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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

98 degrees in the shade means peas and okra

We were at the beach for a few days, enjoying the holiday with several million other people at the beach. I understand I am grossly exaggerating but it seemed like millions. I was sitting on the beach reading when the glare off the gulf was so bright even my sunglasses could not contain it. Instead of leaving the beach I just turned around so I was facing the condo rather than the water. The condo has a boardwalk to the beach and steps down to the actual sand. It is wide enough that 2 people carrying beach essentials can comfortably walk abreast. I noticed what seemed like a lot of people at one time, so I put down my book ( Yeah right, book? Nope, I have become a Kindle freak.) and started watching the throngs of people. For almost 30 minutes there was a steady stream of folks coming to the beach. So using my method of math and calculating 2x 30 ( I figure the length of the boardwalk is about 30 people long) x 30 minutes time x all the condos at the beach is roughly 2 million, give or take a million and a half. Suffice it to say there were just entirely too many people there. Happily we left on Sunday. I love the beach as much as the next guy, but I like it best when it is uncrowded.

On the way home we stopped by an open air produce market. We bought peaches, corn tomatoes, cucumbers, shelled black eyed peas and okra. I got home and stuck them in the fridge. Since we had to have a traditional bbq on memorial day I didn't cook it until last night.

If the Gods of Olympus had an ambrosia meal, it had to be peas and okra. There is just nothing finer in the world. After slicing all the okra and dredging it in cornmeal ( I use yellow cause its prettier on food) I was going to try frying it on the burner attached to the grill on the deck, but just didn't want to stand outside in the blooming crazy heat to cook okra. Instead I took a jelly roll pan ( cookie sheet with sides and put about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the bottom of it. I used the very technical process of using the backside of a spoon to spread it around the pan. I put the okra on the sheet (single slice depth) then sprayed the top well with pam. I popped it into a 400 degree oven and let it bake for about 10 minutes. I would like to report I carefully turned each piece over so it would brown evenly on both sides but I didn't. I just grabbed my metal spatula and turned it quickly. I let it cook for about 5 more minutes, moved it to the top shelf of the oven and broiled it for about 40 seconds. This tasted just like the real deal fried okra without all the mess and without all the oil. We all loved it and I can see me doing this all summer.

If we had peas and okra every day Son3 would be in paradise. Ok not really but he would like it alot. Paradise does not exist in his realm because he still has parents who require silly things like knowing where he is and what he is doing. Poor mistreated child!

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