ketchup and okra

A couple of really fun things happened in the kitchen this weekend:


I picked up some more tomatoes and decided to turn the small batch (about 4-5 pounds) into ketchup. With Food in Jars planted firmly at my kitchen counter, I simmered the tomatoes down and made the entire house crave french fries. We tried them out at breakfast with a quick batch of home fries and even the 8yo, who is not a fan of the sweet stuff in squeeze bottles, was won over. Only homemade from now on if we can help it. I used quarter-pint jars instead of the suggested half-pint jars because we really don’t eat terrible lots of it and would hate to have an opened jar go to waste.


It is no big secret that I struggle with okra. I begin most summers determined to conquer the unappetizing vegetable and fizzle out halfway through it’s incredibly long season. I’ve pickled a couple of small batches for him so far, but felt like I needed to give the veggie one more try – just the okra with as little frill as possible. I tossed it in a smidge of olive oil with paprika, coriander, salt and pepper and roasted it in a 375º oven until it looked crispy. Slicing each pod lengthwise and blasting it in the oven left no sneaky, steamy pockets inside the pods for the gooey stuff to take residence in and the crispy quality made it instantly more appealing as a snack. Verdict? I think I can do this okra thing.

I posted this week’s meal plan over the weekend and think that I am pretty darn close to the recipe for Summer Minestrone that I have been promising for weeks. Other than that, I’ll be enjoying the relatively quiet week with the 8yo. You can check out my twitter feed to see what we’re making day-to-day and to see pix of the board games we’re playing in between.

Have a great week!

Be kind. Be patient. Eat well.


  1. EvelynGalante

    Toss the okra in oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Then skewer and grill them! Seriously amazing. The intense heat of the grill basically dries up the goop, and leaves a yummy char on the outside. Enjoy!

    1. aneelee

      I didn’t do it with my first batch of tomatoes earlier in the summer for fear that the process would swallow me whole, but it was far less daunting than I expected. A few hours (most of it inactive) and I have a winter-ready stash.

    1. aneelee

      I’m definitely going to try it again, but am hoping to come up with a solution that doesn’t require the oven. The past few days have worked out, but its going to be too hot for it soon. What do you usually do with yours?

      1. midnitechef

        Haven’t made okra yet (I’m new to the South), but the cactus I made a green-bean-style casserole and it was OK but still a little slimy. I par-boiled the cactus strips (they look like green beans anyways) then made casserole with cream of poblano soup, cheese, onion, garlic, and fried onions on top.

        I want to try gumbo which requires okra. My co-worker gave me her recipe.

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