Okra, a wonderful vegetable with a lot of potential. From just steamed, boiled, fried the Southern way, gumbo, Mediterranean Okra stew, salad, and with medicinal properties too. It is said that the water in cut okra steeped overnight can help abate diabetes. There are just so many ways to enjoy okra.
Okra was not really in our dinner table from the start. I first encountered okra in my Uncle Doroy’s garden. He had the guavas removed and replaced with rows and rows of okra. I was so curious about it, growing up we didn’t have that many playmates that we fended for ourselves. So, seeing that strange plant, I dissected it, the slimy insides of the pod was a turnoff. In college, I had a serious taste of okra from my friends from the Ilocos and Zambales regions, then the relationship began.
Having a backyard made us explore what good things to plant, the okra got the first pick. The flower is the full bloom, what a beauty.
Towards the afternoon though, the flower closed and a small fruit came. We had our first harvest, wow so sweet.
For mom’s birthday party, we had dinuguan (pork blood stew), beef caldereta, steamed fish, pork menudo, lechon pork belly, and crabs. To counter all the rich, artery blocking goodness, we included boiled eggplant and boiled okra with anchovy paste for dip. A wise decision indeed.