Sunday, April 27, 2008

Plate full of green tonight!

We had a wonderful dinner tonight – full of green vegetables. Yesterday I stopped at the produce market and just couldn’t resist the first of the Florida okra. I had stopped for only some Kirby cucumbers, but ended up with a basketful of veggies – including some of the best okra I have seen in months. My kids love fresh okra. It wasn’t always that way. I have always loved fried okra and when we owned our own produce market, I finally started making it myself. Now, when I say fried – I don’t mean breaded and deep fried. I simply slice the okra and pan fry – without any breading – in a very hot cast iron skillet with a very small amount of oil. (I used to try breading the okra, but the breading always ended up in the bottom of the pan and my okra was naked. So, I started leaving off the breading and discovered how much we like it that way.) To make a long story short, my children’s love affair with okra took many, many, many meals before they became as enamored as I am. Now, I have to buy at least 2 pounds of okra to satisfy everyone’s appetite. I have found that quite a few of the vegetables and main dishes I serve the family take several presentations before they are well accepted. Taste buds can be trained and old unhealthy habits replaced with new ones, but it takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was our overwhelming love of okra. I can’t wait for summer when fresh okra is available all the time!

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