Long, Thin and Full of Goo


This would violate one of my food taboos (slimy things), but I will eat okra if it’s sliced and breaded and fried. If you come right down to it, I’ll eat just about anything if it’s breaded and fried or covered with chocolate.

Okra is gratifying in the garden: fast-growing (ten weeks from planting to harvest), prolific and beautiful, with attractive flowers and ribbed pods somewhat resembling chili peppers. Cross-sections of okra look like wagon wheels — the same arrangement of seeds and goo that you see in cross-sections of tomato. Okra goo, however, is like… well, a public blog is no place to say what okra goo is like, but let’s say it’s like thin glue and leave it at that.

Okra probably originated in Africa and was brought to the USA by African people kidnapped into slavery. In Angola, okra was called ngombo, which gave a stew thickened with okra its name: gumbo.

This brings me to what brought okra to mind today: Google’s landing page tells me that today is Art Clokey’s 90th birthday, Art Clokey being the blessed being who brought us Gumby and Pokey. Gumbo, of course, is Gumby’s father. “Gumby”, in fact, is short for Gumbino, or Little Gumbo. With that, I invite you to join me in a frolic in GumbyWorld.

My mother loves okra, and I may someday be mature enough to give it the chance it deserves.


WRITING PROMPT: Invent a story, toy, show, movie, or puppet theater production that gave your main character joy when he or she was a child.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Long, Thin and Full of Goo

  1. Mitchell Allen

    October 12, 2011 at 9:44am

    Marian, I like this connected train of thoughts. I didn’t know that about Gumby. Thanks for sharing that.

    I love okra in gumbo. I can eat it plain but, if it’s tough like that part of the artichoke stalk when I’ve chewed down too far, then it’s not so good. Actually, I may be confusing the two when it comes to the chewy outer skin. Do you get tough skin, sometime?

    Unrelated question, where do your readers post their prompts? I love writing prompts!



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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 12, 2011 at 10:48am

      I never eat okra except sliced and breaded and fried. Yeah, sometimes the skin is tough. Ick.

      I post the daily prompts but, if you want to post one, you can put it in the comments. Glad you like them, too! πŸ™‚

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  2. Dani G.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:36pm

    Fresh okra in gumbo is to die for and it isn’t slimy. Its just overcooked frozen stuff that slimes okra’s name. I wish I could grow it just for the okra pickles I’ve canned. But the temp swings in my slice of the middle are too extreme and way too cool at night. Okra likes heat 24/7 to grow. I wish I could.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 12, 2011 at 5:46pm

      Okay, you guys have convinced me. Next year, when the Farmers’ Market folks waggle their okra at me and laugh, I’ll surprise them by buying some. πŸ™‚

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  3. Holly Jahangiri

    November 27, 2011 at 1:41pm

    I did not know that tidbit about Gumby, either! What fun. So, how’s chocolate-covered okra? Well, you SAID…

    Sigh. Do I have to try all the weird ones first?

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 27, 2011 at 2:52pm

      I haven’t tried chocolate-covered okra yet, but I’m thinking that fresh baby okra from the farmer’s market, braised in vegan “butter” and white wine, would be awesome in a sauce made from a reduction of the wine, smoked paprika and unsweetened chocolate.

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