Southern Style! Fresh Lady Cream Peas With Delicious Hot Water Cornbread {Granny's Recipe}

2:34 PM

Growing up in North East Texas, my Mother knew several truck farmers that grew different kinds of peas in the summer.  During pea season, my sisters and I would gather in the living room with paper bags for the shells and big bowls for the peas and shell peas as we watched soap operas (yes, I use to watch soap operas (whisper) and while we sat with fans blowing on us.

It's funny, back then we didn't have air conditioning and we didn't seem to be bothered by the hot summers as much as we do today.

Wonder why?

I remember, we even would go and get in a circle under our big tree in the backyard sometimes too and shell peas. 

Oh, the memories of those days are flooding in.

By the time a bushel or two were shelled, Mother would have the first pot of Lady Cream Peas (Sometimes called Zipper Cream Peas) already cooked and waiting for us to eat with some Hot Water Cornbread to go with them, and maybe a slice or two of homegrown tomatoes and onion.

We often put Chow Chow relish on our peas. It is cabbage based and is kind of sweet and sour. Good but hard to find unless you know someone who cans their own.

Although I was raised on peas here in Texas, I am finding out that there are folks out there who really do not know what a cream pea is.  In fact, I have heard that some people only know these peas as feed for cows, not to mention they do not have any clue as how to cook them.

You might say that Cream Peas, Purple Hull Peas, and Black Eyed Peas, etc. are a Southern cuisine that has been missed out on and needs to be exposed.

You can find these peas fresh at most of the Farmer's Markete here in Texas and now they are available at your local Walmart Stores in the frozen section.

My Mother's recipe is so simple, and is utterly delicious, and you can make them in no time.  She lets the peas speak for themselves, but you will want to make some delicious cornbread to sop up all that flavorful liquid that runs off the peas.

You can find the recipe for my Mother's Delicious Hot Water Cornbread here.

Fresh Lady Cream Peas

3-4 cups fresh cream peas, rinsed and clean
6 slices salt pork, diced
enough water to cover peas 1"
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

In a large dutch oven, add the peas, salt pork, and water. Cook on medium high heat for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Kay Little
Kay Little

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. I love cream peas! I have had many summers of purple thumbs from shelling purple hull peas, too. Enjoying your delightful blog!

  2. Anonymous7/27/2011

    These cream peas and hot water corn bread brings back sweet memories. Love it!

    Cindy B.

  3. Anonymous7/27/2011

    Nothing beats freshly cooked cream peas! :) Yum!
    Thanks for dropping your link at the Weekday Potluck!

  4. Well, I'm one of those people who have never heard of or seen these peas before. Sure do love cornbread though.

  5. Anonymous7/28/2011

    Hi K,
    I found your post over at thrifty 101. I loved your sweet story about growing up and shelling all those peas. Thanks for sharing your recipe too.

  6. Hi,
    I'm your newest follower please come follow me back

  7. Anonymous7/28/2011

    Grew up shelling White Acre Peas--look similar! Love this!

  8. Looks sooo good.

    Thanks for sharing with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

  9. Mmmm these look so delicious! The corn bread looks perfect to go with it. Mmmmm mmmm mmmm!

    Thanks for linking up last week on the FBF link! There is another one up today and I would love for you to link up another one.

    Happy Friday!
    Cookin' for my Captain FBF

  10. Stopping by from the Friday Hops to say hello.

    Have a great day!
    You can visit me here

  11. am not sure if we have them here, but sure would love to give them a try! :)

  12. Found you from Friendly Friday and am loving your recipes! now following you by FB and GFC.

  13. Hi K... has been too long since I have had cream peas!!! Now I'm wondering if I can even find them here in Colorado? I'll have to look. Your cream peas and cornbread sound sooo yummy! It's dinner time and I'm "licking my chops"! Hehe! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us...this has been such a treat!

    Thanks for joining in with the fun of the Sunday Favorites repost party this week, my friend!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  14. very interesting and sounds really great, healthy and easy. thanks for sharing your recipe. visiting from FF, have a great weekend. :)

  15. I have never heard of Cream peas!They look gorgeous!
    And that corn bread... oh I can't wait to make this!
    Thank you for participating in ON THE MENU MONDAY! You brought back so many memories for so many that read your recipe!

  16. Those cream peas look so good, I haven't had those in years , but they sure are good. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  17. Anonymous8/02/2011

    Thank You So MUCH for joining me last week for Cast Party Wednesday. I hope you will come back tomorrow and share more of your recipes with us.
    I hope to see you there!

  18. I've never heard of cream peas, but they look so delicious, I am hiugs lover of peas and beands of all kinds, but over here in the UK we don't many different sorts

    I have got to try your Granny's cornbread recipe, I actually have the fixings for that, I just checked!

  19. Anonymous7/22/2012

    This post was like a big hug from my childhood! I grew up in Alabama and we did the same thing - shelled peas (that were usually hauled in from the garden in plastic laundry baskets!) while we watched soap operas. And there would definitely be peas and cornbread for supper that night - yes with sliced red tomatoes, and even a fried green one if we were lucky! Oh how I miss those simple times. I still make peas though I don't know where to find them still in the shell - my kids never knew the fun of having purple thumbs for days after spending an entire afternoon shelling purple hull peas!

  20. I grew up in TX and on lady cream peas with hot water corn bread. I would love to know where to buy fresh shelled (FROZEN is ok)cream peas. Please help me find them.

  21. I'm shelling zipper-cream peas in Tennessee now while I read this. Can hardly wait to have them for supper.

  22. Thanks for your post. As a northern transplant to TX, I didn't have clue what to do with these after buying them at the Farmers Market today!

    1. So happy to see came by to check out this recipe for Lady Cream Peas....the peas are our favorite!

  23. "...You might say that Cream Peas, Purple Hull Peas, and Black Eyed Peas, etc. are a Southern cuisine that has been missed out on and needs to be exposed."

    I couldn't agree more! I like them ALL!

  24. Hey K, I was raised in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee in the 60's and 70's. I remember all too well sitting on the porch with a fan on Mom and I while we shelled peas, and even shelly beans with our October beans and Cut Short Greasy beans. I think we were just acclimated to the heat and humidity to an extent, but I can remember sticking to the sheets of my bed in my attic bedroom during the dog days of summer! I don't want to ever go back to that, do you?
    We called these peas Zipper Peas as I recall. I also remember peeling and slicing and drying the Hoss and sheepnose apples in our yard. They were very early apples. Mom made dried apples, applesauce, and we had fried apples and biscuits for supper of course. Ever had that?
    I'm going to start checking in on your blog, I too, forgot to ask Mom for her recipes. I'm stealin' yours! JK


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