Things are starting to fall into place here, I suppose. After I found out our landlord doesn’t want me planting anything in the front of the house, which is the south side, I looked at a few community gardens nearby. I picked one that seems decent, though there’s always worry that neighborhood brats will steal or ruin veggies from the garden. It’s the best option I have, since the landlord seems to prefer to keep the front yard devoid of anything other than weedy ground crawl and unartfully curved metal edging that edges out the weedy ground crawl in favor of debris strewn dirt. So I’m going to start planting for the fall this week, which is exciting! I’ve already got fall (yes fall) tomatoes planted in pots in a patch of sunlight in the back yard. I guess other than that I don’t have much else in my life in place, actually. I signed up for a month at Joe’s Gym. JoesGym.info. I just don’t know what to do about a stupid Crossfit gym. So in the meantime I’m just going to meathead body building gym, getting major weird stares while I try do my old gym’s workouts. Even my cats are in a funk. They kind of just sleep all day, which is what I want to do. I have to snap out! Have to be productive! My funk is sucking at my productivity and my will to be productive. What a terrible cycle.
I’m in such a funk that I bought this okra a week ago. Uh, might have been two. Apparently okra is rather resilient in the fridge. I bought it because I wanted to make something for the blog with it, but I kept opening the fridge staring at it and doing nothing with it. I got it at a single-farmer’s market in the parking lot of a church down the street. He was missing a fair amount of teeth, but made up for them in the amount of okra for sale. I impulsively stopped by, nearly screeching my tires turning into the lot, then realized that I probably didn’t have any cash in my wallet. Basically true – I had only $2 – but a very nice girl gave me an extra dollar (Texans!) and those measly $3 bought a bag full of okra and three pretty sorry looking tomatoes. That’s the kind of farmers’ market I like. I’m sick of the fancy ones where three small potatoes cost $4. But hey – I’ve got that garden spot, so screw those markets. Sorry, fancy farmers.
So after mulling over what to do with that dang okra, here’s what it amounted to. An easy recipe, not terribly exact, but delicious and summery, which is what I’ve been feeling like. The tomato and onion salad doesn’t need measurements, but I wrote some to give you an idea of the sort of ratio that seems right to me. Scale up or down, of course. The dressing makes leftovers, as I generally like to happen. Same goes with the measurements on the okra chips – make as many or little you want, keeping the ingredient ratio similar. The chips are sometimes chippy, sometimes soft, and sometimes a bit of both. All of the above variations are really yummy. Hey, did you notice my new kitchen? What the heck was I thinking renting a place with a kitchen in the northwest corner of the house. GAH there’s no light. Also, I’m working on not swearing. It’s real hard.
curried okra chips
15 okra pods
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Remove the stem and then slice the okra pods diagonally to about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Toss in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip and bake for another 7 or so. Flipping them is pretty terrible, so I kind of halfheartedly did it.
5. Remove and let cool.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 grated garlic clove
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mix with the onion.
2. Make your dressing by combining all dressing ingredients and whisking until incorporated and emulsified. Toss with tomatoes to your taste. You should have leftover dressing (half the recipe if you don’t want leftovers, weirdo).
Serve the tomato and onion salad with the curried okra chips on top. Well isn’t that just que bueno!