This has nothing or everything to do with a blog about gardening. The first time I ever ate at a certain chain restaurant who have rocking chairs out front for your leisure to wait for a table (which is way cool), I was still a carnivore. I can’t remember what fried protein item I ordered, but the thing I do remember distinctly to this day revolves around the “Vegetable of the Day.” Their menu clearly stated “vegetable of the day” and not “sides.” I ordered.
Me: I’ll have the the fried carcass, the fried okra and the collard greens.
Waitress: You get one more with that.
Me: Okay. What’s your vegetable of the day?
Waitress: Macaroni and Cheese
Me: What part of that is a vegetable?
Waitress: Blank stare
My Mother: crawled under a table
My Sister: Spewed sweet-tea out of her nose.
Me: That’ll be fine
What do y’all think? Can we grow mac-n-cheese?
The Wannabes are going tiller shopping. Since I can’t figure out how to blog from my phone, you’ll have to wait for it.
Stuff growing out of the dirt!
Now, what is the proper way to celebrate such a momentous occasion?
Be askeered Yankees, we’ve got okra. 18 whole plants of it! Clemson Spineless variety to be exact.
Listen up all you nay’sayers of okra. I don’t wanna hear anything about it being slimy until after you have eaten it fried…the right way, which is the only way we do it. If you do nothing else, c’mon over and have us fix you up a batch before you say “Okra? Gross!” Or you can make it yourself:
Damn That’s Some Sexy Okra
Eggs – beaten
Oil for frying
*The single MOST important thing to know about okra is that size matters. In this case, you want small pods – 1 1/2″ to 2″ at best. Anything larger, and your okra is going to be woody. There’s an exception to every rule. With okra, large and woody is not what you want.
Heat oil (enough so that your okra isn’t completely submerged) in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to 350 degrees. Slice your okra pods into 1/2″ rounds, discarding the stems and ends. Dredge your okra first in the eggs, then the cracker meal. Drop in your pan and fry, turning them now and then until they get to be a tad darker than golden brown. Take them out to drain on a paper towel, and hit them with some salt when they are still hot. Serve immediately.
Pros: This works perfectly if you are having a to-do and everyone is just hanging out in the kitchen. You can keep cranking them out good and hot, while the masses adore you.
Cons: Not a good traveling hors d’oeuvres because it really is best hot and doesn’t crisp up later in an oven. If you serve this at your own shindig, be prepared to be chained to your stove for a bit.
This post is brought to you courtesy of my friend Maria, a true southern lady, who noticed that my list did not contain okra and was immediately horrified.
Today, we started our seeds. Okay, I lied. We really started some of them a couple of days ago, but got lazy and didn’t start the blog. Since nothing has sprouted yet, we don’t feel like this is cheating.
We have: mesclun lettuce, collard greens, brussel sprouts, artichokes, chinese longbeans, turnips, cowpeas, snap peas, spinach, basil, purple basil, thyme, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, scallions, garlic, carnival sweet peppers, chinese giant sweets, cayenne, habanero, jalapeno, yellow & red romas, better boys, beefsteaks, cherry toms and 2 different types of heirloom tomatoes. I’m sure I forgot something.
We are a little scared about the scope of this endeavor. It might just take up the entire backyard and some of the front. Lunacy? Maybe. Are we insane? Most definitely. The reason we even considered a garden is because I spent $36 in one trip to the farmer’s stand last summer on tomatoes and Ted flipped his shit. One thing you have to know about me is that when tomatoes come into season, I have a tomato sandwich for lunch. Every. Single. Day. And sometimes twice if there are green tomatoes for frying.
Ted was going to start the scientific experimental portion of this adventure today by gaging the sun/shade ratio of the yard to pick the best spot to begin. Alas, he was foiled by clouds and the 3 inches of snow we are expecting tonight. You can’t complain that I used the s* word. I added the adult content warning that you had to approve of right at the beginning, and it was much nicer than what Ted said when I told him the forecast.
Wish us luck greenthumbing it! *pics coming when I figure out how*