Monday, March 05, 2007


Today for lunch I had steamed okra. I love okra. It has become my favorite vegetable as of late. I love the slime. It takes good and is so green! I discovered pickled okra about a month ago and I really like them. I have been looking for them in the store in the pickle section, but so far no luck. I think I will have to go to the organic food store to get them.

Okra, fruit of a large vegetable plant thought to be of African origin, was brought to the United States three centuries ago by African slaves. The word, derived from the West African nkruma, was in use by the late 1700s. Grown in tropical and warm temperate climates, it is in the same family as the hibiscus and cotton plants.Okra is often available fresh year-round in the South, and from May to October in many other areas. You can also find okra frozen, pickled, and canned in some regions. When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long.

When cut, okra releases a sticky substance with thickening properties, useful for soups and stews. Gumbos, Brunswick stew, and pilaus are some well-known dishes which commonly use okra. Okra can be served raw, marinated in salads or cooked on its own, and goes well with tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, and eggplant. Whole, fresh okra pods also make excellent pickles. Its subtle flavor can be compared to eggplant, though the texture is somewhat unusual. Many people prefer breaded and fried okra, because the slippery substance is less pronounced.

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.

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