Grilled okra gumbo

The decorative wrought-iron gates marking the entrance to distinctive Texas ranch houses can be easily overlooked while passing through Kendalia. Before you know it, you simply miss its post office, established in 1895. There’s not much to see in this settlement or so it seems. With about 350 inhabitants, Kendalia is located in the midst of the generous landscape of the Texas hill country. On a lazy Saturday morning, I slowed down at the sight of a watermelon painting along the dusty Farm Road 3351 from San Antonio in the direction of Fredericksburg. Just around the corner, I happened upon an even larger sign leaning against a parked tractor, with the hand painted promise of “Sweeet Watermelon”.

Under the shade of a Texas live oak tree stood Richard, the proud owner of beautiful vegetables and fruits from his own garden. As Richard told me about the laid back lifestyle of his small town, my plans for the day slowly changed. An enjoyable conversation later, I left with a paper bag full of fresh green okra, beautifully ripened tomatoes, jars of salsa and of course a huge watermelon.  Filled with the perfume of the garden, I rode back home along the winding country roads to cook a Texas-inspired gumbo for Saturday supper.

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