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Fried Okra

Because neither Bruce, nor I were born in the South, our parents brought their regional tastes with them to Florida. My parents are from the Mid-West; I was born in Ohio but came to Orlando when I was 4. Bruce hails from Upstate New York, and I do mean that literally. In New York they call anything north of NYC upstate, however, you and I know that is an exaggeration. He was born in Watertown, NY which is on Lake Ontario, nearly to Canada. In any case, we did not have the pleasure of fried okra at our family dinners. We suffered through overcooked, mushy, Southern fare in our elementary school cafeterias though. Yikes, I can still remember the smell of cooked-to-death turnips and cabbage. I am going to tell you how to make a delicious Southern dish today--fried okra. I've made it several ways but last night here's how I did it:
Wash, then slice okra into 1/2" pieces
Place in bowl with buttermilk and a few dashes of hot sauce to soak
Let sit for about an hour while you make the breading
Mix equal parts flour, and corn muffin mix (like Jiffy) in brown bag
Add your favorite Cajun seasoning--several teaspoons
Remove okra from buttermilk, shake off--don't be grossed out as it is a bit slimy--just wash your hands and deal with it.
Heat canola, peanut, or vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet if you have one
Put about 10 at a time in bag and shake to coat-place on plate to rest
After the coating drop one in oil and if it doesn't sink, it's time to fry!
They will float to top when browned--keep warm in oven while frying the rest. You are in for a treat--just try and stop eating them!
The beautiful okra pictured above is from the Sunday market. We have a new manager who bought all these pretty baskets and red checked tablecloths to make it more festive. I think she succeeded--I'm looking forward to her other improvements.

Before I go any further, here's a clue to who sat directly in front of Matthew at a concert in London on Sunday night--she went out with her hair much dirtier than you or I would. I'm not sure if I should tell you the answer today, or make you wait.

I got an early start this morning--here's what I accomplished--
  • Mailed a small package to Matt for his birthday-- on July 5 he turns 31.
  • Found Bruce's hair gel in tiny tubes--you know--airline regulations.
  • Bought a huge bunch of basil for only $1.29, and gorgeous arugula.
  • Had my tire patched--a nail was discovered yesterday.
  • Searched for frames.
  • Chatted with my neighbor across the street--she's a new mother and tired.
  • Photographed some flowers, one in particular I'm very jazzed about.
  • Found out my latest picture on flickr made Explore--that really makes me happy.
  • Applied for my state sales tax number.
I saved this for more than a bullet point. If it's not hell enough to be sick, you must deal with the bills. We have very good insurance, but it still requires effort to sort through the whole mess. I have a stack of about 50 correspondences regarding my healthcare visits. Enough to make anyone feel terrible.

Okay, I give. It was Kate Moss--you guessed it didn't you? Jonathan did first try.
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