Category Archives: Foodie Page

All Good Things: 116 Farmstead Market & Table Softly Opens

One glimpse of her yellow, brown and button-accented apron encasing the junior waitstaffer and I was smitten – dually smitten with the wearer, as well as the space within which she was ringing up a coffee for me and a “Dublin Dr. Pepper” for my husband.

We were standing at the counter of 116 Farmstead Market & Table on soft open day.  Nestled between several historical downtown Luther, Okla. structures, the new business was populated with the owners, their children, the store manager, and several walk-ins who had come with well-wishes to “see what they’ve done with the place.”

116 Farmstead Market and Table
Entrance: Downtown Luther, OK main street approach. May 7th, 2016.

As someone who has had a fairly rigorous education of the disappearing downtowns across Oklahoma, I’m especially glad to see any lifegiving effort begin to turn that trend around.  And knowing this particular project was generated by those I knew to be thoughtful and conscientious about their plans, and how they can go about adding good to their world, I asked Matthew Winton for a few thoughts at the end of their first day.

Q: When you stand in 116 Farmstead Market & Table, sun shining, breezes blowing through the new store, what goes through your mind?

It’s difficult to quantify what it means to see my wife, kids, Angela, friends and family gathered together at 116.  Sometimes it diminishes things to define them.  I’ll try [to quantify]:

I saw people serving one another literally and figuratively. I saw neighbors treating others as they want to be treated – kindness, sharing, love. I heard the stories of people who had lived in Luther all their lives trying their best in 15 minutes to sum up what it meant for them to grow up in that place.

 For us, it isn’t so much a philosophical proposition as it is a spiritual one. The purpose of 116 is to nourish soul through body.  You likely experience this as an educator with your students, although your experience is nourishment of soul through mind.  It’s the same thing in my thinking. I experience it in my law practice, parents experience it in parenting their children, and on.  This may be getting too esoteric, but it really is the purpose behind 116.  We seek to [meet] a community need, which is a place to eat and buy groceries, but the purpose is simply to create a space for people to intersect and share their stories.  If we are ambassadors, then 116 is our embassy.

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Inside shot of the “table” area looking toward the service counter. May 7, 2016.

Q: I understand you’re open Tuesday through Saturday, and your grand opening is coming up soon.  What information would you like others to know about your store or what to expect?

The full open for 116 will be Saturday, June 4.  Store hours will be: Tues-Fri, 7-3 and Sat., 8-5.  We will modify these as we learn the needs of the community.  Angela Hilliard is the manager (there is a great story behind how our paths crossed and other cool intricacies to how she joined us, but I’ll save that for the first Luther Speaks event).

The goal is to provide locally grown or produced meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables.  Of course, there are a number of items not produced locally, such as coffee and tea, so we use local roasters and wholesalers for these items.  We want to tell the story of the farms and farmers/ranchers who produce these items.

As producers of all natural beef, we never get tired of sharing what is a daily work with those for whom we produce food.  We believe we were created from dirt, are tasked with caring for the dirt, and want to share that story with others.  The 116 is our attempt to provide a beautiful space for that story to be told.

Wendell Berry once said that ‘eating is an agricultural act;’ he called it an ‘annual drama.’  The 116 Farmstead Market and Table is a stage for that drama to be shown and told, from the Market where producers’ products and stories are shared, to “Luther Speaks” nights, which are opportunities (think: Moth Radio Hour but Luther style) to tell stories about the land, the people, and what they produce together.

The Table is a chance to enjoy a seasonal menu of breakfast and lunch items made from what is sold in the Market.

It seems culture tells us we can have everything all the time, which we know can’t be true.  It is true, though, that we are all tied by place.  Today was a great experience of that truth – from the Luther High Class of 1960 to those who had never been to Luther before…everyone has a story to tell and the 116 is a place to slow down and share those stories.

Social media is great for information, but connection really happens over a cup  of coffee or sharing a meal face to face, spilling drinks, seeing people’s kids run around without pants on, looking at beautiful works of art, slowing down for a moment.  This isn’t pretending life is all okay; it is reconnecting if but for a moment to place, and toil, and dirt.

Americana-style fiber art rendering of the U.S. flag. May 7, 2016.

***

Please plan a trip down highway 66 to visit the 116 Farmstead Market & Table. Please take the time to sit, connect and enjoy your time with the good folks who are creating this shared community story with their new business; spend time looking through all the elements on the mural hanging over their door.  Make sure to ask about their 2nd floor space, and event areas. Read much more information than I can share by visiting their website. And by all means, find out when the first “Luther Speaks” event will take place so we can all attend and listen.

