Friday, September 9, 2011
I do love Okra.I learned to like okra many years ago from a family friend who had moved to Kentucky from Mississippi.Their family raised it every year, and when I would stay with them occasionally, I would help them to harvest and cook it. Mom was raised in South Louisiana, where folks used okra quite often, but since she did not do that much Cajun cooking for our family,here in Kentucky, and she disliked okra's slimy nature anyway,I had not learned much about it.Mom did make one dish using Okra that I learned to love and do to this day. She would slice the young, tender okra into small pinwheels, smother it down in a skillet with a wee bit of oil.Then when it was smothered down to suit her, she would add other ingredients.She always swore the frying down would lessen the sliminess of it. I never really saw that it helped, but nevertheless,after frying it down a bit, she would add onions, peppers,tomatoes,lima beans, and some form of meat for flavoring, and season it to her liking.After all of this had simmered a bit, she would cook up a huge dish of rice. We ate loads of rice while growing up.We would then ladle a heaping helping of the okra mixture over our bowl or plate of rice.Now that was some good eating.
This summer I planted a few hills of okra, but since it gets too mature really quickly, if not picked daily, I lost a lot of mine.I hope one day,to find some other use for the dried pods of okra still standing in my garden.Crafty people can find something to do,with most anything.I am even considering saving the dried up seeds to use in cooking. I think I've read somewhere that you can do that.
Nevertheless, I was able to find a peck of young okra, at the Amish Produce Auction, so I had a couple of bags for the freezer.Later in the season, when I needed more freezer space, I took the 2 bags of okra out and cooked it down like Mom did, and canned 3 jars of the okra mix.Well....I have already opened and eaten 2.When I fix a dish for just myself, it's such an easy dish to prepare when you have it canned up that way.
I was at the store yesterday, and decided to buy a couple of bags of frozen okra.That's what I'm canning today. I had several bags of frozen peppers which were taking up space,so now they're gone from the freezer.Now when I open a jar for another meal, I only need to add the meat, and cook the rice.I have freed up some more space in my freezer as well as prepared some quick and easy dishes for later.