Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fried Okra


It took a 'little' longer to make the fried okra
than I had originally hoped, but now I have
had time to get it done and I
got some good pictures to boot!

Here's the end product:


Mmm.  Mmmm.  Good!!!

For any of you who are not familiar with okra,
I thought you might like to see how I cook it.

So...read on!!!


I cook okra just the way my mother taught me!

You can start with the okra fresh or frozen.
I don't dethaw it when it is frozen.  I just
go straight from the freezer to coating it,
to frying it.  This procedure doesn't
give the okra time to turn slimy.


For this much okra, I use a scant 1/2cup of 
white flour and 1/2 to1tsp of pepper and salt
(adjust to taste, of course!).



Then I find a container with a tight lid
and shake the okra with the 
flour mixture.



After I get the oil heated in the skillet,


 I pop the coated okra into the skillet and
cover it with a screen to prevent 
the oil from splattering.



Lately, my eldest son has been helping me with 
the frying.  He does a better job than I do!


The secret to frying okra is to not turn it too often.
Don't turn it until it starts to smell really good and
you think it might be burning.  This is actually a
GOOD sign with okra.  When the okra is done,
you should have a mixture of green, brown, and black.

The burnt black okra is actually the tastiest to me.
It is crunchy and has a great flavor.
It needs to be offset with the less done
pieces however because it does have
a strong flavor and the other levels
of 'doneness' give the dish a balanced
taste that is OH SO YUMMY!


A cast iron skillet works best.  I find that
a teflon skillet will not fry okra to a crunchy state
and the okra can be slimy.  
I'm not really a fan of slimy okra.

The other main way I use okra is to throw it into a
stew with lots of other veggies to add variety and flavor.

What favorite okra recipes do you use?

I want to know since I now have a freezer full
with more okra coming from the garden 
all the time.  The Lord has blessed with
a BOUNTY!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Joys of the Translator



Hello Friends!!!
I just found out how to put
a translator on my page,
and I wanted to draw
your attention to it!

And I'm excited because I know
I get visits from all over the world.

So now hopefully it will be easier for
everyone to understand what I'm
saying and you will want to visit
MORE OFTEN!

Let me know if it is working
well or not.  :)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Okra Explosion!


I have been wanting to get this blog post done since last week, but as I said, life has been jam-packed full.  I just got through my last extra meeting for a little while.  But school and soccer are in full swing this week.  Next week is a break week for our little homeschool which, by the way, we call Wisdom Trackers Academy.  Maybe I will get the time to do so of the finishing work on my crochet projects.  I have completed the butterfly I was working on, but I have to iron and block it before I can do the ta-daa!! moment.  I also need to get some ribbon for those bootie ballet slippers!

My garden has been awesome this year.  As you've seen from other posts, the tomato plant and the okra have been growing into mammoth plants.  The tomato is pretty much toast, but take a look at this okra:

The 1st pictures show the plants in juxtaposition
to other tall things in the backyard.

Like the 6' fence:

And the tree and power line:


I have to pull some of the stalks over and down to
where I can reach the pods in order to cut them!!!

Here's what some of the crazy, thick stalks look like:


This, of course, is the flower that results in the fruit of the plant:







And the okra pods themselves:

These grow amazingly quickly and must
be cut with clippers every day to day and a half.
This is an average picking day's worth:



In order to prepare them for eating fresh,
just slice them for your recipe.
If you are wanting to freeze them
for future use like I do, you
slice them, slip them into a zip-lock bag
and seal it, then throw the bag in the freezer.




(Some pods grow a little crooked.)
An average day makes about 1 to
1 1/2 gallon bags of sliced okra.

Some pods get rather large, as you can see.
When they are this big, they get tough and are
very stringy to try to eat.  Okra are best picked
while small and sliced while fresh.

Make sure you pick them frequently!!!
If you have a busy weekend and can't
get to it like I didn't this past weekend,
then the harvest explodes and too many
of the pods grow big, thick, and tough.


Like this!


(This load gave almost 3 gallon bags full
even with all the pods I had to throw
out because they were too tough.)

Coming soon:  ~FRIED OKRA~

YUM!  YUM!!  YUM!!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BELLA CROCHET - Elizabeth Ann White

If you remember this:  Beautiful Butterflies

And this:  Dainty Lady in Sage

They are examples of the designs of Elizabeth Ann White.

Here is a sample of Ann's work over at Bella Crochet that I found on http://www.youtube.com.  Just thought you might like to see this.





Nice, huh?

I really like her work.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Whirl Wind Week


 Is it REALLY Thursday already?

I can hardly believe it!

Where has it gone?

I'm sure I don't know.  I have been busily teaching my boys and baking pumpkin bread and cookies and hauling boys to various activities and going to Church.  Today, I squeezed in cleaning my refrigerator!


Yay me!!!

I thought, 'while it is almost empty...'

I have a little more to do on the last side of the Summer Breeze Sweater before I can sew the shoulder seams and begin on the sleeves.  I just squeeze in a little here and a little there while a boy is reading to me or while I'm waiting somewhere.  Though I don't see much progress at each sitting, slowly but surely, it is getting finished.

