Skip navigation

Daily Archives: December 16th, 2021

Living in the far North is not only a beautiful and majestic experience but it’s a lesson in working with what you have, especially with food.

Our climate here in South Central is mild compared to other parts of Alaska. With our long daylight hours in summer we can grow a vast array of vegetables. Some of which can get quite large, huge cabbage anyone? Cruciferous vegetables do very well here as do potatoes, carrots, rhubarb and others. What doesn’t do well here are long season and heat loving growers like pumpkins, eggplant, tomatoes and okra.

We can grow tomatoes, in greenhouses, and I have friends who do successfully each year. Usually there’s a sample of tomatoes and cucumbers from our friends Jane & Marion each summer. The taste of those fresh veggies just does something magical to my soul. There’s just no comparison with grocery store veg.

The one thing I haven’t been able to grow, and I haven’t found anyone else who is either, is okra. I tried one year, got some blooms. But just as the blooms were falling off and baby okra buds were appearing we had a hard frost and I lost everything in the greenhouse. A real bummer.

Locally okra is available two ways: pickled and frozen. The pickled okra is $5 for a small jar which is reserved for special occasions and not regularly purchased. I do buy the frozen quite often though. I make do. Sometimes I bread it frozen and fry it but usually it just goes into a gumbo or my “good & plenty” southern casserole.

The price has gone up!

I once saw fresh okra at a local store about 7-8 years ago, and I got excited! But as soon as I got close enough to examine it all hope was lost. It was already too far gone to eat. Boo!

So I’ll continue to make do with my frozen okra and whenever I’m outside at the right season I’ll gorge myself on fresh okra and tomatoes!

Here’s a great resource about okra and some recipes to try. Not only is it tasty but it’s really good for you. And I’ll walk you through my hot dish recipe.

Good & Plenty Southern Casserole

You will need 2 cans of black eyed peas, or equivalent of home-cooked, 1 can Rotel or similar style tomatoes with chilies, I pkg frozen okra (or fresh if you’re so lucky), Cajun seasoning, 1 lb sausage, (I use chicken, turkey or homemade moose) and a batch of cornbread batter. You can use a box mix or make it from scratch.

Fry the sausage until cooked through. Add the cans of veg, Cajun seasoning to taste and frozen okra. Mix well. Pour into a large casserole dish (13×9) then top with the cornbread batter.

Mixture before the cornbread.

Bake in a 350° oven until the cornbread is golden and filling is bubbling hot.

To serve: cut into portions and serve it upside down, cornbread on bottom and filling piled on top. A little hot sauce on top and enjoy! It’s great as a main course or as a side.

Use pre-cooked sausage for a super fast and easy casserole.

After a busy day of craft showing and lots of high energy kids I need a super easy dish! Let me know if you try it!


Our homeschool group hosted the second annual holiday/winter party craft show today. Three of my kiddos were inspired to create goods to sell. A great learning opportunity.

The oldest had her stickers and digital art, of course. But this year she added some graphic acrylic charms and jewelry. The Alaska shaped keychains were popular!

All set up and ready to sell!

Lil Bit got in on the action by creating some jewelry too. She had an array of earrings, bracelets and zipper pulls. She made the first sale with a nice pair of earrings!

Some of Lil Bit’s earrings and bracelets.

Little Mister spent his time creating fridge magnet clips and snowmen magnets. They were very popular! He got very creative when designing these clips. I was quite impressed with his style.

Little Mister’s fridge magnets.

They two girls manned the booth and handled the transactions. They had to keep a record of who sold what so they could rightfully divide the profits up at the end of the day.

They each were pretty happy with their earnings. Thing 1 needs to get her shop going so she can sell her inventory!!

All of that learning plus they got to see some friends and celebrate our STUCO sponsored food drive for the local food bank. Raising 615 pounds of food in total! WTG IDEA!!

Ready for her first customer!