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BackstoryI LOVE okra; my Grandma used to grow it in her backyard garden every year, along with other stuff like rhubarb and squashes. It reminds me of her. She was born in 1904 and grew up a very poor sharecropper in rural AR & MO, moving north steadily over early adulthood into IN, chasing better-paying factory jobs. She eventually owned a restaurant with my Aunt Georgie in lovely backwater Arcadia, IN. Then she met my Grandpa (her 3rd hubby; she outlived them all!) and retired to travel in a motor home and fish the Gulf off the coast of Corpus Christie every winter. We'd have fishfries every weekend after they'd return in the spring, of pompano and flounder and jack. She learned to cook by using whatever you could grow, catch or come up with, and I learned from her (my mom grew up in the restaurant and never had to cook!). I took over making dinner every night for my much-younger siblings by my early teens. A lot of what I impart thru this wonderful website has origins in the woods and cotton fields of AR. My Grandma died in 91, but I still think of her quite often. Especially in the kitchen.
- 4-6 oz spicy hot sausage (like hot Italian or breakfast), casings removed
- 1med onion, chopped
- 1lb fresh okra, sliced
- 3-4 fresh tomatoes, scalded, skinned and chopped
- 2/3c V8 or tomato juice
- Salt to taste
- 1tblsp sugar
- 1/2tsp Cayenne pepper
- Brown sausage in heavy Dutch oven over med heat, grinding meat up fine as you cook, til done. Add onion and cook til translucent. Add remaining ingredients and increase heat to HIGH til boiling. Reduce heat and simmer til thickened and veggies are tender, 30-40min.
- NOTE: you can substitute ZUCCHINI for OKRA and it's just wonderful, too. This is also a GREAT concoction to put by for winter using hot bath canning method. It makes a great soup starter, too. Just add to white beans at the tail-end of cooking them and simmer.