“In My Kitchen” September 2022

We had some rain (much needed).  We’ve had some cooler weather.  Will September bring more?  We will have to wait and see.  In the meantime, step into my August kitchen.

On a recent date night, we visited a quaint pizza place that made their own version of fireball.  We noticed that almost everyone coming in ordered a shot (served in a frosted glass) before they even looked at the menu.  We thought it must be a thing.  The bartender offered us a sample taste and before we knew it we were walking out with a bottle of the homemade stuff.

This stuff is delicious and we made some Apple Smashes with 2 oz. of the fire whiskey pictured above, 3 oz. apple cider and 1/2 oz. of lemon juice.   We served them cold and they were delicious BUT I can’t wait for a hot version this winter.   Not to be outdone, we decided to try to make our own.  It’s setting in the cabinet now, getting a good shake every day.   It might be good enough to share soon.

We picked about 30 lb. of grapes this year.   These are our oldest variety and I honestly can’t remember what they are.  Mars maybe?This is Cynthiana.  We bought the vines about 10 years ago from a winery in Arkansas.

Grape juice

There were so many, I left some on the vines for the birds.  I set about juicing and making jam.   I used the Cynthiana grapes to make delicious just plain Jane grape jam, an heirloom family recipe.

I also made some Spiced Grape Orange Jam with the misfit varieties.

I have probably only picked a half dozen tomatoes from our many tomato plants all summer.  I’m hoping they will kick in this fall.  The okra, however, is coming in.  I recently cut down a Gumbo Freezer Mix to accommodate the smaller quantities I am picking now.

This is a recipe from my MiL that she got when they lived in Louisiana.  The original recipe calls for twenty-two cups of sliced okra.

1/4 Portion Gumbo Freezer Mix

the best MiL anyone could ask for

The original recipe makes a huge portion.


  • 5 1/2 c. okra, sliced
  • 1/2 c. sweet pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 3/4 t. ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Combine all ingredients in a 13 x 8 x 2 baking pan. Cover with foil and bake at 300F for 2 hours or until okra is tender.  Stir during cooking once after 1 hour. Let cool. Place in containers or ziploc bags.  Freeze.
  2. To use, remove from freezer and thaw.  Add 2-3 cups water or stock, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 lb protein (chicken, shrimp and/or sausage), and 2 c. cooked rice.

Yield: 4-6

There’s no photos for this.  Just trust me, it’s good.  The last time I made it, I used a crock pot.  I like the oven method better.   I’ll probably be making more this week as I haven’t picked okra since last weekend.

It’s about time for my beloved Frida exhibit to leave Tulsa.  I was able to fit in two more trips to see her.  The last time, I focused on her jewelry.   (Here’s the curveball this month.)

Of course, on my way out of the exhibit, I had to stop in the gift shop and by these.

Here’s one nice and chilled on the patio.

What’s inside.  A Mexican Street Dog cocktail, of course.

In My Kitchen is hosted every month by Sherry’s Pickings.  

IMK is a group of global, virtual friends posting about our kitchens (and kitchen gardens) and other culinary happenings over the previous month.  It can include dishes we’ve cooked, preserves we’ve made, herbs and veg in our gardens, kitchen gadgets, and other happenings.  Everyone is welcome.  (The link is open from the 1st to the 13th of every month.)  Sherry also encourages a curveball—whatever.  It can be anything that strikes your fancy—no need to be kitchen-related.   Since the Kahlo exhibit is over September 11, there won’t be any more Frida curveballs in October.  🙁

9 comments to “In My Kitchen” September 2022

  • mae

    How great to be using your family’s heirloom recipes for your garden produce! The grape jam looks deliicious. Have a good September in your kitchen.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • 30 lb. of grapes…wow..did you finish all of them every year?

  • I went to see a big Frida exhibition in Roma several years ago. It was absolutely amazeballs! Nice grapes-I haven’t picked mine yet. Too much rain! Ciao, Cristina

  • Frida was such a style queen! Such a hard life she had. Fireball? sounds interesting. does it have chillies in it? 🙂 wow to the okra. not a fave of mine sadly – so umm slimy… Love the clay cup! Have a great month and thanks for joining IMK.

  • We have had rain every single day for almost 2 months now. I’d love to send you some if you need it! Wow, 30 pounds of grapes, good for yu. I would love to grow grapes.

    I’m done with Alice in Wonderland and will link up soon. I have been a slacker about blogging.

  • Liz

    I’d love the recipe for that fireball, it sounds very warming. I wonder if the Frida exhibit will be coming to San Francisco? I will keep an eye out. I love the jewelry, it takes a special kind of height to carry it off. Loved you post and the jam is impressive.

  • Wish I could trade you some tomatoes for some of those gorgeous grapes. Homegrown grapes are the best! Looks like you’re going to have to build another pantry just for grape jelly. Nice clay pots.

  • I wish I could grow grapes at home. We had a grape vine growing up and I loved being able to just pick and eat! Hope your tomatoes come in 🙂

  • I’ve been pretty slack this summer with growing vegetables, too focused with planting trees on our recently mulched out adjoining acre. Okra hasn’t done well for me anyway, probably missing some nutrient here, though the tomatoes did well last year. That Gumbo recipe will have to wait, and it looks really good.