2011年9月13日火曜日

oh okra

Oh okra.

You fabulously yummy versatile vegetable.

Gumbo, ohitashi (chilled veg with ponzu sauce) soup, stirfry, salad, fried, crumbed just any way you can think. Okra rocks.

Oh okra.

You fabulously prolific and hardy plant. Throw some seeds in the ground, kick some dirt on top and forget about it. Wait a couple of months and harvest.

And harvest and harvest and harvest.

And do it quickly before they get too big and hard and woody.

Which seems to happen overnight.

Perfect yummy okra is about 10cm long.

If you don't pick it when it looks like that you will turn around and bam! Thirty plus cm okra awaits you. Taunting you.

So, today I grabbed the scissors and decided to attack the okra. I don't want the plants putting effort into growing gigantuan okra that we won't eat. I want them to use that energy to grow even more little tender yummy okra!

I wasn't really dressed for gardening as I'd been out for the morning but it's not like picking okra is a terribly dirty job so I didn't bother changing out of my t-shirt and shorts.

The okra plants are way up over my head and planted in two rows that have grown in together so I was wending and winding my way in among them and holding my hands up head height cutting them off.

To cut them I grabbed the okra pod with my left hand, bent it down on itself and then hacked at the stem with the scissors before throwing it on the ground and moving on.

I cut down about thirty odd and was really getting on a roll when my hand started to itch. And my arm. And my back. I tried to ignore it thinking it was probably just little cuts as the okra is quite prickly but I made the mistake of giving my hand a casual scratch.

OWWWWWWW!!

Meg has allergies. I must have said 'try not to itch' more than a thousand times over the years. Well, I was now standing in the garden, scissors discarded at my feet, scratching like crazy, jumping up and down and yelling 'Owwww! It hurts!! It itches!!!!'

I ran inside and immediately rubbed everywhere I could reach with the girls' muhi anti-itch lotion.

It did nothing.

So I re-applied with K's hardcore but smelly kinkan anti-itch lotion.

It did nothing.

My hands were swollen and red and SO ITCHY!

As the girls watched on worriedly and Meg patted my back and said gently 'try not to itch, mummy.' I grabbed the ice packs from the freezer and tried those.

It did nothing.

I remembered that my dad brought me over some heavy duty anti-histamine tablets for my hayfever and K got me one.

It did nothing.

I read the box and it said 'Adults take one tablet as needed.'

I took another tablet and when K asked what I was doing I explained 'as needed' as I jumped up and down and paced around the kitchen and rubbed my hands with a towel and the ice pack.

K had to go out and, after I promised not to take anymore anti-histamine, he left me with instructions to call him if I needed to go to the hospital.

I didn't think it would get to that but boy it hurt!

The girls ate their dinner and put their plates in the sink and even went and got in the shower and washed each other's hair, double checking the conditioner was all out, without me saying anything at all. If I wasn't so itchy I would have been really pleased!

I googled 'okra itch' and waddaya know, it's some irritant in the okra prickles that does it. And it's worse in the long prickles at the base of the okra. The bit I was manhandling to remove the overgrown pods.

Ahhhhhhh.

The solution?

None.

I must have read 10 different sites but there was nothing. No miracle cure.

I was feeling a little better by now though. A little woozy and flushed too. But I figured that was probably my double dosing on anti-histamines. I haven't even taken a pain killer in years so it must have been a shock to my system!

I was looking for some other lotion though as the muhi/ kinkan combo wasn't working. Tried an ancient bottle of peach leaf lotion. Nope. was considering pawpaw ointment but was reluctant as it is so greasy when I remembered ti-tree ointment.

Hallelujah!

I slathered it on and the relief was instant!

And short lived.

But I got the girls to bed (and thanked them for being so helpful and reassured Amy I wasn't going to die- she's a little morbid sometimes...) and with 10 minutely applications of ti-tree oil gradually the itch resided.

It took a good three hours though.

It hasn't dinted my love for eating okra. But it has certainly made me less gungho and cavaleer about picking it!

Oh okra!

Why are you so unfriendly?

0 件のコメント: