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Cathie Rowand / The Journal Gazette
If you don't like to eat okra, you could grow them for the beauty of their flowers.

If you hate okra, you need a better recipe

The other day a friend asked me: "How do you do okra?" I thought she was asking about how I grew it this summer. After I explained how I grew them in huge pots, she said she meant to ask how I cooked them. "Don't they get rather slimy?"

I have been eating okra all summer. They are fast growers and five plants were enough for one meal a week. The hotter the summer the more okra produces.

They have a big beautiful yellow flower that blooms one day and then immediately grows into an edible green seed pod. The more you harvest the pods the more the plant will produce. Maturing, older, tough pods sap strength that could go to keeping the plant producing new pods daily.

The trick in cooking okra is not to steam or microwave it. I stir fry okra alone or with other vegetables, using Indian spices such as cumin, dry mustard, turmeric and coriander. Sometimes I also throw in a hot pepper from my garden.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer) rsalter@jg.net, Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer) agregory@jg.net, Frank Noonan (copy editor) fnoonan@jg.net and Cathie Rowand (photographer) crowand@jg.net.

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