The Glories of Okra

Because one really can’t spend every waking hour fretting over the terrible things happening in the world, in the Church, in life – it helps to acknowledge the goodness of the Lord and count the many blessings He bestows upon us. Which is something we should be doing every day anyway.

That brings us, of course, to okra.

Someone – one of our wonderful Parishioners with a garden – brought me an entire slew of fresh okra the other day. It so happened I was invited to a very lovely dinner a few nights later at which okra was on one of the featured dishes. It was a great treat, in case anyone’s wondering how I can afford to dine at Lola’s, because I can’t and don’t.

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But several guests remarked that they couldn’t eat okra, it was a texture thing. I had to think about that because I’m very cerebral and overthink most things, because I love okra. There are a lot of things I don’t eat, such as deer, alligator, crickets. But there’s something about okra that I love.

This fresh okra was dumped into a pot of salty boiling water, salty as the sea, cooked for a few minutes until it was bright green and slightly softened, then scooped out and put in a pot filled with ice water for a few minutes.

The reason there’s not all that much okra on the kitchen towel is that I ate a lot of it just like that. But the rest was cut up, cooked with a bit of pork, some onions, and white pepper, a dab of tomato paste, and was super duper. Take me down memory lane.

I’m always brought back to childhood, fresh gardens, shrimp in the freezer, ice cold coca-colas not made with corn syrup, and balmy summer breezes wafting over fields and plains and brackish waters and marshes as we brought okra back from the country, or the Dorignac’s, to cook at our little house on Avenue B, or on Homestead. Or now in Abita.

It’s also, once you take the slime out by parboiling, got a great texture.

So as fall approaches, and summer wanes, get it while you can. Praise God for okra. Okra is for the living, and life is all too short to pass it by.

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