Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Okra

Flower of the okra plant is blooming profusely in my garden. I think they are beautiful - very much like hibiscus. Below the flower you can see a small okra. Okra is a summer garden staple here. Southerners eat it cut, dredged in cornmeal, and fried; stewed whole with tomatoes; boiled plain; pickled; or in stew or gumbo. When cut, okra has a sticky resin like substance that is used as a thickener. The sticky stuff is also what gives boiled okra that slimy texture. The fruit is difficult to pick, in fact you have to cut it. The plants are as hairy and sharp as the fruit.

Okra was originally brought over by slaves (You should check my information because I didn't). The heat and humidity of the South were the perfect home for this African transplant. In fact, I did not plant okra this year. My okra volunteered.

7 comments:

Mama Chaos said...

I always feel un-Southern when I admit that I dislike okra. Luckily I enjoy my sweet tea enough to counter that fact. Hehehe

mull-berry said...

My favorite way to eat okra is right off the vine! Yum!

wisteria said...

I've heard they are good that way, but I have never gotten past the prickly fuzz. I'm going to try, now. I will consider it a dare.

There are many Southerners who don't like okra - my children and husband included. That's why I didn't plant it this year. I felt terrible last year when I couldn't give it away and so much wasted.

My favorite way to eat it is in gumbo or fried, though I don't always use okra in gumbo.

wisteria said...

I did it! I went out, cut an okra pod, and bit the end of it. Not bad. The crunch was good. The fuzz wasn't as bad as I thought. The taste was good. The only thing I didn't like was the oozie, newtonian solid like mess left in my mouth after I chewed, but before I could swallow. Yuk! Maybe the okra wasn't mature enough.

mull-berry said...

hee hee! You go girl!

JoVE said...

We like the volunteers around here too. Try planting arugula. You only have to do that once if you let some of it go to seed (and it is great in salads or pesto). I bet I couldn't grow okra up here though it is hot and humid for a while.

wisteria said...

Now arugula doesn't grow so well here. I wish some would volunteer.