As a West Coast "Yankee" I was never exposed to fresh Okra growing up. We had all other kinds of vegetables, but I just don't think anyone in my family knew what to do with it. On my Mom's side were mostly German/Russian, and all great cooks and bakers. They cooked a lot of potatoes, squash, sauerkraut and bratwurst, as well as dough in many and wondrous forms.....
But they never cooked any Okra.......
However, when you have a roommate who still has many family members in Texas, and a sprinkling in Missouri.....you discover the joys of Okra, preferably right out of the garden.
Now I know it has a reputation for being tough......slimy.......and it is a bit stickery when you pick it.
But oh so beautiful when tossed in a bit of cornmeal, salt and pepper and fried in the pan.....not deep fried mind you. Just enough oil to make it about a half inch deep.
And, very important.......do not turn it until it is browned on one side.
When it is done right, like this, it is oh so tender and wonderful........a perfect side for any occasion.
One of God most misunderstood and wonderful creations from the garden.