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Born a Texan, but traveled the US extensively.  Now staying on the East coast.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Memories of Childhood - Dreams of Okra

Growing up, I liked many vegetables that other children would disdain,
Broccoli because they were little trees and brussel sprouts because they were baby cabbages.
There were foods i did not like and the top of the list was okra.
I only remember okra being presented to me as a slimy tasteless vegetable in some stewed tomatoes.
That was at home
and at school
and in restaurants.
I was forced to try it each time and my dislike grew, so much so, if i ever saw okra any where, i would gag.
Fast forward some 30 years and some one tells me that gumbo must have okra.
I never knew that, i loved gumbo.
How could this wonderful concoction of seafood and spices have okra?
It simply could not be, but when i looked for recipes, they all insisted that okra be present.
I was now confused and confounded and did not know what i should do.
I tried to cook okra, and failed to eat it.
I made a gumbo and put okra in ti and did not know it was there, but i had found the missing ingredient.
I then began to be curious, this thing called okra could be good?
Down in Virginia, they serve okra battered and deep fried.
I tried it and it was not slimly and was even good.
I met other people with a similar aversion to okra, they liked my gumbo (with okra), but could not like it further.
After my operation, when i was ready and beginning to cook in earnest, I tried to cook okra again.
Not as i had known it as a child, but in a new way.
Julianne the okra with garlic and onions, fry in olive oil.
It was good, very good.
Then my Indian friend told me she had made okra her way, with the great spices that are so common and with hot peppers.
i fell in love.
Okra no longer makes me afraid and i will eat cook with it and eat in restaurants, but no with stewed tomatoes.
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