Carlings are dried peas, a traditional meal for Lent in Yorkshire. It’s said that whoever gets the last pea in the pot will be the first to get married.


Holidays and festivals in England are a time for families and friends to get together and enjoy a break from work or school. In many towns and villages, people take part in customs that have been around for centuries, whether it’s the colorful flash and lively beat of Morris dancing or the bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night.
Food often takes center stage during holiday celebrations. Perhaps the most famous holiday fare is Christmas pudding, a steamed dessert filled with dried fruits, such as plums and currants, and topped with a sweet sauce. At Easter, English cooks bake many types of sweets, such as hot cross buns or Easter biscuits. In Cornwall, an Easter specialty is bright yellow saffron buns, made with a spice that comes from the crocus flower.


8 oz. dried green peas
3 c. cold water
2 to 3 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. rosemary salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. melted butter flour
1 tbsp. butter for frying


1. Soak peas overnight in cold water.

2. The next morning, drain peas and rinse well. Place peas in a large saucepan and cover with 3 c. cold water.

3. Bring water to boil and cook peas for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring regularly and adding extra water if necessary, until the peas are tender.

4. Drain and allow peas to cool. Then, in a large bowl, mix the peas with the bread crumbs, onion, herbs, salt and pepper, and melted butter to form a stiff mixture.

5. Shape mixture into cakes and dust lightly with flour. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a frying pan and fry the carlings until golden brown, turning once. Serve immediately.

Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Serves 4