Tuesday, September 11, 2007
O is for Okra
Forget singles columns or online dating sites, vegetables are the next big thing in making relationships. Okra has generated more conversations, more new friendships for me than any other vegetable. I am presuming that the okra's long slender shape gave it the name lady's finger.It beckoned at me from the supermarket shelf and then pointed at the first of many people with whom I found myself discussing cooking methods. My first introduction, in the supermarket aisle, was to a woman from Syria. She insisted that the best okra are the smallest ones.Later at Shepherd’s Bush Market, a Nigerian man insisted that the worst crime is to overcook them. I made a mental note of his tip and went home with my bag of okra.
The trouble is that slime has got in the way of making a dish that the family like. The okra feels the need to dribble this clear gooey secretion as I cook it. I made a sauce with bacon and onions and tomatoes and the okra then spoilt it. Not even my husband,with an iron stomach, enjoyed it. So I am appealing to all of you out there in cyberspace to lend me your expertise with okra. Is there a simple, fool proof way of enabling the lady's finger to entice Freddie and Alex into enjoying it?