I’m back to the 59 Things – my series on a random assortment of things that make me happy to commemorate my recent 59th birthday.
Twentieth thing: Okra. Yup, you read that right. OKRA MAKES ME HAPPY.
I can imagine some of my followers screaming “What? Say it ain’t so!”
Calm down, let me explain. I’ve always prided myself on trying all food. With few exceptions, I like or love most everything. However, a few years ago while traveling, Spence and I stopped off at a little roadside spot for a beer and a brisket sandwich in a lovely outdoor setting. When the owner brought our food, she said, “Y’all like pickled okra?” As I looked down, there it sat on my plate, one piece of pickled okra. For about a minute. Then I discreetly put it on Spence’s plate. “Here ya’ go!”.
Spence took a bite of his, then placed mine back on my plate. “Trust me, you want to try this” was all he had to say. Even though I was certain I didn’t like okra, I took a bite. Then I proceeded to finish it off. Spence just laughed. Clearly I’d liked it. After lunch I found a local vendor and bought 5 jars to take home to Michigan, under the misconception that I could only find this in the south. Thankfully, I was wrong, it’s not difficult to find.
While traveling recently, I saw fried okra featured as a side dish to bbq ribs. I enthusiastically ordered it, confident I would love it. And I did. The reason I wanted to include okra in my 59 things is that it proved an important point. Never assume you don’t like something you’ve never tried, you may miss out on something terrific!