I know absolutely nothing about farming or gardening, but I do know what's supposed to be in season. Every year around this time, the Memphis Farmers Market is awash with fresh peas and beans of all shapes and sizes — purple hull peas, lima beans, butter beans, cream peas, lady peas, and my personal fave crowder peas.
Does anyone know what's up with the lack of pea varieties in the Mid-South this year? We've had a way hot summer with temps in the 100s for almost a month. Could that be the culprit? Anyway, I ended up settling on a bag of shelled purple hull peas to test my Harvest Crowder Pea Soup for my cookbook:
They cook up in the same amount of time, so I think it's fine to test this recipe with purple hulls. And I guess now I can give people the option in the recipe of either crowder peas or purple hulls. If you could bottle late summer and pour it into a bowl, this soup is what it would taste like. Nothing says August to me like a fresh bowl of peas.
Soup isn't a meal without bread, so I decided to give my gently-used, new-to-me bread machine another try. Remember what happened last time? My whole wheat bread totally sank. But I took all your advice from the comments, and look what happened:
Whole wheat bread success! I subbed out whole wheat bread flour for regular whole wheat flour and I added a tablespoon and a half of vital wheat gluten flour. I also stuck around the house during the four hours of the bread machine cycle so I was ready to remove the bread as soon as it was done. Last time, I let the machine kick off while I was at work and left the bread in for several hours. This soft, wheat bread was perfect schmeared with Earth Balance and garlic powder.