(Hibiscus esculentum, Linn.)

The young pods, the edible portion of this plant, are rich in mucilage. In the South they form one of the most important ingredients of gumbo soup. They are also used to thicken rich stews. The Creoles use them in the genuine Creole sauce. In many places in the North okra is called gumbo from its connection with the gumbo soup of the South.

Stewed Okra

1 quart young tender okra

1 pint water

1 tablespoonful vinegar

1 teaspoonful butter

1 teaspoonful salt

1 saltspoonful pepper

Wash the okra and cut into slices crosswise. Put into a porcelain or granite kettle; iron discolors okra. Add the water and the salt; cover the kettle and cook slowly for thirty minutes, or until the okra is perfectly tender; add the butter, vinegar and pepper, and serve. This is a very nice accompaniment to mock chicken, in fact, to any of the nut dishes.

Okra With Rice

1 quart tender okra

4 large tomatoes, or 1 pint canned tomatoes

1 large green pepper

1/2 pint rice

1 pint water

1 large onion

1 teaspoonful salt

Wash and cut the okra into slices; peel the tomatoes and cut into halves; press out the seeds; cut the flesh into squares. Put tomatoes with the okra into a granite kettle; add the water, salt, pepper and onion, cut into very thin slices; cover the kettle, and simmer on the back part of the stove forty-five minutes. While this is cooking, wash and boil the rice. Have it very dry. When ready to serve, arrange the rice in a pyramid on a platter; pour around the okra. This is a nice accompaniment to any of the nut or bean dishes, and may also be served with eggs.

Okra With Tomatoes

1 pint tender okra

1 pint canned tomato

1 small onion

1 tablespoonful butter or oil

1 teaspoonful salt

1 saltspoonful pepper

Wash and slice the okra. Put it, with the tomatoes, into a granite kettle; bring to boiling-point; add the salt, pepper, onion, and simmer gently an hour. Stir in carefully the butter, and serve at once.

Fricassee Of Okra With Corn

To the above recipe add the pulp from a dozen ears of corn. This combination scorches very easily. Cook it either in a double boiler or over a very slow fire. A chopped red or green pepper may also be added.

Okra Succotash

1 quart tender okra

1/2 pint young lima beans

1/2 pint grated corn

3 large tomatoes

1 tablespoonful butter

1 teaspoonful salt

1 saltspoonful pepper

Peel the tomatoes; cut into halves and press out the seeds; cut into squares and put them into a granite saucepan. Wash and slice the okra; add it and the salt and pepper to the tomatoes; cover and simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Add the young lima beans; cover and simmer twenty minutes longer. Add the corn; cook about fifteen or twenty minutes longer; then add the butter and it is ready to serve. If canned vegetables are used in place of fresh allow a pint of okra, a half pint of lima beans, a half can of corn, a half pint of tomatoes.