As these dog days of late summer seem to have us here in middle Tennessee in a tight grip of triple digit temperatures a few plants besides the grass and weeds here on the farm are lovin’ it! Okra is one of these plants that need, want and crave hot weather to produce to its fullest. A beautiful plant specimen pretty enough to use in any landscaping design okra is also delicious and nutritious to eat. Sauteed, fried, roasted, battered, breaded or grilled this is a food after my own heart….not to mention many of other southerners. We love okra here in the south and the farther south you travel the more you will find okra used in all sorts of dishes like gumbo. Okra origins are rooted in Africa and was thought to have been brought to the colonies in the 1700’s. A perfect fit for this tropical-sub-tropical climate in the low states. Okra is packed full of healthy nutrition and rich in both soluble and un-soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol and un-soluble fiber helps keep your intestinal track healthy decreasing risk of colorectal cancers. Vitamins such as A, B and B6 can also be found in okra as well. A win-win kinda of vegetable…all around.
Here are a couple of recipes for cooking okra from our Farmhouse Kitchen:
Sauteed Okra and Heirloom Tomatoes
2 dices and seeded heirloom tomato
1 hand-full of fresh picked whole okra (tops trimmed off)
1 small diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup of water
1/4 tsp sugar
dash of salt & pepper
good dash of Lawry’s seasoning or Spike (found in the health food section of the grocery store)
Optional ingredients: Crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese or black olives and chopped basil or dash of Tabasco sauce and smoked sausage cubed.
Heat oil over medium heat and add onion cook for 2 minutes onions will become semi- translucent. Add okra and garlic cook for a minute more…add tomatoes,water,sugar, salt and pepper and other seasonings. cook for 15 minutes until liquid is reduced and dish thickens. Sever warm.
FarmHouse Kitchen’s Buttermilk Battered Fried Okra
2 1/2 cups of fresh okra (ends trimmed and cut into 1/4 in’ rounds)
1/4 cup of peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup corn meal
1/4 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp Lawry’s season
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Combine cornmeal, flour and seasonings in a small paper bag or ziplock baggie . Pour buttermilk in a large bowl. Place chopped okra into the buttermilk working with you hands turning it over to cover all the pieces. transfer wet okra into the bag of cornmeal and shake it to cover. Place dredged okra into the hot skillet. cooking for 15 minutes turning often to prevent burning. enjoy!
Another hot season vegetable here on the farm that is ready for its first harvest is Edamame or baby soybeans. Edamame actually is the Japanese name for salted-boiled bean, but Edamame is what most people refer to when they are talking about these baby soybeans. These are a real treat, fresh and delicious and I am so excited about offering them to you our CSA Shareholders and Market visitor this season. Again like okra this vegetable is also a powerhouse of nutritional value. Also Edamame packs a good antioxidant punch. Note: if you are sensitive to soy products this bean is a soy bean.
Fresh Steamed Edamame
2 cups Edamame (baby soybeans)
1 good pinch of salt
in your steamer place whole (in the pod) Edamame and steam for 5 -7 minutes just until the pod is bright green. Pour the pods into a serving dish and sprinkle with salt while still hot. Enjoy…
CSA Information & Updates
While we are in the middle of this oppressive heat wave several crops have stopped producing due to heat stress. They will start again once the temperatures in the field fall below 100 degrees. Which Myself, Mark and the farm crew will appreciate as much as well. We are asking for only our Bi-weekly shareholder to pickup this weekend. I will be giving our Weekly shareholders a rain-check pickup in September for this weeks missed share. P.s. y’all don’t worry about missing out on the okra or Edamame we’ll have both over the next few weekends.
Bi-weekly only pickup this only this weekend.
this weeks CSA shareholder’s recipes are posted on the blog. Also if there is a vegetable in your basket you are unsure how to prepare or need some new ideas, please asked Jane at the market she has our recipe box there with her.
Farm Market News & Information
This weekend I will be heading back on tour this weekend leaving the farm and Lucca in the capable hands of Old farmer Mark and the crew. It is never easy to leave the farm for me I tend to worry about things when I am gone. But I will say I am looking forward to ditching my muck boots and donning on my high-heels and lipstick for a couple of days…it does feel good to be a little girlie every now and then.
For those of you both farm visitors and CSA shareholders if you are planning on cutting flowers this weekend keep in mind the heat. Flower loathe being harvested during the heat of the day and in fact will reward you with a short vase life and wilted stems. It is best to cut in the morning hours when the air is cooler and the flowers have had all night to re-hydrate themselves. Never leave your basket or bouquet in a hot car or in direct sunlight. Once you get your flowers home re-cut their stems and remove any leaves below the water line and place them a cool clean water.
Free Workshop.…Saturday August 14th. 10:30 am the farm house kitchen Cheryl Zeck will be hosting a free workshop on making homemade Cinnamon Rolls. A lot of you may remember Cheryl from last fall’s workshop she hosted on making homemade egg noddles. We had rave reviews from attendees as well as from Mark who benefited from plate Cheryl saved him for dinner…yum!
Leave us a comment here on the blog we love hearing from you.
See y’all back on the farm!