As I mentioned on Garden Blogger's Death Day, the only thing that's flourishing in my garden right now is the okra. And not all the okra plants - only three have grown to the point of producing okra. The others are stuck in a point of bizarre stasis depending on the point of growth they were when the flooding came. Some have been two inches tall for a month - others are about eight inches tall.
But the three okra plants that are producing just keep on trucking. They're definitely small plants with severely stunted growth, but that doesn't seem to stop them from sprouting new okra every few days.
But I'm very confused as to what to do with the okra.
One of the problems is that I keep forgetting to pick them and I've got a few that are four to five inches long. I think I'm supposed to pick them when they're around two to three inches long and anything over about four inches is not good to eat. Is this right? Should I throw away anything over three inches?
I've also read that okra only last in the fridge for about a day or two. Well what on earth do you do when you get about one every other day? Do you really cook up one little green okra? I'll admit that every okra I've pulled off so far has gone to waste because I don't know what to do with them. They're in a bag in the fridge, but I assume I should throw them away since I keep reading about this "1-2 days in the fridge" rule about okra. I've only ever eaten okra in a gumbo at a restaurant and never actually cooked it myself. I figured that I'd discover a use for okra once I had a fridgeful from rows of producing plants, but since I'm only getting one or two at a time, I'm at a loss!
And when I'm photographing things, I need you to know that at least 75% of the photos look exactly like this:
Even that nice shot of the three okra up there started out with a black nose on the side before I cropped it.
It's a lot of work pretending that I can take good photos.
(Edited to add additional information about okra that I just discovered:)
Gumbo is Swahili for okra. The recent upsurge in the popularity of gumbo has also brought renewed attention to okra. Okra was brought to the new world by African slaves during the slave trade.
The pods must be harvested when they are very young. Preferably two inches long although three inch pods can also be salvaged. Harvest daily as the pods go quickly from tender to tough with increased size.
Refrigerate unwashed, dry okra pods in the vegetable crisper, loosely wrapped in perforated plastic bags. Wet pods will quickly mold and become slimy. Okra will keep for only two or three days. When the ridges and tips of the pod start to turn dark, use it or lose it. Once it starts to darken, okra will quickly deteriorate.
After reading this I've determined that a) my large pods need to be composted and b) the pods that have been in the fridge for more than 3 days need to be composted. But I still don't know what I can do to save the couple of appropriately-sized pods in the fridge. Hmm...