Food

Lima Beans and Peas

Lima beans and peas

We recently played at a Homecoming over in Suches, GA. Those are our favorite gigs to play—there’s always good people and plenty of good food.

The congregation insisted we get our plates first. There’s always so many things to choose from that my strategy is to get a little helping of everything and then go back for seconds of what I really love.

One of the dishes I liked the best was lima beans and peas. It was simple but so very good.

I was raving about how good it was and Chitter said “Well that lady over there made it. I heard her say she’s been making it for years. Her husband just loved it and even though he’s dead she still makes it for homecoming because then that makes it seems like he’s here too.”

After I finished up I went and asked her about the dish.

She said it wasn’t really anything special just lima beans and peas and that she used a little canola oil in them as they cooked but used to use meat for seasoning before her husband was diagnosed with heart disease.

The beans and the peas came from her garden, I’m sure that’s why they tasted so fresh and good.

She said “You ought to take some home with you. Cause there’s no one at home to eat them but me.”

I was tickled pink when she went to a cabinet and got me a plastic bowl to fill and told her “These would be perfect with a piece of cornbread.” She said “Well we didn’t have any cornbread today.” I said “Don’t worry I can handle the cornbread part.”

If you’ve been reading the Blind Pig and The Acorn for a long time you’ll remember many guest posts by Ethelene Dyer Jones and her son Keith Jones. The church we performed at is pastored by Keith’s son, Ethelene’s grandson, Matthew Jones.

I hope to go back for a visit with the sweet lima bean and peas lady. She was a long time teacher at the Woody Gap School there in Suches.


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  • Reply
    August 2, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Church homecomings have the best food!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 2, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Are those green peas or some form of a cowpea like black-eyed or crowder peas? They are two totally different vegetables and taste totally different to me. I love green peas and I love lima beans but have never though of mixing them together. If it is cowpeas you can have my portion.
    I can make a meal of green peas and nothing else although I will often open a can and heat it then melt a couple of slices of cheese into them. Ever had peas and cheese?

    • Reply
      August 2, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      Ed-I didn’t think to ask her what kind, but they are some variety of green pea 🙂

  • Reply
    Frances Jackson
    August 2, 2021 at 11:19 am

    This is a combination I’ve not heard of, but it sure sounds good. I wonder how a little olive oil would work, instead of the canola oil.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      Frances-I’m sure olive oil would be good too 🙂

      • Reply
        August 3, 2021 at 5:58 pm

        What a sweet post … an amazing place to sing and precious people to be with , eat with , fellowship with , sharing good things to eat … and more❣️

  • Reply
    August 2, 2021 at 11:06 am

    It is always great to find a simple dish that is delicious that you just had never thought of before. I discovered new to me foods when I lived in the deep south that I have carried forward for many years. One was tomato gravy and rice. I love peas and limas, but have never tried them together.

  • Reply
    Faye Griswell
    August 2, 2021 at 11:03 am

    That is my kind of dish. I will be making it.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2021 at 9:37 am

    I really love peas but not so much on Lima beans. I have ate them in some sort of salad and a soup. They are real good in soup, that way. It sure does look good.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    August 2, 2021 at 9:21 am

    Lima beans are not my favorite, but your post about them still managed to whet my appetite. There’s just something about food with a story behind it that makes it very special. Get that cornbread made and enjoy what you brung home.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 2, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Those ladies at the homecomings know how to cook. I’ve often thought if I was traveling and saw a homecoming I would be tempted to drop in. But I would be too shy to do it. If there were fried apple pies that might be all it would take.

    When we have a church dinner the leftovers often get sent home with each other. There is a lot of trading around. That not uncommonly results in me not getting any of what my wife made though.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    August 2, 2021 at 7:58 am

    The thing I like about you best, dear Tipper, is the simple pleasure and appreciation you have for good, uncomplicated fare. I think the peas and Lima’s sound delish personally. Then a sweet Vidalia onion, cornbread and maybe chow chow would take the wholesome, country taste to the next level. I want to thank you for teaching me how to make cornbread. It makes me proud and puts wind in my sails to try other stuff! Also, I think it’s time to consider yourself perhaps an author and write a biography about your Appalachian experiences. It would be a very interesting read and I believe folks would like it a lot. God bless you Pressleys and the bride to be as she prepares for the next family big event! I’ve been getting Amish Paste and Yellow Pear heirloom tomatoes and I can attest these actually are tasty and the skin isn’t so tough you could play softball with them.

    • Reply
      Rebecca Freeman
      August 2, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      I second Margie’s suggestion that Tipper write a biography! I know I would cherish it; I truly enjoy your writings, and all that you share.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    August 2, 2021 at 7:54 am

    That Liam bean and peas dish does sound good. I think it would be great with some ham added. Perhaps you could make up a pot and share your recipe with us. Oh, it does just beg for cornbread!

  • Reply
    Denise R
    August 2, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Music and church dinners are the best!!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 2, 2021 at 7:20 am

    That sounds delicious–we all love butterbeans and peas. You’re right on target about needing some cornbread. I’ll add some onion and a good tomato!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 2, 2021 at 7:19 am

    That’s a new one on me Tip, I’ve never heard of mixing limas and green peas together, it certainly looks good! I bet the side meat would be good with it. Since it’s out of her garden I wonder if she preserves them and would they be frozen or canned. I think of limas taking longer to cook than green peas. Homecoming always has such wonderful food!

  • Reply
    Ann Ullery
    August 2, 2021 at 6:40 am

    Such a sweet story! Reminded me of growing up with my Grandparents in southwest PA. Lima Beans and Peas were one of my Gram’s favorite dishes to make – and one of my favorites to eat! Fresh from the garden – nothing better!! On special occasions – Christmas, Easter and when I made the Honor Roll at school – Gram would cook up a mess of lima beans and peas – but, she would “cream” them by adding a thickening of corn starch and evaporated milk. Add a dash of salt and pepper along with a fresh baked corn pone and you’ve got yourself a scrumptious meal. YUM YUM!!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful stories, experiences, recipes and life in Appalachia -really warms my heart and starts my day out the right way!

    • Reply
      August 2, 2021 at 12:02 pm

      Ann-so glad you enjoy what I do 🙂

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