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Okra – A Mysterious Southern Vegetable

I grew up eating okra and loving it.  Yes, it can be slimy depending on how it is prepared.  The real secret to good okra is to use only the young tender pods of the vegetable.  I have eaten okra boiled or fried and enjoyed it both ways.  It is also a wonderful addition to soups.  Okra is one of the vegetables that arrives later in the summer in this part of the South.  I always look forward to its arrival and we have a traditional southern meal consisting of fried okra, country style steak with gravy and mashed potatoes.  That is as much of a tradition in our house as turkey with all the trimmings would be a traditional Thanksgiving Meal.

As I browsed through my southern cookbooks to share a recipe including okra, I found the recipes I am sharing with you today.  The pages are from a supplemental cookbook to my Southern Living Magazine subscription and is the Southern Living Vegetables Cookbook.  I was so impressed with the recipes, I decided to include all of them in this post.

This is the first page of the recipes and includes the history of the vegetable.  The recipe at the top of the page is the way my Mother prepared fried okra.  She was a very impatient person and I do remember that the okra would sometimes be almost burned.  It did not discourage my love for okra though.

okra 1

The second page includes a variety of ways to prepare okra including grilling it.  I have never heard of any Southerner doing this but my husband is adventurous and he might just give it a try.

okra 2

If you aren’t familiar with the vegetable, when you cut the pods off the stalk it is very itchy and of course, you harvest the okra in August when it is so hot and humid in the South.  That just proves how much Southerners love okra.  Another fond memory of mind, was when I would hear old timers talk about going home and fixing a big mess of okrey.

Food stirs up such wonderful happy memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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