coming, as soon as i find the camera cable!
Note: When you buy butter beans, you need to buy a lot more than you think you do: the pods are big but the yield is misleading!
I made a ratatouille with the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and tomato, and added some garlic and onion, of course. We ate it before I remembered to take a photo.
Also, I had my first try at Fried Okra. Not only was it my first try at making it, but my first time eating it too. I guess that's probably not how you should do it, because how would I know if I'd done it right? The woman at the farmer's market, who sold me the okra, just said, "wash it, trim it, toss it in cornmeal and deep-fry it." but I didn't see how the cornmeal would stick to the okra. (to all you other yankees, okra is a fuzzy little pod thing, and from what I've read, it should be picked before it's as thick or as long as your index finger. When you cook it for long periods of time, like in a stew or a soup, then you get a great deal of this odd liquidy substance. It's not gelatinous, it's more like egg white. but stickier and slimier. ) To get it to stick, I beat an egg with a bit of salt & pepper, tossed all the okra bits in it (cut to one-half to three-quarters of an inch) until they were all nicely coated, then I sprinkled a layer of white cornmeal over it, tossed again, more cornmeal, and repeat, until it all seemed to get a fairly nice even coating. I had a 3-cup saucepan with about an inch and a half of sunflower oil, heated to about 350ºF, and put the okra in a coule pieces at a time. The first batch always takes forever to turn brown, but once it did, I fished them out and drained them on a paper towel, then I put a few more in. Once they were all done, I squeezed some lime juice into some mayonnaise and served that as a dipping sauce. It was ... okay. It had a fresh, "green" flavor, kind of like green bean tempura made with cornmeal instead of rice flour. Kelly said he'd eat it again if I made it, but he probably wouldn't ask for it. and as for me, I probably wouldn't make it again if that was all I could do with it. I felt like I could have done more with it but since it was my first experience with okra, I didn't want to mess with it too much. Maybe I could figure out how to get a pepper-jack cheese thing going, like a jalapeño popper or something, but there isn't much room inside them, what with the seeds inside. I also make the butter beans, which were also fresh and green, but they were a bit starchy. Maybe they're something you have to eat when they're freshly picked. There was just enough for a small side dish portion for each of us, but we just ate it straight from the bowl, with a bit of salt and butter, so there wasn't anything to compare or contrast it with.
Today I learned: how to cook okra ... from the woman who grew it!