But more than anything, take moments to “nourish your soul and your body,” when visiting 116, and every day.  I’m pretty sure we all want that for you.

Very much.

Every Point OK Food: Ya-Ya’s in Carney, Oklahoma

_DSC0015Julie Kennedy was wearing an orange and white Chevron print apron her grandmother had made her when she took our order for breakfast.  She welcomed us warmly, accommodated all our special requests, chatted about the restaurant and quickly went about her business.  It was Saturday morning, and Ya-Ya’s Place in Carney, Oklahoma was filling up fast.

It wasn’t long before our order came, and I must say, the food rivaled any breakfast cafe around the area.  The décor was managed with a sense of humor  The kitchen was clean, as was the bathroom.  And, we were checked on during our meal not too many times, and not too few.

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Julie’s husband and child were in one of the booths enjoying their own breakfast.  Her mother-in-law owns the business, and her sister-in-law was cooking that morning.  I think it’s safe to say the entire family is invested in making Ya-Ya’s succeed.  The locals appeared comfortable and were all cleaning their plates as the morning progressed. Continue reading Every Point OK Food: Ya-Ya’s in Carney, Oklahoma

Christmas Music To My Tastebuds: “Woody Candy Co. Is OPEN”

This sign has magical powers. It makes my taste buds sing Christmas tunes.

Note – we published this post on Dec. 11 last year.  I believe it’s so important that I’m re-publishing it this year…11 days earlier! ~ RDK  This little neon sign holds a special power over me every year. The moment the “on” switch is finally flipped by a mysterious candy maker, an invisible beacon begins to sound across the prairie…over the north side of OKC and across Edmond…until it reaches my taste buds. It’s like Christmas Music, only in my mouth! What is so powerful, so unique and so delicious as to send me swooning around this time of year? It’s Woody Candy Company (Oklahoma’s Oldest & Finest Family Owned Candy Company), going strong since 1927. Their full array of special candy recipes are offered every year to the public ~ from Thanksgiving weekend through Valentine’s Day. After that? Closed again…until the next year.

Find where the origin of the powerful beacon at 922 N.W. 70th, Oklahoma City, OK.

Claude and Lucille Woody set out 93 years ago to do one thing very well: “To make the best candy in the world.”  In MY world, there is no doubt that they succeeded.  I personally think there must be something very special about the name Lucille. I may have to change my super-hero persona to a cowgirl who rides horses, shoots targets with precision accuracy AND makes “the best candy in the world!”

I want to take you there, but I can’t take all of you. There’s not enough room in my car.  So instead, I will take you there with a few photos I “shot” today with my six-shooter (my Canon PowerShot SD970IS).  I hope you can go on your own.  And if you do, tell them Red Dirt Kelly sent you.  This message will confuse them since they have no idea who I am.  But it will be fun for me!  I’ve gone to this store for eight years in a row.  I was introduced to this magical place by my friend Joanne, and now I’m introducing you in case you don’t know about this special secret.

And one more thing…comment on this blog, and I will enter you into a drawing (to be given away next Friday) for your choice of either: 1) A box of Toffle; 2) A box of their version of what you know as Aunt Bill’s candy; or, 3) A box of their delectable “Turtle” candies – caramel, chocolate and Oklahoma pecans. The average price ranges from $15 to $30 per box.  If you’ve never had Toffle, you might not understand what it’s like to have a glimpse of heaven on earth.  Toffee, sweet, salty, crunchy with HUGE pecans…it’s a dream…

Continue reading Christmas Music To My Tastebuds: “Woody Candy Co. Is OPEN”

Waste Not, Want Not: Sunday Night Quiche Tradition-Building

Last week I started a tradition I think I’m going to like.

We generally go grocery shopping every Sunday afternoon to prepare for the upcoming work week.  But then…there’s the refrigerator clean-out process that comes along with the stocking task.  And invariably, I find forgotten food tucked in the deep corners of our fridge that is generally still good but needs to be used ASAP.

Hence, the birth of my Sunday Night “Empty the Fridge” Quiche.  Last week, it consisted of: broccoli, about 1/3 of an onion, a small piece of smoked cheddar block I had to “de-mold” prior to grating, a bit of buttermilk, and 1/3 container of cottage cheese.  Oh, and eggs.

