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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apparently I Am Growing Odd Vegetables

Apparently, I am growing some odd, obscure vegetables, like okra.

Five of the first five co-workers I asked could not identify the okra I brought in to work for another co-worker who specifically asked for some after I went on and on and on and on about my fried okra.

Fried okra, fresh fried okra, is very good by the way. It is not slimy.  Just like grandma used to make, except I fried the okra in vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan after cutting it in half inch pieces and coating it with corn meal. She probably fried okra in lard in an iron skillet.

No matter - it was good!

Ask around , see if people know what orka is.  Shoot, do you know what okra is? Other than apparently an odd, obscure vegetable...

26 comments:

Gail said...

I started to say~everyone would since I live in the middle south, but I just remembered that several young checkers at the grocery store wouldn't recognize most vegetables. I get okra from friends and the farmers markets~It's delicious fried and grilled. Gail

Frances said...

Everyone in southeast Tennessee older than say, twenty?, would know it as something good to eat as well. Gail may be on to something about the younger generation not being familiar with it since they don't serve it at McDonald's. That may be too harsh and lumping people together in groups to make blanket statements about them is never a good idea. I use them for wreath making, but I'm sure your dish is wonderful, dear Carol. :-)

Layanee said...

I like okra. I think I would recognize it although I have only ever eaten it in GA.

Les said...

That's a shame more people do not recognize it. I like it fried as well, but it is also good in soups and stews, plus it also qualifies as an edible ornamental, or should that be ornamental edible?

commonweeder said...

I haven't ever eaten okra - although there are a couple of gardeners in Heath who grow it. I am always amazed at what I have to identify for young checkers at the supermarket. Don't any of them eat fruit?

Rose said...

Let's face it, Carol, there are some people who don't recognize any vegetables other than corn:) I've had okra a few times, especially while traveling through the South, and occasionally I've bought some to add to homemade vegetable soup for something a little different. I don't grow it, but I do grow kohlrabi, which is another vegetable many aren't familiar with.

When I saw your title I thought it said you were growing "OLD" vegetables...I'd better go get my first cup of coffee:)

Elizabeth Barrow said...

Oh my goodness! I must be getting old -- I keep having these "What is the world coming to?" moments. I think (I hope) that people around here would recognize okra. We pickle it, fry it, stew it with tomatoes, make gumbo out of it, etc. But the commenters are right: the young checkers at the grocery store can barely recognize lettuce! Carry on growing odd vegetables -- we owe it to the next generation! Cheers!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I have had okra when down south, but I have never grown it. It's kind of like grits to me, I don't expect to see it in the Chicago area. However, it sounds yummy the way you prepare it.

Eileen

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I live enough farther south than you that everyone knows what okra is, grits too. Here you often find pickled okra on salad bars. My favorite way to eat it by the way.

Nicole said...

I love fresh okra-especially fried and sprinkled with Indian spices. In the Caribbean they are often added to soups.

Alison said...

I've never eaten okra, but I'm a bit of a foodie, so I would certainly recognize it. And I've heard the flowers are quite pretty, since it's related to the hibiscus. I was quite surprised recently to discover while talking to my own sister that she had no idea what a leek was! She's probably never eaten celeriac either, which I am also growing. And my sister isn't a grocery checker, she's a grown woman in her 50s.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Being from the south, I thought everyone knew what okra was. Now, I see I was mistaken. Interesting, and I concur, fresh fried okra is one of the best things in life.~~Dee

Rosey said...

My son just asked what this was in the store the other day. I just said okra and that was all I knew. I think it has a spiky plant? Not sure.

Greensparrow said...

Yech. Okra. I know what it is. I wish I didn't. Fresh or not, not good. (Yes, I'm a yank. None of them weird, slimy southern vegies for me!)

Liz said...

I had heard of it, but until I read your blog I really had no idea what it was. Now I need to grow some!

TexMike said...

How can you not like a plant that goes from bloom to harvest in a week?

Carolyn Gail said...

Odd is right. Not the Okra, but the people who don't know what it is. Hasn't just about everybody eaten gumbo ?

Growing up with it on my plate almost daily in the summer I guess I'm partial to it. I read an article that said it was America's 6th most hated veggie.

Speaking of grocery checkers I once had to tell a Chinese gal the difference between bok choy and nappa cabbage.

Caroline said...

Wow, five whole okra pods at one time! My silly plant puts out one pod at a time. By the time the second pod is ready to harvest, the first pod has spoiled. Next year I need to plant more okra plants!

Chookie said...

It's popular amongst Arabic-speaking people, many of whom live in my part of Sydney. I've used it once or twice in Middle-Eastern recipes.

I tried making gumbo once but have no idea if you would have recognised it or not!

Jeha1219 said...

I also love it fried in a little olive oil with some chopped vidalia onions, then add some saltine cracker crumbs and pepper at the end.

Ivynettle said...

I expect I'm one of very few people here in Austria who would recognize okra (I don't think I've ever actually seen it, though). But then again, I'm growing odd vegetables myself.
I once brought a few yellow currant tomatoes in to work - to a plant nursery. Most of my colleagues, including a master horticulturist, didn't recognize them for tomatoes.

Pam/Digging said...

Frankly I didn't guess that anyone waaaay up north in Indiana would know, grow, or eat okra. I always thought it was a distinctly Southern vegetable.

Sandy said...

You mix your half-inch pieces with a little cornmeal before you fry them, right? Just enough to coat the pieces a little bit, and so the cornmeal stays moist? My 20-something daughters and I love it this way. It's the way my beloved grandmother fixed it for me when I was a child!

Robbie said...

Not an okra fan, but at least I have tried it and have lived to complain about it.

Stumbled on to this - an Indian recipe with okra! - and thought of you: http://www.sj-r.com/firstinprint/x839825942/How-to-make-a-meal-from-farmers-market-foods Enjoy.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I love okra! My grandma used to always put it into her decidely-non-Southern version of chicken gumbo soup. Still does, actually, but she uses frozen okra for the soup. I've never had it fresh fried, but maybe I should grow some next year and give that a try--they're beautiful plants, right?

I introduced my boyfriend to kohlrabi this year. When I posted a pic of said kohlrabi on Facebook, my friend Heidi commented that whenever she buys it at the grocery store, the cashiers (and other people in line sometimes, too) always ask her what it is, and what she does with it. So if you don't already grow it, maybe you want to add to the oddness next year with some kohlrabi? It's yummy peeled, sliced and sprinkled with sea salt!

Anonymous said...

I love Okra!!! I'm cooking some right at this moment!! Sometimes I've had to grow it myself because it's hard to get hold of in the shops over here(I'm in Australia). Most people I show Okra to have never seen or heard of it before, which I think is unfortunate as it is such a great vegetable (although some are put off by its slimy texture). I like to add mine to a chicken & coconut milk curry that I make, the Okra seems to compliment it really well. I hope your blog encourages others to try it. YUM! :)