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  #1  
Old September 5th, 2017, 14:29
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Reasonable Rascal Reasonable Rascal is offline
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Default Confederate Coffee

Thought some here might find this interesting as it comes directly from the conflict period. Coincidentally this is the first year I have ever grown okra and I am verymuch looking forward to consuming it, though not in my cup (small garden).

RR

Item Description: “Okra the best Substitute for Coffee” (newspaper article), The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 21 April 1863, page 2.
Transcription:
Okra the best Substitute for Coffee
Everybody, we presume, knows how to cultivate Okra. It is a most delicious table vegetable, and it appears from the following extract from a communication to the Southern Field and Fireside, written by Dr. N. B. CLOUD, late Editor of the “Cotton Planter,” is pronounced the best substitute for Coffee. Read what the writer says and try the experiment.


In the caption of this article I have said ‘Okra is the best substitute for coffee.’ Like every other family, perhaps, where the blockade rendered Coffee so scarce in the country, that we had to give from 50 cents to a $1.00 per pound for it, my wife began to cast about for a substitute, and we tried rye, ground-peas, corn meal, and potatoes, and finally, I concluded that we would try Okra seed. Mrs. Cloud had some washed and dried preparatory for parching. We used about the same quantity by weight or measure, that we had formerly done of coffee. It was carefully parched* and the coffee made in the usual way, when we found it almost exactly like coffee in color, very pleasantly tasted and entirely agreeable. All other substitutes were laid aside, and the Okra has been used in my family for the last eighteen months; and for myself, I can say in all candor, prepared as our cook has it done, I should have no preference, at 10 cents per pound between Okra and Coffee. When well made and used with good rich cream and clarified sugar, it is delicate and finely flavored, entirely wholesome, of a rich golden color, and in all respects equal to the best Java Coffee, except the Coffee flavor, which may be imparted to it, if preferred by grinding with the baked Okra seed, ten or twelve grains of baked Coffee, for each meal. Now every family of the Confederate States may make trial of the Okra at very trivial expense, when I am confident they will be pleased with it. Then by the middie of next summer every family may have as much of it as they may need raised at home. The Okra is of the same family of plants with cotton, (gossippium) and grows equally well in all lattitudes and on all land, where cotton grows. An acre of good garden land will produce 500 pounds of the seed. I have given it a fair trial in my family, and I find it wholesome, nourishing and perfectly healthy, nor has it any perceptible effects upon the nervous system, through which medium headache is often produced by coffee, in many debilitated females, especially.
* * * * * *
There are many varieties of the Okra; the most common are the long and short green, the white, the purplish white, and the dwarf (stalked) which bears pods of a pea-green color, often twelve to fifteen inches; this is the best variety and the most productive. A quart of seed will plant an acre five by three feet, which will produce, on good land, 500 pound of seed. I planted on my own place last year two acres, and used it abundantly for all purposes from the first of May till frost, beside sending from one half to one bushel to market every day, and we could have saved easily, 500 pounds of seed, as well as the quantity we did, sufficient for our family use.

Respectfully,
N. B. CLOUD,
Surgeon, P. A. C. S. SAVANNAH, Ga, Feb. 10th, 1863.
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  #2  
Old September 5th, 2017, 18:44
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Default Re: Confederate Coffee

Thanks for posting this, RR. Pretty cool.

Okra is not native to North America, the seeds were brought here by slaves. They also brought seeds for the watermelon.
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Old September 6th, 2017, 16:11
Bolivar Petit Coronas Cab Bolivar Petit Coronas Cab is offline
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Icon37 Re: Confederate Coffee

Chicory is another; & is available, with coffee, at the grocery today.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 11:31
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Thumbs up Re: Confederate Coffee

tagged for later

thanks
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  #5  
Old January 12th, 2018, 16:11
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Icon36 Re: Confederate Coffee

I still have an open can of Folgers and a package of SB coffee. Both a few years old and no longer necessary here. Can't reach it without a ladder so there it stays.

I do like me some OKRA.I wanna say my Mom made it sometimes. I've had it and I've fried it. It's TASTY. I could do with sum right now with gravy
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  #6  
Old January 13th, 2018, 13:55
PlowboysGhost PlowboysGhost is offline
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Default Re: Confederate Coffee

I love fried okra. My Grandmother(1914-2006)that raised me used to pronounce everything with an "a" on the end as "ee", so "okra" is "okree" to me.

Anyway...

Let the plants (some over 6 ft. tall)stand all winter and when you break up your garden in the Spring, you'll swear okra plants could be used to build fortifications out of. Those are tough plants.

They'll also come up voluntary if you leave the stalks standing with pods on them till you break it up.


One year, I planted okra early when the ground was too cool, and it was barely coming up. When the soil warmed up real good I had a virtual carpet of okra seedlings sprouting from the previous season's pods and seeds I'd tilled into the ground. All I had to do then was run the cultivators on my '50 model Cub down the patch leaving rows and turning/covering all the rest that had came up on their own.

I used to plant 6 rows about 50' long, but that was way too much to keep cut...even giving all we could away after putting up all we wanted. I reduced that amount of planting to one or two rows. Here, if you keep it cut, it'll keep producing till October or more.
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Old January 19th, 2018, 10:34
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Default Re: Confederate Coffee

My grandmother used a trick she called "whipping the okra". When the blooms produced started slowing down she'd take a switch, like she would use on me when I was ornery, and whip the leaves on the plant splitting them up into almost tatters. The plant would start "making" good again. I used to love to help her "whip the okra" cause it was the only time I got to use the switch on something else with a grownup's blessings.

But seriously it worked real good. I need to search around and see why it worked.
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  #8  
Old January 19th, 2018, 12:06
PlowboysGhost PlowboysGhost is offline
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Default Re: Confederate Coffee

It seems like my grandparents used to cut a leaf off each plant every time they go down the rows to cut okra. I must admit I did it recently to my own rows and not sure exactly what the reason for doing so is.
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