Summer produce is waning. I always long for the days of cooler temperatures and the sounds of autumn but I'm also sad to see the garden begin to die down.  The butternut squash is laying on the ground waiting to be harvested, surrounded by vines and leaves that are brown and lifeless.  By this time of the year, most of my canning is done. The tomatoes have been picked and canned and the only things left in the ground are potatoes and beets.  We'll have a few fresh tomatoes to eat  as they ripen but there won't be many.  The farmer's markets are still overflowing with produce to buy so we've been shopping there the last few weeks.  We didn't have room to grow okra this year so I won't have any in the freezer for winter use. 

The past two weeks we've stopped at the market and purchased fresh okra from the farmer.  One of my favorite summer vegetable treats is fried okra. It's one vegetable that you cannot replicate in the middle of winter. It's only good when it's fresh! I also think you can't have really delicious fried okra without cooking it in cornmeal and frying it in a cast iron skillet! You can probably tell from the picture that I don't have a lot of breading on the okra. I prefer it lightly dusted with corn meal. I wash the okra, then slice into a zip-loc bag that has corn meal in it that is seasonsed with salt and pepper. After heating the pan I add a small amount of olive oil and drop in the okra. I let it brown before I turn it.  It's ready to eat when it's nicely browned on both sides.

We had a rain shower today and the weather has changed drastically.  The weather report is that there will be a 50 degree drop in temperature between yesterday and tomorrow!! I think we may get our cast iron soup pot out and break it in for the autumn soup season! This is another of our favorite things. We bundle up warm, make a big bonfire, and hang the pot on the tripod over the fire and sit and relax.  It's our therapy. 

The grandkids are here for the weekend and they love making smores and have a fire so maybe we'll cook a pot of chili over the fire tomorrow evening. I'll post pictures if we do that. Until then, enjoy the cooler weather!


  1. What does okra taste like? I've never tried it. :)

  2. Hmmmm...that is a hard question to answer. I think if you asked anyone who knows, the first thing they might tell you about okra is about it's consistency. Once you slice it it can be slimy. If you boil it as a veg it can be used to thicken dishes because it gets slimy-ish. Doesn't sound appetizing does it? When I fry it, I slice it and immediately dust it in corn meal, then pop it into the fry pan. That pretty much alleviates the slimy stuff that seeps from them. They have a unique taste. They are mild in flavor. The insides are filled with these little seeds that are the size of BB's. They're white and the sort of 'pop' in your mouth. Okra is used in 'Gumbo' which is a dish of the South. I don't care for it any other way than fried. If you decided to try it you really must let me know what you thought!!

  3. I love the black cast iron skillet pic :)

  4. I was going to 'clean up' the picture before posting it. I had made a mess on the stove top...Richard said..."leave it! it looks natural." lol I love my cast iron!!

  5. Lydia - you tried it once! in south carolina, i bought some frozen from the store, and boiled it like green beans. it was horrible. :D