LUCY BURDETTE: I don't think we've officially told you this, but I'll be writing and sharing recipes on Thursdays from now on, except for the first Thursday of each month when Annie Knox aka Wendy Watson will be posting. (So glad you'll continue to be a part of us Wendy!)
Anyway, the idea of posting more often got me a little panicky. What if I run out of recipes? Or interesting stories about food? For inspiration, I went to my messy recipe drawer, where I found a pile of handwritten recipes in my paternal grandmother's handwriting--what a treasure!
I can't help sharing the one that was on the top--for Roach Poison. It was written on a piece of a brown paper bag. Is this not perfect for a mystery writer???
In case you can't read it:
1 tsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. boric acid
Shake well and put in bottle caps
Here's another one of grandma's notecard gems:
The best cough syrup for a hacking cough is one teaspoon each of gin, lemon juice, and honey.
Grandma Alice adds that she found this in Life Magazine, and they got it from Dr. Lendon Smith, a Portland, OR pediatrician who had a 5 minute television program "The Children's Hour."
But I can't leave you with only roach poison and cough syrup, so here's my recipe for the best friend okra ever! Living in Tennessee for four years, I learned the joy of this dish.
Do not make this with frozen okra or brown pods. Save it for the time you come across okra at the farmer's market or come by and I'll cut you some pods from our garden! (Possibly the only okra grown north of the Mason-Dixon line...)
Pan Fried Okra
about 20 pods of fresh okra, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 smallish green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
Slice the okra, discarding the stems and ends. If you notice a woody feeling as you cut, that pod has gotten too big. It will taste like eating straw and your family will say "We knew we hated okra!" so do yourself a favor and throw it out.
Saute the onions and peppers a few minutes in a large frying pan until soft. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a small bowl, then add the sliced okra and stir. Dump the cornmeal over that and stir again.
Add this mixture to the pan and fry until it looks brown and the egg is cooked. Serve as a side veggie with Tobasco sauce to taste. Or here I had it for supper with sliced tomatoes and my favorite cottage-oat biscuits, which I'll tell you about another time.
And meanwhile, I invite you to enjoy the Key West food critic mysteries, full of food, friendship, and murder--all set in Paradise! PW said about DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: "Anyone who's overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."
And please follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, or "like" her on facebook for all the latest updates.