The holy longing


It's producing like crazy in our garden right now. Staggering the planting didn't help at all; it needs to be picked every day from ever single plant.

Okra is a relative of hibiscus (and cotton), which is obvious when it is flowering.  It apparently still grows wild in Ethiopa and Sudan as it has been doing since prehistoric times. Like so many other "traditionally southern" foods it came to the southern USA with the enslaved Africans. One of my grandmothers loved to fry it. She would slice it about ¼ " thick, dip it in beaten egg, roll it in yellow cornmeal (not flour!) and fry it in a cast iron skillet.  I don't fry much, and usually do it my other grandmother's way:


1 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil; my grandmother used bacon grease)
1 medium sweet onion
about 1/2 pound of okra, sliced 1/4-1/2" thick
1 can of tomatoes, broken up (my grandmother used canned "stewed tomatoes")
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in oil till clear, add tomatoes and okra. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat till okra is tender - about 15 minutes. Traditionally served over white rice. 

Something else good to do with okra in the summer: Vegetable Gumbo

{photo: those little ants on the flower were harbingers of a major aphid infestation (ants actually "farm" aphids because they produce a sweet liquid ants like to eat - kind of like us and cows). A good dousing with soapy water took care of the problem.}


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