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Oklahoma Cooks Recipes

Barbeque Sauce

from D.C. Minner, Down Home Blues Club, Rentiesville, OK.

"My grandmother ran a club in Rentiesville for 30 years. First, there were old folk musicians, then a wind-up Victrola. It was my job to play the records. Then there was a jukebox. That's when I got my first exposure to the blues. I'd watch the colors in the jukebox and listen to the sound. I used to tell my grandmother I wanted to be in that box. Now, we have our club and we serve barbecue and play blues every night it is on that same piece of land. She taught me to cook. This is her recipe, revised."

1 tablespoon onion, minced
1 teaspoon mustard
l clove garlic, minced
8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon, or more, Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Saute onion and garlic in butter or oil until transparent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer half an hour. Build a good hickory fire and when it has burned down to the coals, begin cooking meat. Turn it every 15 minutes until it's done. Serve with sauce. Note: I don't put sauce on during the cooking process. If you do, use it only on low heat at the end of the cooking process.

Frittata (Italian)

Mary Crescenzo Simons, Tulsa, OK

baked sliced potatoes
salt and pepper
white onion, chopped
olive oil
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Romano cheese grated

Cover a large, non-stick fry pan with olive oil and saute onions. When onions are translucent, add garlic, potatoes and seasonings. Remove vegetables to a dish and wash pan. In a bowl, add milk and eggs and beat well. Add cheese and beat again. Oil the fry pan again and heat. Pour eggs into pan and cook on low flame 5 to 10 minutes. Gently shake pan occasionally and run a fork along the inside rim to prevent sticking. When only the top of egg mixture is still loose and thin and the edges are slightly brown, add vegetables and cook about 5 more minutes or until well done. Cover the pan and, with potholders in hands, carry pan to sink and carefully turn the pan over so frittata is upside down in the lid. Slide frittata carefully back into the fry pan and cook other side about 5 more minutes. Slide onto serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Salad Dressing (Greek)

Michael Pontikes, Oklahoma City, OK

"My father's father was a lumberjack in Greece. My dad came to the U.S. and learned to cook here. He worked as a chef during the Depression in a restaurant in Chicago. In 1933, he opened his own. As a kid I used to help him. My uncle, down the street, had a grocery store. I'd get up at 3 a.m. and go to the market. My father didn't teach
me me to cook really, I learned from observing him."

3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
dash lemon juice
1 teaspoon oregano
dash sugar

Put all ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake well before using. Makes 1 cup.

Cough Syrup

Alice Strader, Yale, OK

"My Grandmother Johnson was a 'granny woman'. She delivered babies, took care of lots of sick people - sitting up, bathing, etc. She delivered her own grandchildren, two nieces and a nephew. She had cures for lots of things. She used natural herbs, poultices and potions she learned from her mother. I watched her on many occasions fix a remedy. In the winter of 1918 she told of a flu outbreak. This is a cough syrup she used."

2 cups simple syrup*
5 cents worth of methol crystals, or 1/2 teaspoon methol crystals
2 teaspoons glycerin (for internal use)
1/4 cup whiskey

Heat simple syrup. Remove from heat and add glycerin. Add methol crystals and stir carefully, so as not to inhale too quickly. Your eyes will water and you'll catch your breath. Add whiskey. Take 1 tablespoon for adults; 2 teaspoons for children 10 to 12 years; 1 teaspoon for children 2 to 6 years.

*Note: To make simple syrup, heat 2 cups water with 2 cups sugar until dissolved.

Grandma's Fried Chicken

Pat Copeland, Billings, OK

"Many families probably have a great fried chicken cooker; in our family it was my grandmother, Laurine Ponton Osborn, of Billings. One of my fondest memories is of family gatherings at her and my grandfather's house; families arriving to the unmistakable aroma and the crackling sound of frying chicken. And there was Grandma at the stove with fork in hand, overseeing the chicken. The ingredients were simple; her secrets were in the technique. She used lots of pepper and she put the cooked chicken in an aluminum bun warmer to wait until the rest of the chicken was cooked. I think that was critical and when I got married, getting a bun warmer seemed essential to my being able to fry chicken. My bun warmer is important to approximating her fried chicken, but no one can make it as well as she did."

salt and pepper

Cut chicken into parts and place in a bowl of salted water. Cover and set in refrigerator at least an hour. Pat chicken parts dry. Put flour, salt and lots of pepper in a clean paper bag. Shake to mix. In a heavy skillet, melt shortening. Put a few pieces of chicken at a time into paper bag and shake to cover the pieces completely. Place chicken in hot fat and turn fire to medium. Brown both sides, then cover skillet until chicken is done. Add more pepper while cooking, if needed. After removing chicken from skillet, place in a bun warmer which has a paper towel on the bottom and cover it until the rest of the chicken is cooked. Serve immediately.

