When I posted a link to two recipes on Facebook a few days back, I could easily have predicted the reaction. Or rather maybe no particular reaction to Mark Bittman’s take on lightening gumbo. And that turned out to be a particularly delish celebration of the Saints win. The other recipe is one I found for a fat-free take on okra.

Like another under-appreciated vegetable, brussels sprouts, there are few willing to try this and many ready to condemn. Well – more to enjoy for the rest of us. You guys are really missing out!!

I do remember a time (maybe 25 years ago) when okra sounded icky. Of course I hadn’t actually tried it. In the years since, I have come to enjoy it breaded in cornmeal, thickening gumbo in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and dry sautéed in the style of salt and pepper prawns. This roasting method reminds me most of the salt and pepper method. And, it reminds me of a lovely first journey over 20 years ago, when I went to New Orleans for a week, and discovered the joy of being on foot in a new city with the best of travel companions ever. Bon appétit and Happy Valentine’s Day.

next: Fat Tuesday with pancakes Geordie style, and King Cakes….