A Treasure at the Belfast Coop

Turkey Tracks: July 10, 2022

A Treasure at the Belfast Coop

A few weeks ago, while shopping for the recent family visit at the Belfast Coop (the neighboring town to the north), I saw, in the freezer section, frozen sliced OKRA.


And most here in Maine have no idea what okra is, nevermind how to cook it.

I bought two packages and couldn’t wait to get home to cook some. It was as delicious as I recalled.

Imagine my surprise (not) when I was there yesterday, and there was a sale sign on the frozen okra packages. I bought four more packages and probably should have taken all that was left.

Again, I came right home to cook some for my dinner (in the middle of the day).

I also came home with a spaghetti squash—so I halved it, seeded it, and roasted it cut side down on a flat pan lined with parchment paper—using the convection oven to increase the cooking time—set at 350 degrees. I added my leftover chicken drumsticks during the last 10 minutes and turned off the convection. If you have not cooked spaghetti squash before, when it is soft/tender, turn it over and take a spoon and scoop out the squash meat, which breaks into the strands you see in the above picture. (Some use this squash like a spaghetti and top it with savory tomato sauce.)

Meanwhile, the okra only needed to be reheated in water. Stop when the water simmers to a boil, drain, and butter and salt.

Look at that pretty okra—so green, with its soft white seeds in the middle.

Now is when I should tell you that my Georgia grandfather did NOT like okra. He said he didn’t want to eat anything that swallowed before he was ready to swallow. Okra is soft and is slippery. I like it best just cooked until tender (I’d leave it whole) and after draining, topped with butter and salt/pepper. My grandmother on my father’s side, who lived in Oklahoma, used to pan fry her okra after dredging it in cornmeal. That’s good, too, but way more work. Okra is often stewed with fresh tomatoes—and is often present in gumbo. Okra and tomato is a lovely combo.

Today after digging up a whole bed of daffodils that need dividing as they are no longer robustly blooming, my mind turned to my leftover okra.

First, here’s the garden project, so you can see I worked up an appetite. The earth is very dry as we need rain. And I’m not finished, but it’s hot now and I was hungry.

And by the way, the lettuce needs to be pulled and shared with friends as the heat is bringing on its bolting. I’ve been eating out of this cold frame daily since April. I’ll replant with Masai filet bush beans which when they get rolling will give me tiny, sweet filet beans until a frost kills them.

Here’s my dinner at noon: reheated spaghetti squash and the okra, a fresh salad that includes a neighbor’s gift of sugar snap peas (delicious raw), and two grilled lamb chops. (The remaining two will be eaten with salad I already made for supper.)

I’ll read a little now and make a coffee, rest a bit, and will again tackle the daffodil project when shade hits the front yard.

The reward will be finishing a job I’ve wanted to avoid, a shower, and a little sewing time—with supper and hand-sewing all organized to enjoy while watching some tv.