Top 5 Fabulous Things of the Month

This is the condensed, no-photo version.

1. Coach Biest totally stole the last episode of Glee. Dot-Marie Jones is awesome, and I love her.

2. Hiking in the Olympic Peninsula and near Mount Rainier was amazing.

3. On a work shoot out of state last weekend, my amazing cameraman Mark found us rooms at a sold-out casino hotel on my birthday. We had reservations at a Super 8 in a neighboring town because it was all I could find. Needless to say, it was a much more pleasant birthday because of him.

4. It turns out that the airport I flew into and out of for my shoot in Illinois/Iowa (a bridge over the Mississippi between the two) is five minutes from the tony town where my grandmother was born. She was born in a barn at the Country Club where her father, a veterinarian, looked after the racehorses. While the country club no long exists, I drove around the town and got to see where Baby Jane began her life. It was nice. Grandpa was born about an hour and a half from there – I’d love to go back and see it, too.

5. I finally got to try a Maid-Rite sandwich! It wasn’t amazing, but it’s a piece of American history, and it was fun. I happened upon one in Moline, Iowa, and we had to get one even though we had just eaten dinner! Yum.

Fried Okra a la Griffith

I joined a community garden today because my backyard garden has failed me two years in a row. Either there’s not enough sun, the squirrels are eating all my seeds and seedlings, or I’m doing something horribly wrong. I stopped by the garden at Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Oak Cliff to see the plot, and the pastor told me to take some okra while I was there because they had too much. And he really wasn’t kidding. There were three plots completely full of 4-foot okra plants, so I took a good amount. I cooked it up for dinner tonight according to Boyfriend’s mother’s recipe, and it totally worked! I’ve never made it before at all, so I was glad it turned out edible, much less good. It’s not a total coating like in restaurants. I did learn that if okra is hard when you pick it, it’s going to be tough and gross when you chew it, like the tough ends of asparagus that get chopped off. Use the okra pods that are a bit spongy, and you’ll get a lovely result.  Here’s the “recipe,” which actually came from his paternal grandmother.

FRIED OKRA A LA GRIFFITH

*Slice okra into rounds

*Season cornmeal/polenta with salt and pepper

*Roll okra rounds in seasoned cornmeal

*Heat oil in pan

*Fry okra in batches small enough for pieces to spend time on the bottom of the pan, for a few minutes, until soft

*Drain on paper towels before serving