The best plant on Earth

When it comes to food, I’m an omnivore who leans to the carnivorous side.

I’ve always tended to save more of the room in my belly for meat and less for the vegetables, to the point a lot of people don’t believe I get enough nourishment of the plant variety.

The truth is I eat plenty of plants, but only the ones worth eating.

This criterion automatically disqualifies cucumbers, which are worthless in their natural state.

Turn them into pickles, though, and you’ve really got something.

It’s hard to believe something so tasty could come from something someone wrote tastes like humidity, but here we are.

I have many memories which feature plants in one way or another.

The first ones in my mind are shucking corn, snapping beans and shelling peas on the back porch with Nana.

Nana’s collards have almost caused fork fights, and they’re real good on a piece of cornbread.

So is pea or butterbean juice.

When I was in agriscience education in high school, we had peanut boils.

We had to pick the peanuts off of the plants before they were boiled so there are flashes in my memory of high schoolers in a circle picking peanuts beside the Ag shop.

You can prepare peanuts in a lot of wonderful ways, not the least of which are butter and brittle, but boiled peanuts are a Southern delicacy.

If you could manage to quantify just the right amount of salt to add while the peanuts boil, I’d say you’d deserve to be known as a culinary genius.

I could write about peanuts a while, but I think it’s time to let legumes lie and move on to a family of plant about which I am deeply conflicted: the cabbage family.

I’ll never understand the hate broccoli gets, especially if it’s cooked right.

Cabbage itself, however, is without a doubt the most vile of the vegetables.

Cabbage once caused me to miss three days of school.

I had a plan for when and if the coronavirus quarantine lasted long enough for me to get cabin fever.

I was just going to tell myself at least this time I wasn’t locked in a room eating peppermint and parsley while cabbage radiated from my pores.

Since I’ve gone and discussed what is without a doubt one of the world’s worst plants, I guess now would be the best time to talk about the best plant on Earth.

The best plant on earth is, of course, okra.

Okra is another versatile vegetable.

It is good in a variety of ways. It is best fried, as God intended.

Fried okra vaulted its way to the top of my list favorite foods when it served as a school-lunch staple.

My love for it has only deepened with time.

I’ve taken up a lot of room in this post to prove I do eat, and even love, my vegetables.

I’ve given you my take on the best and worst edible plants.

I think it’s only fair to discuss the best and worst plants not normally eaten as well.

I’m an Alabamian so I’ll say the worst plant is kudzu, which seems to be on a quest to overtake the state.

The best is Spanish moss, which serves only to decorate it and has done a mighty fine job.

When I started this post about plants, I didn’t expect it to grow to more than 550 words.

The truth is I don’t quite know how to end it other than to say I’ve realized I may have been a little tough on cucumbers earlier.

They did, in a roundabout way, furnish the material for a classic episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

I guess this is proof even the nastiest plant can help make the world a nicer place.


This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is “plant.”

4 Comments

  1. Casey: I love it! Especially the fried okra . Yea, I believe the Good Lord planned it that way.Being raised as the oldest son of a Share Cropper I learned to love fried okra along with my Mother’s cream corn (the best ever). A Great Post!!!! I really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’ve never tried okra, but I do love cucumbers! Cabbage is yummy, especially sauerkraut, but it is hard on the tummy. I’ve heard of the whole boiled peanut thing and just finished up a peanut butter and banana wrap a few minutes ago–anything with peanuts is tasty.

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