Okra and (Successful) Collards

Successful Collard Greens! And Louisiana Okra!

While this post should be about how I finally accomplished something with collard greens, it seems it's more about the okra. There's no magnifying glass there. And there's not much of a camera/photography trick going on in that picture. The okra really is that big. Huge compared to what you get around here, even at the Farmer's Market! My parents went home to Louisiana for a week. While they were there, my dear Aunt Isabelle and Uncle Ray sent her home with a bucket of cooking pears and a bag of okra. Giant okra. (Yeah, I'm still stuck on the size.) My mother kindly cooked the pears down for me and froze them so all I have to do is find a great pie or crisp recipe to use them in. She dehydrated half of the okra to use in vegetarian gumbo and gave me the other half to eat fresh. I'm happy to say even Nora ate some. I was 25 before I learned to like okra! So glad she's a good eater. Much better than I was.

As for the collards, I defrosted them. Meanwhile, I softened a red onion in oil and then added the collards and some of its freezing water to the the pan. Extra garlic and other flavorings would be yummy, too. The purpose was to have a good sauce to poor over the quinoa. I can't say the collards were perfect. Paul thought a couple of them were a bit tough (guess when I tasted it, I tasted from the bottom of the pot even though I was stirring it constantly), but they were far more edible than my previous experience.

Thank you Aunt Isabelle and Uncle Ray for the marvelous bounty from your garden! And thanks Mom and Dad for hauling it back!

How I finally learned to like Okra

Fill a pot with water and place a steaming basket on top. I actually use my pasta pot and allow a touch of water to come into the holes in the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a boil. With tongs, place the okra in the pot and steam until very soft when pinched with the tongs. These large okra stems took about 10 minutes. When okra is done, remove and plate. Drizzle fresh lemon juice on top and sprinkle with kosher salt. Small ones classify as finger food. Larger ones may require a fork and knife. By the way, the tops aren't so tasty. Use them as the handle and leave them behind.

What was so great about these was how tender they were fresh out of the garden. Most of the time, this size doesn't steam well and gets really stringy.