Grandma Jane – A history of peas in Orleans County

Grandma Jane’s grandfather, Barton Salisbury, owned and operated the Barre Canning Company back in the day. Like many other county residents, when harvest time came, Grandma Jane and all her friends would gather for the harvest and help at the canning company. After her father sold the canning company, Wally Dale bought and renamed the company the Orleans Canning Company. Grandma honors Wally’s name and expresses her gratefulness for paying the fair wage of $.25/day. It would have been the late 30s. He would press the quarter into her palm, explaining that she worked hard and deserved the higher than usual wage offered at that time. Grandma spent hours dizzily sorting peas as they went by on the conveyor belt.

Grandma Jane (Salisbury) married Harold Nesbitt and they had three children: Charlie, Tom and Sandi. Grandpa was a hellion. One day, he loaded up his grandson, little Charlie, in Grandma Jane’s brand new convertible and took a ride to the Kludt farm in Kendall. It was pea harvesting time in the early 70s. The Kludt boys, Rudy and Harold, always ready for a fun time, attached the combine full of peas to Jane’s convertible and started filling the car with peas. They covered Little Charlie with dirt and bugs and plenty of peas! All to share a little of Grandma Jane’s pea salad!

Grandma Jane’s Famous Pea Salad

16-20 oz fresh peas – blanched
1 Cup Spanish peanuts
1 Cup Mayonnaise
½ Cup Sugar
⅓ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Add peas and Spanish nuts. Mix well and refrigerate four hours or overnight. Serves eight.