Pearl Chamberlain Reagler entered this world at 6:06 a.m. on March 9th, 2004, the Year of the Monkey. She was born under a full moon on a spring day when azaleas and redbud trees were pink and blooming. She is a healthy baby with dark brown hair and assessing eyes. Pearl flaps her arms like the wings of an ambitious little bird. We adore her.
We named her after my Great Aunt Pearl, a wonderful eccentric from New Iberia, Louisiana, who wore colorful ribbons in her hair and cooked Cajun food with gusto. When we were children, she spoiled us with gifts and baked biscuits shaped like gingerbread men and animals.
Smothered Okra, Cajun Style
A Recipe from Great Aunt Pearl
Wash fresh okra. Cut both ends off & throw away. Slice okra. Put in skillet that has been greased with vegetable oil. Sauté okra, stirring frequently. Season with pepper. Chop some onion, garlic, celery. After okra is cooked until almost no slime, add other vegetables. Be sure to have enough onion, garlic, and pepper in it. Sauté all together until done—30 to 45 minutes. If you want to, after you add the onion mixture, add 8 oz. of tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. Stir all together and cook for an hour on low fire. Le bon temps roulé.
I cannot believe that I have a daughter. Every time she coos or cries, I am surprised and reminded, here she is.