Friday, August 6, 2010

What do you do with okra from the CSA?

First of all, the CSA (community supported agriculture) is a magical thing. Each week, two friends and I pitch in $5 each and we come home with a grocery bag full of yummy local produce. My favorite so far has been the garlic.

Where, you ask, are the photos? In my imagination. Each week, as I've roasted vegetables (lots of potatoes, carrots, garlic, and shallots), I've had that niggling feeling of "I should bring out the camera." I don't like shoulds. The petulant five year old in me thought, "Nah. Don't wanna."

So, no pictures.

But that was before the okra.

When the CSA gives you those delectable little bits of star shaped yumminess, they practically beg to be photographed. Sadly, when I take photos, they often look just delightful on the teeny little screen on my camera. Not so in the harsh light of full-sized glory. Instead, they often look like this:

Cute, right? If okra slices had cheeks, I would definitely be pinching them. But blurry. Cursed shaky hands. It's hereditary. I should use a tripod, I know, but haven't we already discussed this? I don't like shoulds. So, I'm posting a blurry picture, challenging another thing I don't like. My tendencies toward perfectionism.

But enough about me.

Let's get back to that original question. What do you do with okra from the CSA? You fry it up like any right-minded southern woman would, of course!

I usually try to eat healthy, but there's no "light" version of this stuff. You slice it, dredge it in egg and seasoned (salt and pepper) cornmeal, and fry it up. In vegetable shortening. That's right, I said it. Vegetable shortening. I'm not going to lie. This is a food substance that usually gives me the artery clogging heebie jeebies, but I put that prejudice aside when it comes to two things. Okra and bourbon balls. (I have pictures of those from Derby Day and I should have posted them by now, surely, but, get the point.)

What comes out of that sinful hot liquid is this:

They were less blurry in real life and much, much tastier. I'm drooling right now just looking at this photo.

And of course, if you want a true southern supper (which I never call supper, but when eating fried okra, do as the fried okra eaters do...or something), you just add some corn on the cob and sliced tomato. With salt of course. On the tomato. The corn doesn't need it.

Look at that tomato. Gorgeous. I didn't even change the color saturation on this photo. That thing was THAT RED in real life! Swoon.

I have a confession to make. I had never made corn on the cob myself before and I have to admit, it made me feel like I'd passed some threshold of grownupness.

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