Believe it or not, this is a love story! (Or rather, an illustration of love) I’ll begin with a bit of background. When I was a kid, my mom, who was usually an amazing cook, made my brother and I okra for dinner. I’m sure there was more to the meal than just okra, but I was so traumatized that all I remember was the offensive vegetable. It was mushy, slimy, and hairy, none of which I found appetizing. That was my first, and what I hoped would be my last, experience with the vile vegetable! Over the years, I’ve had plenty of people tell me it wasn’t cooked right, and if I tried it cooked the correct way, I’d like it. I assumed they secretly disliked me and just wanted to trick me into eating it again, so I continued to happily refrain.
Many years (along with a few of life’s storms!) go by, and I met and married my country guy. Life was great, and he was everything I thought a man should be! That is, until I discovered he was an okra lover! (Did you hear the dramatic music in your head as you read that? Maybe I’m the only one who imagines weird stuff like that!) Ok, I’m obviously exaggerating a bit, but it was hard for me to understand how he actually liked it!
We were in the grocery store, picking up a few things for dinner, and had made our way to the vegetable section. As we passed by, my husband said “Hey, they have Okra! Sweetie, could you make me some?” Of course I laughed, because he was joking. Right? He was joking! I know this, because okra is Nasty! I mean look at all the delicious vegetables available for a person to enjoy, and he was asking for okra? Yeah, he wasn’t joking.
I began to list the many reasons (by “many”, I mean one: It’s gross!) why I wouldn’t be cooking okra, but then he did something completely unfair. He looked at me, almost forlornly, with those sky blue eyes of his, and said “Please? I love okra.”
How could I possibly say no to that? Well, I bought the okra. I got online, and found a recipe for breading and frying it (because you can bread and fry nearly anything and it will taste ok!), and I made him okra to go along with dinner. I even tried it. It was tolerable (Actually kind of good!), but more importantly, it made him happy! Seeing him happy, made me happy, so it was completely worth trying the “hairy slug of the vegetable world” one more time.