Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

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Musings by Donna #42 A Hankering for Okra

If y’all had asked me what okra was a few months ago, I reckon I may have said it was a vegetable and that it was green. I might have added that it is popular down South. I would have been right. But if y’all set it in front of me and asked me what it was, I would have had no clue. It wasn’t until my niece, Krystil, mentioned, on Facebook, that she was craving okra that it came to my attention.

Pickled okra is what she wanted. It did not sound appealing to me, but Krystil seemed to love it. She was searching her Mississippi neighborhood for it. So, I decided it couldn’t be all that bad. And … that’s when I developed a hankering for okra. I had to have it.

I reckon I was on a mission. I searched the grocery store aisles for pickled okra. I foraged through the produce department. I sifted through the condiment section pushing aside pickles, olives, capers, artichoke hearts, and hot, red pepper rings. Heck I was aimin’ to take any kind of okra, but there was none to be found.

After scouring several stores, I asked a store manager. “Pickled okra?” he said and looked totally flummoxed. He scratched his head and then said that it might be a “brother” thing. Now I was flummoxed. Whatever did that mean? “A brother thing?” I repeated. He glanced around furtively then in a whisper said, ” You know … black.”  “Ahhh,” I said and nodded my head as a “black” store employee approached. Who better to ask, I thought. I posed my question to him. He looked quizzical and then replied, “Isn’t that what they eat down South?”  “Yessss,” I said encouragingly. He went on. “Maybe they just boil them in vinegar.” He was no help.

One day when I was not looking for okra – there they were – right in the produce section of my regular market. OKRA $2.99 a pound. Of course, they weren’t pickled, but I didn’t care. I bought a pound and toted them home.

Then I pored over site after site on the internet for pickled okra recipes. They all included Mason jars and sealing wax. That’s more than I bargained for. I simply wanted a bottle of pickled okra to see why my niece loved them so much. I searched for another way to prepare okra and found a simple recipe for my okra. Roasted okra is yummy.

Check out this site to learn more than you ever wanted to know about okra. Vegetable of the Month: Okra

If y’all find okra to be pleasing to your palate and y’all are fixin’ to make it for your families, then here are a ton of recipes to try. Okra Recipes.

But, for me, I will have to hop a jet plane to my sister, San’s, house in Mississippi to experience pickled okra. And while I’m there I’ll be sure to have her fried green tomatoes. They are the best.

(Clip art compliments of Bing.)


April 27, 2012 - Posted by | Musings by Donna | , , , ,


  1. I ate some of “Uncle John’s” pickled okra last night, and it was delicious. Don’t try to find this brand in the store though, as this batch was made by an elderly southern gentleman who is an absolutely incredible cook. Too bad Krystil and you weren’t there! Pickled okra is absolutely fabulous!!!

    Comment by Sanner | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. Oh, and thank you for saying my fried green tomatoes are the best. I hope to have a mess of green ones by Mid-June, so hop a plane on down South and I will fry you up a batch. We can watch the movie of the same name, and incidently one of my all time favorites while you are here! Mine definitely look 100% better than the one’s fried up at the Whistle Stop Cafe!

    Comment by Sanner | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  3. Oh where is “Uncle John” when you need him? Next time I come down can we search it out?

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | April 28, 2012 | Reply

  4. We can most certainly try. LOL I just bought some green tomatoes at the store today; we’ll be enjoying those for supper tomorrow. In the South, lunch is called dinner, and dinner is called supper. Rob “corrects” me all the time. I love the South but I am still truly a Yankee girl.

    Comment by Sanner | April 28, 2012 | Reply

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