I hated shelling peas and beans and snapping and destringing green beans, but I loved the time I spent with my grandmother and my aunts while doing so.
Peas and beans are satisfying vegetables to grow in a garden. Give pole beans a little support and they take off. Keep bush beans watered and they will reward you with vegetables that taste NOTHING like canned ones.
Here's how my family always cooked a "mess" of purple-hull peas: Shell, pick over and wash peas thoroughly. Cover with lightly salted water, bring to a light boil, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Dice some smoked bacon finely (the amount depends on your personal taste and cholesterol levels) and saute in a pan until browned. Pour off most of the bacon grease and add diced onion to the pan. When the onions turn translucent, add them to the simmering peas. Pepper to taste. Don't overcook the beans. Keep the simmer slow and test to see when they are tender. Serve with buttered cornbread and fresh tomatoes from the garden.