(For the first six or so years of my life, I thought it was "okrie." That's how Memaw always said it. And she always cooked a "mess" of it. And she grew it in her front yard, down by the corner stop sign, and nobody thought anything of it. Besides, she was the neighborhood association.)
We only have a few okra plants, so I'm not sure we will get a full mess of okrie out of our garden. But we did learn today that, with our tightly-packed planting area, you can miss some things until after they've grown past the right size for picking. Case in point:
According to our nifty little book and the back of the seed packet, this one is about the right size for harvesting. But that wasn't the one we saw that got us started picking. It was this one:
This one, it turns out, is a little bigger than recommended. We could've picked it a few days ago, but it got ahead of us.
And then there's the one we didn't see until we really started rooting around the stalks between the tomato plants. We wonder how on earth we missed something this big:
According to our limited knowledge, this one is past its peak and likely to be tough. We wonder if they mean that for the people who boil okra, not for people like us who plan to cut it up, shake it in cornmeal, and pan-fry it.
No, these three do not constitute a mess of any kind. That is, unless you squish them up and get the slime all over you.