On our recent trip to the Bahamas, I was taken aback at the cost of food. Milk was nearly $8 a gallon, a dozen eggs was $7 and as you can imagine the cost to eat out, even more. Since I am innately frugal and have two small somewhat picky eaters, I decided to schlep a large duffel bag full of non-perishables on our vacation. Our vacation villa had a small kitchen and I planned to make breakfasts in the room, pack heavy snacks for lunch and grab take-out for dinner.
Hubs and I flew separately this trip. Not because we are super paranoid about plane crashes but because he had to stay back and work. Since one of our children was so naughty on his last plane trip with Mommy , he was permanently placed on my “no-fly list”. Therefore, Hubs had the pleasure of escorting him solo. Of course, they had no issues. Of course, it was my luggage that got lost. But, thankfully not the duffel bag full of food.
I offered to watch our travel companions’ kids in our room while I awaited Hubs and “no-fly” one evening. I didn’t have a lot to cook that wasn’t totally kid-oriented. I did, however, order okra from the grocery store delivery because it was literally the cheapest green thing they offered. At $2 a pound I was compelled to buy it even though I’ve never cooked okra. But thankfully these days with the internet, you can find a recipe anywhere.
But, on that day, the wi-fi was down. So, I searched through my duffel bag of random food-stuffs and the following items surfaced.
Cheez-Its- hmm, it’s got potential, if I’m desperate. Oatmeal… no. Maple syrup…probably not. So many boxes of Mac n Cheese…what was I thinking? Pretzels, goldfish, graham crackers… no, no and no. Pistachios… oh that’d be crunchy but how can I get them ground up? Never mind, I’ll just snack and continue to look… Pop Tarts, heavens no… 1 Small box Cornflakes… YES! and I toss back the cheeze-its. 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (hello flavor!), 1 small bottle Olive oil (not ideal for frying but I’m using a nonstick pan so let’s hope for the best) and big score! a bottle of Shake and Pour Bisquick. OK. This I can work with.
So, I quickly went to work cutting off the end of the okra and scooping out the slimy innards and seeds. I figured frying okra would be like frying anything else. I made a 3 bowl set up. In the first bowl, I poured out enough bisquick mix to do a quick dusting on the okra. In the second bowl, I beat up 2 large eggs. In the third bowl, I crushed up the cornflakes. I dredged and dipped and rolled my way through the pound of okra keeping the cooked pieces in the microwave on the warm setting.
Meanwhile, I mixed my hidden valley ranch dip mix into some plain greek yogurt for a dipping sauce. I snacked on pistachios, really sad I didn’t have a cuisniart to blend those little things up, and I drank a rum cocktail. The three kids sat happily watching a movie sun-drenched and exhausted from another exciting day.
No sooner had the last Okra come off the fry pan, Hubs and “no-fly” walked through the door. There were hugs and kisses all around and”no-fly” was instantly brought up to speed on which pools and waterslides were on the kids morning itinerary. Hubs and I sat on our patio watched the giants yachts fade into the sunset while snacking on my random creation. The okra, view and company was absolutely perfect. It occured to me that this family trip, may actually qualify as a real vacation…
Vacation Villa Okra
1 lb fresh okra
1 single serve box Cornflakes
1/3 C. Bisquick
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
8 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 C. Oil
Mix yogurt and ranch dip and set aside in fridge. Cut ends off okra and scoop out slimy innards. Create bowl system, the first for dredging okra in bisquick, the second for dipping in beaten eggs and the third for rolling in the crushed cornflakes. Heat a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom. When it is heated place 5-6 okra in the hot oil turning to brown. Drain and keep warm until serving. Serve with ranch yogurt dip.