And now, on the okra front…

Knee high to…okra! I’ve had it get as tall as me.

It’s history.  Freezing temps have terminated any future okra cuttings.  I cut the last of the crop last week.

Growing okra this far north is aggravating.  You can plant it after all danger of frost is past, but the darned stuff refuses to poke it sprouty little head out of the dirt until it’s hot.  I mean really hot.  Then, if conditions are just right, it might grow.  But not until it’s good and ready.

This is an okra bloom…really kinda pretty!?

Then hail can come along and pound the ever-lovin’ stuffin’ out of the cranky little plants. Which it did this summer.  And then you get to start all over. And that means you follow the rigid guidelines I was taught by my parents.

I count a dozen or so okra pods on this plant with one in between bloom and pod stage.

Soak the okra seeds overnight so they’ll sprout faster.

Wait until it’s hot.  Otherwise those soggy little seeds will just sit there.

Don’t plant them too close.  Too close means no blooms.

Okra likes it hot, not crowded and not soggy.

Got it?! 

And don’t even think about, if you’re fortunate enough to have okra to cut/pick, going to the okra rows unprotected!  I can guarantee  itchy hands and arms and eventually, a quick shower followed by a dose of baking soda or Caladryl to stop the scratching.  No ma’am.  You put on LONG sleeves, even if it IS 110 outside.  And thick gloves for your hands.  I am not kidding.  I know these things.  Seriously.

Then, you can fry the little pods. Or pickle them.  But don’t stew them.  Ick.  Like Jerry Clower used to say, “I ate so much okra when I was a kid, my socks wouldn’t stay up.”  Slimy stuff, it is.

Just as you are ready to cut your 3rd or 4th picking, it gets cold.  The okra will pretty much stop growing after that.  It comes to  a screeching, stop-on-a-dime halt and will…Just Sit There.  Literally.

Why do I mess with planting okra, you might be wondering?  I don’t know.  I think it may be genetic.  I MUST have okra to fry each summer.  It’s in my blood.  It drives me crazy trying to keep it happy.  But there you have it. I. Love. Okra.

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9 Responses to And now, on the okra front…

  1. Kitty says:

    Years ago, when our girls were in high school, a fellow “band parent” gave me the recipe for canned okra. Just open it, drain it, batter & fry. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I’ve got a few quarts left from last year, but I’ll need to can some next summer. Fried okra – definitely one of those foods that will be featured @ the marriage supper of the Lamb.

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    • The Queen says:

      So you’re saying you can it then fry it?!!!! That’s a new one for me. We pickle them and fry them but that’s IT! But I think you’re right…the Lord knows what’s good!!! 🙂

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  2. Suzann coffey says:

    You know you can buy that stuff in bags! It’s in the freezer section of your fav grocery store!!!

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    • The Queen says:

      And Suz comes thru again!!! I am proud to say that I have NEVER had grocery store okra..no that’s a lie. Once at CF, I bought okra in the produce dept. at Wallyworld. Not quite the same as homegrown…

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  3. Fancy Nancy says:

    I beg to differ…we are BIG stewed okra fans and if really good and fresh (and young, small pods with few ridges) is not slimy in my opinion! 🙂 The trick is very little water plus olive oil and sea salt, but it has to be watched so it won’t burn. I buy organic in season. Sometimes we add tomatoes…oh, yummy! But of course, fried is delish, too…but Hubs and I have to eat heart healthy!

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  4. The Queen says:

    Makes me gag just thinking about it. But if it floats your boat, go for it!!! But I’m thinking the olive oil might work…ever tried onions with the tomatoes and okra? Sounds like it could work? We eat heart healthy too…well, unless you’re talking fried chicken..or chicken fried steak…or okra and squash…and every once in a while, a fried pie or two. 🙂

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  5. Fancy Nancy says:

    LOL! Oh, yeah, forgot I do add onions to the gumbo style okra. I really think the small young pods are key. I only buy those. Older, larger pods do get slimy and aren’t tender, but are good fried. Guess since I’ve eaten a diabetic diet for most of my life, fried foods don’t surface often! 😉 Bet your fried food is awesome!

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  6. The Queen says:

    Next time I’m in TX/Metroplex, I’ll stop by for some?!! 😀

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  7. Fancy Nancy says:

    Or I maybe I should come and prepare you some from your own garden next growing season! 😀

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