A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 01, 2011
“I eat my peas with honey; I’ve done it all my life…” (poem)

A frequently reprinted poem (attributed to “Anonymous") about food is:

“I eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.”


The poem (with slight variations) has been cited in print since at least 1923, when it was attributed to Joe Fulkerson of Jerseyville, IL.


Poetry Foundation
I Eat My Peas with Honey
by Anonymous
I eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

FOOTNOTES: This poem was recited on the February 2, 1944 broadcast of the radio program “It Pays to Be Ignorant.” According to the Estate of Shel Silverstein and the archivists who oversee his literary works and manuscripts, Shel Silverstein did not write this poem.

25 June 1923, Alton (IL) Evening Telegraph, “Stray Scraps,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Honey Better Than Vinegar to Catch Flies, Also.
In a recent letter written to Attorney W. P. Boynton of this city by Joe Fulkerson of Jerseyville, vice-president of the Consumers’ Live Stock Commission Association in telling about the wonderful salesmans’ like qualities of a man he met, often, breaks into verse and says:
“He mixed his peas with honey;
He did it all his life;
Not because he liked the flavor—
But he got more on his knife.”

9 February 1928, Decatur (IL) Evening Herald, “As I View the Thing” by S. A. Tucker, pg. 6, col. 3:
“I wish my nose would be like Coolidge,” says Jimmie Montroy. “I do not choose to run in 1928.”

RICKIE
I eat my peas with honey,
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on my knife.
J. MONTROY

8 May 1928, Oregonian (Portland, OR), pg. 11:
I eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on my knife.

8 July 1928, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “College Humor,” pg. 36, col. 3:
I eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on my knife.
-- Oregon Orange Owl.

Google Books
January 1930, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 50, col. 3:
They Don’t Roll Off
I eat my peas with honey,
I’ve done it all my life,
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 01, 2011 • Permalink