Pam was my best friend from 1st through 6th grade. Would've been longer if my family hadn't moved away. We were like two peas in a pod. We used to play beneath the trees at recess, finding 'magic' sticks that had special markings on them. We liked all the same things...baseball, spelling, and performing in the school's yearly operetta. The thing I remember the most about her was the twinkle she got in her eyes when she was particularly pleased or amused by something.
We didn't get to spend too awful much time together outside of school because we lived in a rural community; and our houses were several miles apart. But one time I remember spending the night at her house...oh how excited I was!
Pam, in my childish eyes, lived an idyllic life. My gosh, they had an above ground swimming pool! I lived on a dry acre of land with nary a tree. Pam's folks had a Shasta trailer and went to exotic locations like Yellowstone National Park! My family spent our summers at a local beach in a rented cottage. Pam's mom didn't work; so she sent all kinds of wonderful home-baked goodies to our school bake sales and birthday parties. My mom worked full time; so if we sent anything at all, it was store-bought. Not that Pam ever made me feel bad about my 'short-comings.' She was too good a friend to be hurtful in any way.
Well, anyway, the weekend I stayed at Pam's; it was as wonderful as I imagined! We swam like ducks in that pool. At dinner, her mom fixed home-style fried chicken with creamed baby vegetables. I'd never eaten creamed vegetables and was a little nervous about it; but mom always said that I should eat what was set before me; so I tried them. They were delicious. When I got home, I pleaded with my mom to make some creamed vegetables. Maybe we didn't have a pool or a trailer, but by golly, I reasoned, we could eat those tasty vegetables, just like her family did!
To this day, anytime I get ahold of some new peas, potatoes, carrots, or onions, I make this recipe. And I always think of Pam and her delightful family.
Creamed New Potatoes with Carrots, Peas, and Onions
6 small new potatoes
6-8 baby carrots
1 cup of fresh peas, shelled
8-10 baby pearl onions
a little parsley for garnish
White Sauce: see recipe below
(Note: if you can't get new baby veggies, you can substitute with 'regular' vegetables; just cut them into small pieces.)
Boil vegetables until tender. I usually put the carrots to boil first, adding the potatoes a few minutes later, then add the peas and onions just a minute or two before the potatoes and carrots are done. Drain.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat til melted. Stir in flour; salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
When white sauce has thickened, add cooked vegetables. Put into a nice serving dish or serve directly onto plates. Garnish with parsley.
Makes 4 servings.