Fried Corn Fritters

JoAnn McCall, Tulsa, OK

"It was at least 30 years ago that my mother-in-law gave me this recipe. I raised three boys and this was one of their favorite foods. Now my daughters-in-law fix it for their families."

1 can cream-style corn
about 1/2 package crackers
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cream

Roll crackers until they are fine crumbs. Mix all ingredients. Heat oil in a skillet. Drop by large spoonfuls into hot grease. Brown and turn, flatten and cook until that side is brown.

C-Conkies (Czech)

Irene Gabriel, Hennessey, OK

"This is my mother-in-law's recipe. She would be frying these when the kids came home from school."

2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
oil for frying

Mix all ingredients, using 1 cup flour and adding the rest if needed. When it is stiff enough to come off a teaspoon, drop teaspoonsful into pan of hot shortening and fry until done.

Cry Baby Cookies (German)

Lois Cease, Tulsa, OK

"My father, G.F. Raymon, had a ministry. We visited people in small communities in Oklahoma and the hills of Missouri and Arkansas, where people had no church and no money. My mother was full-blood German and a good cook. She thought something good to eat was the cure for everything. There were six of us children. We always took food with us - a basket of 'Cry Baby Cookies'."

1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon ginger

Oven 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, molasses, milk and dry ingredients. Bake on cookie sheets 20 minutes.

Wine Cookies (Mexican)

Soledad Maria Salamanca, Oklahoma City, OK

"My father worked for the railroad in Kansas and we lived in Mexico. He could come home two or three months a year. My husband also worked for the railroad until he retired. We raised two children and now have four grandchildren. I live with my daughter and her family. I don't go by recipes. I use a little of this and a little of that. I measure by the creases in my hands. My daughter wrote down a couple of recipes after watching me."

3 cups of shortening or lard
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup wine
5 cups flour

Oven 325 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add wine. Work in flour gently. The dough should not be sticky. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake until golden. Dip in sugar and cinnamon.

Egg Butter

Eileen Roberts, Oklahoma City, OK

"My grandmother, Laura Fox, made this often in the fall after a new batch of molasses was made at the sorghum mill. She came to Oklahoma from Texas and lived here most of ther adult life. Many of her recipes were unmeasured quantities but they always turned out well - and she used a wood cook stove."

1 pint sorghum molasses
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Put molasses in a big iron skillet and bring to boil. Boil no more than 2 minutes. Beat eggs until well beaten. Beating constantly, pour eggs into molasses in a very thin stream. Put mixture back on burner and cook slowly 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and thoroughly stir in nutmeg. When cool, pour into serving dish. Serve with hot bread, biscuits, corn muffins. It will take the place of jam, jelly or honey.

Chicken Fried Steak

Glenn Buchanan, TiaJuana Restaurant, Enid, OK

"My grandad, Art Wampler, bought this restaurant in 1944. My mom and dad and sister and I still work here. No one believes how simple our recipe for chicken fried steak is. We don't add any special seasonings. The whole deal is in starting with good beef."

Special trim beefsteak
oil for frying

Use choice steak. Tenderize it by pounding. Dip it in a milk and egg batter. Press the flour into it. Deep fat fry in oil that is 350 degrees just until it begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Finish cooking on a grill or in a skillet. Serve with gravy, if desired.

Water Pie

Janet Moore, Maysville, OK

"This is my husband's favorite. I received the recipe from his father, Henry Moore, Purcell. Henry Moore's Grandmother, Minnie Weigle, Blackwell, first made the pie. She is of German heritage and made the Oklahoma Land Run on the Cherokee Strip. The pie was made a lot during the Depression and Dust Bowl days. Henry believes it may also be called 'Poor Man's Pie'. We have two daughters now who also like the pie, so it has
served five generations of our family."

Unbaked pie crust
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 teaspoons butter

Oven 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar and water together with fingers until smooth. Pour into pricked shell. Break butter into pieces and scatter over top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Take out of oven and shake about 1 teaspoon nutmeg over top. Return to oven at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until pie is solid.