This week, I found half an old bag of frozen chopped spinach, I had some bacon that needed to be cooked, and I had local pullet eggs going out of date in three days.  I threw in about one cup of good shredded cheddar and I must say, it’s delicious (see the top featured photo above).

So, should you wish to follow suit and have breakfast ready to heat up every work day morning the following week, here is all you need:

1) Use your favorite pie crust recipe.  Make only enough for one crust. Continue reading Waste Not, Want Not: Sunday Night Quiche Tradition-Building

Five Thanksgiving Menu Solutions for Unexpected Surprises

Being thrown for a loop during a meal or party preparation is never awesome, but it happens. If there are people involved, and cooking food for those people is also involved, unexpected surprises are almost guaranteed.

Twists or turns for a meal on Thanksgiving are especially tricky because the grocery stores are closed, and you find out about these surprises many times right before meal time.

If a few extra people show up, the solution could be as easy as opening an extra can of corn.

Sidebar: Every time I hear, “Can o’ corn” I think about this scene in The Longest Yard:

However, most Thanksgiving meals are so large a few extra people isn’t usually the problem. But other possibilities DO exist. So, I’ve developed a “crisis management” list for you to handle many of the possible, random or even probable surprises lurking in the wings for the upcoming holiday. Here we go…

1. A few days, or even hours prior to your meal, you get this message: “Okay, truth, no one in our family likes dressing. Can we PLEASE forego the dressing?” Great. It’s your turn to cook. You even called for your aunt’s dressing recipe because that’s what has always been served, and no one likes it? Here’s a great substitute that’s easy, it uses your cornbread mix, the big foil pan you had prepped for the dressing, and (in my opinion) tastes better:

Jalapeno Cornbread

In a large bowl combine four packets of cornbread mix (not corn muffin mix). Quickly clean/core 20 jalapeno peppers and shred them in a food processor. Add the peppers, a small bag of frozen corn [thawed], one extra egg over what the mixes call for, two bags of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (16 total oz.), and use buttermilk for the mix rather than regular milk. Please use about 10% extra buttermilk over what the mix calls for as it’s a little thicker. Mix thoroughly (don’t overmix; just until all the ingredients are wet and well blended), transfer to your large foil pan you had prepped for dressing (make sure and coat with non-stick spray prior to filling), and bake in a 390F oven for about 35-40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes. The edges should be nicely brown and pulling from the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. This recipe feeds 25 people easily, takes less than an hour from beginning to end, costs about $8.25, and is about .34 cents or less per serving. One other thing – it’s delicious.

Continue reading Five Thanksgiving Menu Solutions for Unexpected Surprises

Why English is Hard, or, “How to Speak Starbucks-ese” in the Mornings

What are blogs for if not for their authors to share true confessions?

And if that were not the case,

and voyeurism were completely dead,

AND those crafting the entries among said blogs only did so for improving and sharing their holy discipline of writing…

well…then I’d be out of here.

But I’m here, and ready today to deliver a rare true confession: I am a food snob.

Here’s another: I actually like Starbucks most days.

AND YET… another: I make fun of food snobs and those who like Starbucks.

In other words, I laugh at that with which I deeply identify. Take this scene for example. The first time I saw it I felt as though someone had secretly invaded my soul and written the secrets they stole into a script for this particular segment:

As I watched that snippet alongside my c. 1989 hubby, I longed for the world to stop so I could run up, kiss the screen and scream, “THANK YOU. Thank you SO much, Sally, for articulating the choices in my head about the food I eat!” I felt empowered, validated…and, I was prepared to access my new-found confidence.

The very next day, when I ordered my salad dressing “On the Side” rather than digging it out of my bowl or sopping it up with a napkin, I smiled. And then I prayed a second time for the food I was about to receive.

Another true confession: I have been a very particular orderer ever since. Which leads me to my main topic: When I go to Starbucks in the morning and order a breakfast sandwich, it goes something like this between the cashier and I…

“I would like a Bacon Gouda Sandwich toasted open-faced please.”

[I painstakingly make sure the waiter is making eye contact with me while I do this so they can also see that I am holding my hands in front of me, praying style, then opening them as I say the words “open faced” so they understand that I do indeed mean when I said.]

“Okay, that’s a Bacon Gouda…anything else?”

“Open faced, right?”

“Yeah, right. [ pause ] You mean, you don’t want the bun on top?” Continue reading Why English is Hard, or, “How to Speak Starbucks-ese” in the Mornings

Simple Ideas: Apple Cider with a Breath of Rosemary

A serene view helps the cider be that much better.

