Stewed Okra

By contributing writer David Gregory
I recently had an opportunity to eat some fried okra. I have eaten a lot of fried okra and really like it but this was whole pods of okra with the caps on that had been battered and deep fried.
I approached it cautiously but was surprised to fine that it was delicious. However it reminded me of stewed okra, being soft and slick inside.
After the first bite I was remanded of a story I heard many years ago while Mama and I were fishing in the Old Bowie Lake one night. There was no moon, the skies were overcast that night–it was as dark as pitch.
We had a Coleman lantern hanging from the boat out over the water. We were anchored in forty foot water near the tower where the water was drawn from the lake and sent to Bowie for treatment.
The light from the lantern invited all the various kinds of flying insects to join us. Many fell into the water, which served as chumming and brought in the crappie to feast on a bug dinner.
Soon after we got there we could hear the noise of boat oars dipping into the water as it neared and the splash when they threw out the anchor.
We sat quietly and could hear their voices from some distance talking about going out to different places to eat. One of them asked if the other had ever eaten at a little café across the Red River at Ryan, Okla.
When he got a no for an answer he said, “There’s a little café on the left as you go north through town that has pretty good home cooking.” Continuing he said, “The last time the wife and I ate there the waitress, who was also the owner, brought us a big plate of black eyed peas, little new potatoes, corn on the cob, stewed okra fresh from the garden and cornbread.”
When he asked for a second helping of stewed okra she said, “I recently stewed more okra that we could serve that day. When we close at night I usually take the leftovers and table scraps and throw them out the back door.
There is always two dogs laying there waiting for this time get a free meal. One is a big dog that’s a bully. He always catches everything on the fly to keep the little dog from getting it.” To read more pick up the August 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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