Wash and pick over the peas and discard any dark or damaged ones.
Put the peas in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. The peas will begin to produce some foam on top of the water, and you’ll need to skim that off. When the foam stops, reduce the heat to simmer, add salt and pepper, cook until peas are tender but not mushy, approx 30 minute to an hour. Adding a ½ teaspoon of sugar is optional.
Serve with white rice, fresh sliced tomatoes, cornbread, and fresh raw onion.