The flavor of peas, and also the time required for cooking them, depends very much upon their freshness. Put them into salted boiling water, and do not cover the saucepan; boil ten to twenty minutes, or until soft enough to be easily mashed. Drain off the water, and season with pepper, salt, and butter. Mix in the seasoning carefully with a fork, so as not to break the peas. Sometimes a little sugar improves them. Use plenty of water in boiling, and do not let them be overcooked, as this is as bad a fault as having them underdone. When canned peas are used turn them onto a sieve, and rinse them off with cold water (this will remove the taste of the can, which they sometimes have); add the seasoning, and let them become thoroughly heated. They do not require any more cooking.