This morning’s walk to the Intellegentsia coffee house was interrupted by the Chicago marathon.  Everywhere we tried to walk, our path was blocked with thousands of runners being cheered on my a supportive crowd, offering an endless supply of water cups.  Dance music filled the air to add another layer of, “You can DO it!” attitude to the environment.

So we made a contingency plan, and I’m so glad we did.  Our detour led us to one of the first locations my children had tried during our vacation:  GrahamWich, a Graham Elliot restaurant that offered a light breakfast menu and was right around the corner.  The quiche with Swiss cheese was delightful, and the crust especially flaky and tender.

But the apple cider was amazing.  I took a second sip.  Again, the tangy freshness sat with my taste buds but I couldn’t really distinguish any special notes. “Must be the apples,” I thought.  No, the third sip revealed the secret.  On the back of my palate, right before I was tempted with another bit of quiche I found it: rosemary.  Notes of rosemary danced across my tongue, and I smiled. Continue reading Simple Ideas: Apple Cider with a Breath of Rosemary

Crazy-Good Baby Calzones: Final Red Gold Recipe Contest Entry

Calzones are so much more fun to eat if they fit in your hand.

Downsizing the standard size helps with dunking them into a ramekin filled with “Meaty Marinara” AND, by making multiple calzones you can try multiple varieties of stuffing.

Directions:

To create this recipe, you’ll need to a) make the dough; b) cook your marinara sauce; c)  set up your building area;  then, d) bake off the calzones.

Make your dough first so you can work on the rest of the process while the dough is doing its thing.  I make mine in our bread maker on the “dough” setting.

This recipe is from the 1987 (don’t laugh) West Bend bread maker book and is our family standard.

  1. Add 1.5 cups water (warm but not hot) and 4 T. olive oil to the bread pan.
  2. Add 4 cups flour, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp salt to the pan. Make a slight well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 4 tsp yeast.
  3. Place bread pan into oven chamber, lock into place, and press the “dough” setting.  Most bread makers complete the dough process in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  4. Notes:  We usually add 2 tsps of Italian Seasoning and 1 tsp of ground black pepper to the dough to give the crust a great flavor. It’s also appealing because of the green flecks that show throughout the crust.

If you don’t have a bread maker, it’s not a problem.  Simply mix all the ingredients listed above together, knead until you achieve a nice elasticity in your dough, cover and let raise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Next, it’s time to make the meaty marinara sauce.  You’ll need these ingredients:

1 can Red Gold tomato sauce and 1 can of Red Gold crushed tomatoes

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

Freshly grated Parmesan (1/3rd cup; set aside some extra for garnish for later)

Approximately 30 leaves of fresh basil, slivered

15 slices of pepperoni, diced Continue reading Crazy-Good Baby Calzones: Final Red Gold Recipe Contest Entry

Red Gold Contest Super Bowl Spread: “Quarterback Wraps!”

Here’s an idea that takes your normal Caprese salad and turns it inside out.  A perfect twist for a Super Bowl Sunday spread.  And, it’s almost as easy as it is delicious.  We should know.  Our neighbors came to sample the final product and all I have left is  plate full of emptiness. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

2 cans Red Gold Diced tomatoes

2 packages of fresh mozzarella bite sized “pearls” (or one pound cut into small pieces)

A head of Bib (Butter) Lettuce

A bunch of basil (about 30 leaves or so)

And a completed recipe of special dressing (includes garlic, fresh Parmesan, brown mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper)

Build your filling and wrap spread:

The first thing you’ll need to do is make the dressing. All you need is: 1 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar, 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 T. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. sea salt, ground black pepper, and 3 smaller or two larger cloves of garlic – peeled and cut up a bit.  Put all these ingredients into the blender and blend until the dressing is emulsified and the color of light mud.  Yup – you’re gonna eat something that looks like mud.  The mustard and cheese help the emulsification process and help hold this together so it doesn’t separate. See this link for photos capturing the dressing making process.

Next, you’ll layer.  First, the fresh mozzarella. Put a fine dusting of ground black pepper on the cheese.  Then drain the tomatoes well (save the juice!), and cover the cheese.  Next, put the dressing in a baggie, cut a very small hole in one corner and use this like a pastry bag to drizzle the dressing evenly over the top of the tomatoes.  Finally, cover the top with finely sliced fresh basil, garnish…and you’re done!  Here are a few photos of the process…

Continue reading Red Gold Contest Super Bowl Spread: “Quarterback Wraps!”

It’s Football Bowl Season! How About Some Tacos Burachos?

