We Need to Talk

By Jmprouty. (Own work.) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia CommonsDear beloved CSA members, we need to talk. We need to talk about a certain pod-shaped vegetable.

Dear beloved CSA members, we need to talk. We need to sit down for a second and just get a little real about a certain lime-green pod-shaped vegetable– because I know that you’re skeptical. In fact, know that skeptical is a kind word for what some of you are. Some of you are downright critical: you think it’s weird, or worse, slimy— and you’re right. Okra is unique, and it does have a unique texture to it, but you’re failing to see the incredible possibility that okra’s specific characteristic present. Okra’s token sliminess, for instance, comes by way of a natural thickener, which means that slicing up a handful of okra pods and throwing them into a soup or stew saves you the trouble of having to add flour or cornstarch to create a thick hearty base.

So, a story. Once, there was a farm apprentice named Aaron, and he thought that okra was the only vegetable he’d met and didn’t like (though, to be honest, he didn’t care much for lettuce either). He hated the slime. He didn’t understand the shape. He thought the texture was all wrong. He passed on the okra.

He had, however, heard tales of a preparation of okra that would magically transform it into a delicious and downright un-slimy food. But, alas, he did not have the will to deep-fry it against the wishes of health-conscious dinner companions. Aaron and okra were thus star-crossed, until one day, a wise and benevolent market customer suggested that tossing the okra in oil, salt, and pepper would yield the same magical effects. Aaron was, like you, skeptical, but he was of great courage and heart, and he attempted the spell. He made sure to remember to preheat the oven to 450 degrees and stir the okra occasionally.
And the okra was not slimy! It was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside! Its seeds were delicious pops of joy, and, behold! It was so versatile! It paired well with curries and indian spices but, oh lord, was it good just dipped in ketchup like the healthiest, coolest french-fry in the world. Aaron loved (loved! can you believe it?!) the okra. They were, as the story went, happily ever after.

And, here’s the deal, guys, okra is fresh, it’s local, and we have a lot of it that even we okra-loving farmers can’t eat fast enough. You can take the time to put in a gumbo (we’ve got a killer recipe for that too if you’d like it) or you can throw it in soups, but I dare every okra-hater out there to try roasting it this week, just this once, if only to prove that you are true of heart and taste.

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