Gut Rumbles
 

November 27, 2003

okra

I like okra any way you cook it. I prefer it fried lightly, but it's still good boiled, stewed or in a gumbo. A big, slimy pot of okra and tomatoes dumped over a bed of rice is good eating. I like pickled okra, too.

I read once that the okra plant came from Africa and was brought to America by slaves more than 300 years ago. I grew my own okra for years and was impressed by the fecundity of the plants. They like hot weather (which I have plenty of around here) and they don't need a lot of water. Deer tend to leave them alone when they eat everything else in your garden.

When you pick young okra, cut it with a knife or a pair of sissors and the cut forks and produces twice the okra you picked. A hardy plant will keep producing until the first frost of the year. They have pretty purple blooms in the springtime, too.

I suppose that eating okra is an acquired taste. If you look at a bowl of stewed okra, it appears to produce its own snot. It is slimy and full of seeds. I believe that stewed okra has a lot in common with raw oysters: if it ever gets in your mouth, it's going down your throat whether you like it or not. It's that slick.

I am fortunate because I love okra. It is a delicious vegetable and fairly easy to grow. Quinton grew up eating it and he still scarfs it to this day. He helped me pick a lot of it on the mini-farm. You can't allow okra to get too big or it becomes tough and stringy, so we checked the garden every day to pick okra that was just right for cooking.

I miss doing that. I would like some fried okra today.

Comments

We have frozen cut okra up here in the northeast...have you ever tried freezing the excess from a garden?

Posted by: MommaBear on November 27, 2003 07:47 AM

mmmmm --- Nothing like baby okra steam cooked with a tad of water and butter until tender and then letting it slide down the guzzle. It will make you slap yer mamma. ;)

Posted by: medicmom on November 27, 2003 09:05 AM

Yeah, MB. I used to freeze fresh okra in one-gallon zip-lock bags. It'll keep for more than a year.

Posted by: Acidman on November 27, 2003 09:55 AM

Eeewwwww. Nasty stuff. I can stomach it fried, but that's it. I just don't have the genetic predisposition to like slimy food.
I heard there's a company producing Turkey & Gravy flavored soda pop this year. Maybe next year they can offer a special batch of Okra-Cola. Might go good with your gumbo.

Posted by: El Capitan on November 27, 2003 09:57 AM

I LOVE OKRA. I have fond memories of going to my grandma's and she'd have a huge cast iron skillet frying. We grew it in our garden too. Didn't aquire a taste for boiled until I was a young teen keeping my figure and I learned it wasn't fattening.My Grandmother on Mom's side was part cajun so I aquired the taste of gumbo from there.I still prefer it fried. I taught alot of kids going through the lunch line at school that stuch their nose up to it to try it and eat it as well as eating beans and cornbread.That's my favorite food and I was raised on that. Always with lots of onions.

Posted by: Lexia on November 27, 2003 09:59 AM

I LOVE okra anyway too fired or pickled are my favorite. I have a friend who moved here(oklahoma) from Minnesota, she had no clue what okra was and she hated it when she tried it. I tell her I don't understand how you can't like it. However she introduced me to something yummy they have there call Lefsa(sp?) It's kinda like a tortilla her but they use it like bread. Just thought I would share that. Happy Turkey Day!

Posted by: Brandy on November 27, 2003 10:49 AM

Have you ever tried pickled okra? Surprisingly good.

Posted by: sugarmama on November 27, 2003 10:54 AM

I'd never eaten any southern food until I met my husband. Even though I was raised in the South, my parents were both Yankees and all their friends were, too.

So now I know the joys of baked okra (with a bit of bacon), fresh creamed corn and field peas, lima beans, collards and skillet cornbread with pot likker, boiled peanuts, cornbread stuffing, rutabagas, buttermilk biscuits...oh, somebody stop me!

My father, at the age of 84, pretty much disowned all 8 of his children last Saturday in favor of a new wife. Told us he had no need of any pictures or memorabilia of our recently departed mother, or us, for that matter. So we gathered up our past and headed for our respective homes. Sure makes Thanksgiving a bit easier on the grocery budget. But it goes to show you that, once an asshole, always an asshole. Yeah, it hurt a little bit. Whaddaya gonna do?

-Joan of Argghh!
Since the year 2000. (Not to be confused with John of A! who shameless copied me! Ha! Besides, I'm prettier.)

:O)

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! on November 27, 2003 11:08 AM

It would appear that deer have better taste in food than many humans.

Boiled okra? I refuse to eat any food from the phlegm family.

Posted by: Kevin Baker on November 27, 2003 12:19 PM

A good homemade soup isn't complete without okra.

My oldest nephew looks forward not to Thanksgiving, but the soup that Grandma will make after boiling and deboning the carcass. It's the homemade kind that almost all the left-overs go into.

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 27, 2003 02:43 PM

You can't beat fried okra lightly breaded..mmm. I also love it in soups or in gumbo. We used to get it from a farmer's market nearby and it was sooo good!

Posted by: Brian on November 27, 2003 09:53 PM

Would you guys stop talking about okra?!! I can't get it up here except for frozen, and I sure miss it. If I could get my hands on some fresh okra, I'd coat it in cornmeal, fry it, and make a meal out of just that. I love fried eggplant too. We can get that here, but half the time it's about half dead by the time it gets to the stores.

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