Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thunder, Okra.

Thursday night I had my window open and early in the morning I heard a rushing sound and then the biggest clap of thunder I have ever heard. I think the rushing sound scared me most though, I didn’t know what it was. Maybe I was partly asleep although I don’t think so, however, the clap of thunder was certainly enough to waken the dead. There was lots of lightening and more thunder, bot nothing as loud as that one clap. They say a tornado sounds like a train, I think this perisher sounded like a train too. Matt was sound asleep and it woke him. Of course after that we got lots of rain and it was still raining in the morning. Later in the day we ended up with pretty thick fog – couldn’t see across the park although during the afternoon it was pretty sunny. Funny weather.

okraI spent a fair portion of the morning cooking as I had decided to do a shrimp gumbo for supper – in the States I used to have access to fresh crab and oysters but now I have to make do with just the shrimp. Still tastes very good though. I use a recipe I got from my Time Life cookbooks which I have had for many a long year. I happened to see some nice fresh looking okra which is why I decided on a gumbo. I think I have mentioned before that the first time we came across okra was in the Mediterranean. We ate some in a restaurant and shortly after my mother made a copy of the dish which was a delicious vegetable stew with tomatoes and garlic. 

Saturday I am going to make the Stroganoff I posted on October 1. I now have all the goodies. Lots of mushrooms, sour cream and noodles. Next Saturday of course will by our Thanksgiving meal.
This is the recipe I use. This was from the days when garlic was hardly used in England. I used a very large clove of garlic this time. A UK pint is 20 fl. oz. Obviously with the crab and oysters it is more delicious.

Seafood Gumbo

Time Life Foods of the World

Gumbo 002
4 oz. butter
1 lb fresh okra (ladies’ fingers), thinly sliced.
3 oz finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper (I used red)
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbs flour (all purpose)
1 1/2 UK pints chicken stock
3/4 UK pint fresh ripe tomatoes or equivalent canned and drained
Herb bouquet of 6 sprigs parsley and a large bayleaf tied together.
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined
1/2 lb lump crab meat.
16 oysters shelled
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
3/4 UK pint hot steamed rice.

In a large frying pan melt 2 oz. butter over moderate heat. Add the sliced okra and, stirring constantly, cook until the okra stops “roping”, that is until the white threads the veg produces have disappeared. Over a moderate heat melt remaining 2 oz. of butter in a heavy 3 1/2 pt. soup pot or casserole. When the foam subsides, add the onion, pepper and garlic and cook without browning for about 5 mins. Stir in the flour and when it has been absorbed by the vegetables, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Take the pan from the heat and start adding the stock gradually mixing well until all the stock absorbed. Then add the okra, tomatoes, herb bouquet, thyme, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to its lowest point, and simmer partially covered for half an hour. Then drop in the shrimp, simmer for 5 mins. then add the crab meat and the oysters. Simmer for 2 to 3 mins or only until the oysters curl around the edges and the crab meat is heated through. Season with the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. To serve it is customary to ladle the gumbo over small mounds of hot rice in deep soup plates. This may be omitted if you prefer.

Have a great weekend


  1. Maybe the rushing sound was the discharge of the lightning bolt? If the thunderclap was that loud, the lightning was close.

    1. Possibly, I have no idea, Maybe I didn't see the lightening as I was asleep, I don't really know. It was certainly scary whatever the reason.

  2. Hi Jo - when I went to London on Thursday - they had lots of thunder and lightning down here - I missed it and had a dry day - lucky me .. as I was walking around and would have got soaked.

    Love gumbo - but have never been quite certain about okra - I must find someone here who uses it and then I can see a dish being made ...

    Stroganoff I love too - a good new 70s dish I seem to remember ...

    Cheers to you - we've had the most gorgeous day here .. Hilary

    1. Lucky you to miss the rain. Enjoyed our gumbo and our stroganoff.

  3. What I forgot to say was a huge clap .. went off last night - it was fireworks - but it really shook me up - briefly! Not sure why .... we do have a lot down on the sea front .. cheers H

    1. We get a lot of fireworks outside our windows when there is a special holiday, some of them can be horribly loud. Cheers to you too.

  4. What delightful smells. I can smell them from here, swoon. Too hot for Aussies at the moment though. We are having prawns and salad later when it's cooler. Thanks for the recipe which will be useful in winter. :D

    1. We don't get prawns here Denise. However, shrimp fill in very well. I love gumbo - we finished it tonight - it's not that cool here yet.