This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Gumbo is the name of soup; Okra is the plant. Okra is cultivated in every vegetable garden in Texas. The tender pods are boiled and dressed with salt pepper and butter, and always called Okra. Soup, made by boiling beef, chicken, or duck until the meat will part from the bone, which is then chopped fine as for mince meat and put back into the soup, and young Okra pods cut up thin across the pod are put into the soup and simmered for an hour, red and black pepper are added, and when done it is called "Gumbo, " and persons accustomed to the dish are very fond of it. The Creoles often add Sassafras leaves cut fine to give the Gumbo a flavor and add to the mucilaginous qualities of the Gumbo.
Okra is much used in all soups with other vegetables. It should not be cooked in an iron kettle, as it turns the Okra black. The test for Okra is to break the pod from the plant; if it will not break it has passed the edible state. Okra, Tomatoes and Green Corn, in equal quantities, seasoned with butter, pepper and salt, and baked for two hours, is a favorite Southern dish.