When a Burundian family left for another state earlier this month, their community garden plot of okra was ready for harvest. Having never eaten okra before, I wasn’t sure what to do with these vegetables. After two weeks of trying to get church members to take bags home with them (including recipes last week), today I took a new approach.
During our community gardening morning, after we transplanted a few more trees and spent a couple hours weeding other plots, we picked the remaining okra. All dozen volunteers were invited to take a handful home. The rest came back to chez moi.
A few minutes of Google research and empowerment later, pickled okra it was. My friend Diane — who runs two incredible foodie blogs — says this is the way to eat the green veggie. She’s been giving me insightful cooking advice for years; I’m taking her word for it.
So spicy, I’m blurry!
With a minimal investment in canning supplies and pickling salt, I canned 16 giant jars of spicy garlic pickled okra.* Oh yeah, each jar includes jalapenos and garlic because I love spicy, garlicy anything. Why not okra?
I bought some labels I plan to stamp with the garden’s information, and after these babies are done picklin’, I am going to sell them at church and at the Tempe Market on Mill to raise funds for next season’s seeds. Voila.
When life hand’s you a field of okra, you might as well make the best of it. And pour yourself a nice glass of metaphorical lemonade in the process.
*Again, perhaps the worst possible time of year to spend in the kitchen with giant pots of boiling anything.