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With okra there is no in-between

11 Sep

Have you ever heard of Okra, where I come from we spell it ochokrafeswtival.jpgre, some people call it lady finger because they grow in such slender beautiful pods about 3 or 4 inches long.  This was a staple green vegetable in our household because we planted it in our backyard.  Not everyone likes okra. Those who never developed a taste for it might not have been privy to the best way to cook delcious vegetables. I kid you not this is one of my favorite vegetables. It is slimy. If you do not like slimy food, the do not wash this vegetable afterit is cut up.  You have to wash and dry the vegetable before cutting it up and it has to be cooked in a generous amount of oil, preferably olive oil. It is the easiest thing to cook. It’s like stir-fry. You put your onion, garlic and meat (shrimp, chicken, beef whatever) with generous black pepper and some other kind of pepper in you like it hot and spicy.  Do not cover the pan as the water from the condensation may make your okra slimy.

Cook on high for about 5 minutes then let it simmer and serve with rice. Delicious.

Some people make okra soup with other greens – that’s really slimy stuff.  It’s not my favourite style.

I read recently that there is an Okra Strut Festival started in 1973 in Irmo South Carolina that draws an estimated 50,000 people each year. The festival is family friendly with the usual arts and crafts, petting zoos and also an okra-eating contest.  That sounds like a lot of fun.

I think this is a rather creative idea to celebrate an unsual vegetables and could be good for you too. Okra is a good source of vitamin C and A, also B complex vitamins, iron and calcium. It is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber, and is fat-free.

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