Now I am applying the same principal to blogging today.  I have a boy reading to me, and I am typing as I can.  I looked and saw that it has been since last Saturday since I talked to you.  I thought, 'I'd better get on the ball!'  So here I am trying to stay 'on the ball' and juggle tasks without falling off.  I know I'll fall off sometimes, but as long as I get up and keep on trying, I will get somewhere!  The Lord is constantly empowering me and motivating to persevere in all the tasks that call my name.

(A blogging friend asked me where I got the Summer Breeze pattern.  It is a Coats and Clarks free project sheet (LC1332).  I don't know if you can get it from them or not.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day for Remembering...




And appreciating life...



And beauty that still is...




And being a refreshing fragrance in this world 
for those who still walk in it...


THANK YOU TO THOSE OF YOU WHO 
GAVE YOUR LIVES FOR THE SAKE
OF ANOTHER OR WHO RISK
YOUR LIVES TO KEEP US SAFE.

A PRAYER FOR COMFORT AND PEACE
FOR THOSE WHO LOST
A LOVED ONE 9 YEARS AGO
OR IN THE STRUGGLE SINCE THEN.

A CHARGE FOR THOSE OF US LEFT BEHIND
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THOSE
WHO ARE NEAR US OR
COME AFTER US.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Repetitive Patterns are Perfect for Waiting

Dear Friends,

I used to stay away from repetitive patterns; because, after I learned the basic sequence, I got BORED.  I like variety, so doilies and patterns that change are generally my favorites.  But now that I am SWAMPED, I am appreciating a predictable pattern more.

The Summer Breeze sweater pattern that I have been working on for awhile has been pulled back out.  It is perfect to work on when I go to wait for a dental cleaning, to pick up a prescription, or during whatever other unavoidable wait times I encounter.  I have almost completed the upper back during these times!



So many times I think, "I want to finish my butterfly, but I don't have the brain power to tackle that right now."  But I CAN pick up Summer Breeze and crochet a few stitches without having to tax myself at all.  I have even taken to doing it while the boys are doing their science experiments and I just have to be a supervisory presence.  :)   

Happy, happy!!!

So, I've been playing Hooky without bowing out of my responsibilities!   Hip-hip-hooray!!!

Happy Hooking to you as well!!!

With great satisfaction,

MamaLezlie

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beautiful Song

I love the lyrics of the writer of song-writer, Phil Wickham! And this is SUCH a COOL rendition of his song, Eden, by an acapella group called For Christ's Sake.

I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And so a new week begins...

...full of opportunities to love and serve others, to laugh and cry with them, to be there for them.

I hope that all my blogging buddies have a GREAT week and that they see glimpses of God's work in their lives.

Hopefully, I will have a little hooky time squished into my week by the time it's done, but it may not happen.  Our church's AWANA program starts up tomorrow night.  Tonight is Worship Team practice & a trip to Wal-mart.  Teaching and house-keeping are most of the day.  And company may be coming this weekend.

If I get done with my butterfly, I will make sure and share pictures!

May God bless and keep you and make His Face shine upon you!!!

Love,

MamaLezlie

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beautiful Birthday Butterfly - WIP


Well, as usual, I was not able to finish
a birthday present on time.
This one is for my Precious Mommy.

But...

I'M GETTING SOOOOO CLOSE!


Just one more piece of wing left.

Her favorite color is red.
So I'm using red for the wing accent
with a white/gold variegated combo.


It's turning out quite nicely!
TONS of ends to tuck in, 
but I'm almost done with 
that part as well!!!

I got the free pattern off of Ravelry.

Working with the 2 colors is somewhat
tedious because you have to switch and tie off
FREQUENTLY.

But I think the outcome will be worth it!

Especially since it is for my Mom and
she's VERY worth ANY amount of trouble!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pink Booties - WIP


Here's what I was working on
while watching the CMA Festival:


PINK booties!  The pair on the left is the girl version
of the navy crocheted sneakers I made previously.

The other 2 pairs are going to be crocheted ballet slippers
when I get the finishing touches on them.

Both patterns are some of the test patterns
I'm doing for Kay Meadors over at

These will be great for winter babies!


Coming up soon...
a WIP for my mom's birthday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hooray for Crochet!

Well, Friends, I FINALLY had some time to crochet, last night!  I watched the CMA Festival (which I didn't think deserved the honor of being considered country music in many respects) and crocheted away on some booties.  Finished one, made a whole one, and started another one.  Quite satisfying!



I hope to post pictures later,
God willing and schedule permitting!



This morning my boys are going to 'fly solo' on their schedule while I go have a MUCH NEEDED (and much anticipated) time of refreshment with my partner in crime (um, I mean ministry) this morning.  She and her DH have just completed building their home together.  (This will make the 2nd home they've built together and they're STILL married!  Incredible!)  And I'm going to see it for the 1st time today.  I can hardly wait! 

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Almost!

RATS!!!  I thought I was finally going to get some hooky time in yesterday.  But I didn't.

I did, however, get through all the work I had to do for the day in that day, and that, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment these days.  My interest at least is reviving and my fingers were anxious to get themselves on some yarn and work on some booties.  But, alas, no.

Maybe tonight during the CMA Festival!