When someone who knows me in that place called "the real world" asks me for the url for my blog, I think about what the most current blog post is before handing over the secret code to get to it.

Then I tell them "Let me know if I need to explain anything...".

Apparently, there are some things to explain, like this squash.
When I take it to work and offer it to any takers, I usually get some puzzled looks.

"How do you cook it?"
"Like summer squash."
"You mean zucchini."
"Did you grow any zucchini squash?"
"Just try this, you'll like it, I promise."

And they do like it.

I love the round squash and that is almost all that I grow anymore. It's very prolific and comes in light green ('Cue Ball'), dark green ('Eight Ball') and golden yellow ('One Ball'). There is also a mottled, more oblong variety called 'Ronde de Nice'. Oh, and another round squash called 'Tondo Scoro di Piacenza' that Leslie from Growing a Garden in Davis sent me some seeds for.

But forget the squash, what most people would like me to bring them are tomatoes. This year I'm growing a variety called 'Reisetomate'.

It looks like a bunch of little tomatoes all globbed together. You are supposed to tear the pieces off to eat individually, sort of like how you would peel off sections of an orange to eat it.

I've decided to keep these for myself as my little secret because it will be easier than a) trying to explain what it is and b) trying to pronounce that German name.

I didn't dream I'd have to explain okra.
But as it turns out, there are some people who don't know what okra is, and still others, many others, who think okra is too slimy to eat. Frances of Fairegarden actually suggested that the best recipe for okra is to let the pods grow and dry on the plant and then use them to decorate fall wreaths.

Well, I never! Okra clearly needs its own public relations firm to help improve its image.

I'm only growing it so I have some to fry up to see if it tastes like the fried okra that I remember eating when we visited my southern Indiana grandparents in the summertime.

In their honor, all the vegetables displayed today are arranged on a dessert plate that was part of a set of plates my grandmothr purchased in 1953 to use at a dinner for her parents' 60th wedding anniversary.

I haven't fried the okra up quite yet, but I can explain why that is, too.

It is true what they say. You can just step down on your foot and sprain it. I never believed you could, but you can. I was sitting at my desk at work yesterday, intently working and doing what I do at work, and my foot went to sleep. When I got up, I didn't realize how dead asleep that foot was and stepped down on it very hard and very awkwardly. It didn't hurt at the time, but by the time I got home I could barely walk on it.

So rather than fry okra and fix my first ear of sweet corn, I iced my foot.

I had it checked out today and the good news is that it probably isn't broken, just sprained. The bad news is that it hurts to walk on the uneven lawn. But I hope with intensive ice therapy, I'll be back in mowing condition by Thursday, maybe Friday at the latest!

Is there anything else that needs explanation?


  1. Sometimes a sprain is worse than a break. Take care. I like pickled okra best, so if you get a big batch of them pickel them. You will like them too.

  2. The Washington Post's 'Groundwork' column on its food blog was all about okra this week - with an intriguing recipe at the end: okra-time

  3. I had an extreme sprain of the mid foot once, Carol, and it took forever to heal. If I heard one more healthcare professional tell me I should have broken it because I would have already healed I was going to punch someone. I hope you do not have the same experience.

  4. Be careful with that ankle, it is true that a sprain is worse than a break. Broken bones heal stronger, but once tendons have been stretched beyond what they should, it weakens them, making it much easier to sprain again.

    I'm with Frances on the okra.

    It's really not so hard to pronounce the German tomato's name.


    I wonder if the Germans eat them for breakfast. Reise, reise is a wake-up call.

  5. I hope you wrap the sprain, which really relieves a lot of the pressure and pain.

  6. Sorry you hurt your foot, Carol... hope all those healthy vegetables you grow & eat make you heal fast.

    All the varieties of Pool-Ball squash sound good and so does okra in gumbo. A Wake Up Tomato? What a brilliant idea!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. Poor dear. So sorry about the foot. My stepmother, Karen, has the best fried okra recipe. You beat egg whites stiff and fold the okra into the egg whites. Then, you put corn meal on top and stir. Salt it and fry in a skillet. It's great. Just ask my kids.

    I ate my corn yesterday. It could have been better.~~Dee

  8. Sorry to hear about your foot, and I hope that even if it is feeling better, you'll find someone else to mow this time! Your round squash is very attractive, as is the okra. Dee's recipe sounds great, I hope to try some fried okra one day.

  9. Shoot, Dee's recipe sounds easy enough that even you and I can do it! You go first ... after all, you're the one growing okra!

  10. I'm sad to say my squash is pathetic so far this year. I'll have to enjoy yours vicariously. It is so not fair to get hurt at the height of gardening season...I hope it is a quick recovery.

  11. Feel better soon. Funny how vegetables require so much explanation these days.

  12. No nothing more ~You've done a really excellent job~Now rest that ankle! gail

  13. Ouch. Hope you heal soon.

    Okra is delicious! (And the plants are pretty too.)

  14. Oh Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about your ankle! Sprained ankles can be very painful! Hopefully, you'll heal quickly.

    If you'd like some seeds for burgundy okra, just let me know! They're so pretty and I would imagine taste the same as the green ones. (No, I don't like okra, but I like to grow it!)

  15. I hope you feel better soon! Your squash are lovely -- I think I would cook them like pattypan squash. As for okra, sometimes we just stir-fry them in a bit of oil with chopped onion, salt and pepper. We throw about a quarter-cup of cornmeal in there. They remind us of deep-fried okra but are (slightly) more healthful! Take care!

  16. Sorry about the foot. Hope it gets better, fast.

    I love okra. I grew up eating it fried. Yum....

    And, it's a pretty plant.

  17. Keep your ankle elevated for as long as it takes!! I stepped off a curb once and did the same thing.

    I've never been much of an okra fan until just last summer when I found a Southern Living recipe for grilled okra with a peppery basil-lemon dip. It is totally YUMMY! Even without the dip, grilled okra tastes great. Try this: put olive oil, salt and pepper on the okra, thread them on skewers (just to make it easier; I usually put 2 bamboo skewers thru each pod to keep them from rolling around, 2-3 pods per), and grill for 5 minutes MAX. Usually about 2 minutes per side works. Too much longer and they turn to snot.

  18. Sorry about the sprain! Those tomatoes look bizarre, are they delicious? I'm surprised that someone wouldn't know what to do with an okra!

  19. Carol..I'm so sorry that you hurt your foot! I wish you a speedy recovery!

    I'm with you on frying them" sometimes I like to eat them with fried green tomatos..too"

  20. Every spring I've read about your cueball squash, Carol, but I've never seen a ripe one before. It does look good; do they get overgrown like summer squash? As for okra, I think it's an acquired taste. I hope your fried okra brings back lots of special memories for you.

    Do take care of that ankle; the garden will still be there when you're feeling up to working in it again.

  21. Loved that you found a special use for the saucer, looks pretty with all the vegs. especially the okra. Hope you got to fix some. Sorry to hear about the ankle. Hope it is better by now.


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