If you’d like to serve up a platter full of awesome during Bowl season, why not try something different to fill your taco shells?

This recipe will create approximately 14 good sized tacos with a completely new flavor.  The pork roast marinade is fraught with tequila and lime added to a base of tomatoes, garlic, onions and a special smoky chipotle finish.  And, Red Gold Chipotle diced tomatoes does half the work for you!

Okay, don’t drool yet. We’ve got some work to do…here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

2.5 pounds pork roast                                                            1 cup tequila

2 cans Red Gold Chipotle diced tomatoes             2 medium limes

¼ c. olive oil                                                                        ½ Tablespoon sea salt; 1 Tablespoon ground cumin

2 cups instant brown rice                                              1 bunch cilantro w/ stems removed, chopped

1 ripe avocado                                                                   ½ cup sour cream

Instructions

Cut pork roast into four equal pieces.  Place pork in a bowl then pour in the ¼ cup olive oil.  Make sure all pieces of pork are completely covered in the oil, and then dump oil and meat into a large sauté pan.  Cook on medium to medium high heat, browning pork on all sides (approximately 6-8 minutes).

Once meat is browned, remove pan from heat.  Remove the meat from pan, pour off any remaining oil but don’t clean pan.  Put the pan back on the burner and add two cans of Red Gold Chipotle diced tomatoes, the juice of two limes, 1 cup of tequila, the sea salt and the cumin.

Bring the liquid mixture to a medium simmer, ensuring all ingredients are mixed well, then add the pork, cover and braise meat in the liquid for 1.5 hours.  As soon as the liquid is simmering after the meat is added, cover and turn heat to medium low to keep a constant simmer going, but not a rapid boil. Continue reading It’s Football Bowl Season! How About Some Tacos Burachos?

“Red Dirt Dining” and “Red Dirt Dives” ~ What’s the Difference?

“Great minds think alike,” right?  Well, that seems to be the situation for at least a couple of issues here at the Red Dirt Chronicles.  Let’s take food reviews, for example.

We’ve been doing eating establishment reviews since our inception.  We have ten restaurant reviews in various parts of the state archived now, as well as posted on the Oklahoma Urban Spoon website.  These restaurant reviews get readership every day because people are out there, driving around in our state, looking for a great place to eat.  Makes sense, right?  We also created, however, a series called Red Dirt Dives.

In February of this year, we rolled out our first Red Dirt Dives post with a commentary on Railhead BBQ in Guthrie.  Next was The Rock restaurant in Stroud.  Our Red Dirt Dives series creator is now working on a piece  about a “dive” in Perkins she enjoyed.  And, we have another contributor who wishes to be a part of this series as well.

However, about 6-8 weeks ago, Channel 9 News rolled out a series called “Red Dirt Dining.” Amanda Taylor is the host and the premise of their series is to put on video what we’ve been putting in writing.  Are you starting to see why some people are confused?  Let me add to the confusion just a bit more…

In Oklahoma there is a Red Dirt Cafe (in the books, but now out of business).  And, you’ll never believe just how many things can get mixed together on a Google search when it comes to Red Dirt and food in Oklahoma.  Or maybe you will…

Regardless, I thought perhaps we should publish this post because now we’re beginning to get mail (for Amanda) suggesting places Channel 9 News should cover for their fourth Red Dirt Dive feature…I mean Dining… wait – what??

What I mean is…right now, we’re just going to continue what we do and how we’ve been doing it until “something has to give.”  Hopefully that won’t happen.  But if it does, we’ll let you know.

Situations like this aren’t uncommon.  We found out a couple of months ago that although we’ve been running a series called “The Imaginary Family Project,” which is really cool by the way, since January there is now a potentially confusing situation with This Land Press. Continue reading “Red Dirt Dining” and “Red Dirt Dives” ~ What’s the Difference?

Native Oklahoma Persimmons 101

Persimmons are beautiful simply served on a dish by themselves. Photo by Rylee Roberts

(Originally published Fall, 2010) While sitting at the breakfast table as a young girl, I could look out the window this time of year and watch the squirrels scamper like mad up and down the trees just across the fence line along our garden.  They were scrambling to see who could harvest and store the highest number of Oklahoma native persimmons, the bright orange to dark amber fruits tempting them to work extra hard. Even by squirrel standards.  Occasionally, I would wander outside, cross the fence and collect a few of the fruits I knew for sure were ripe, but at that age it was a guessing game for me.

Persimmon tree during autumn.

Sometimes I would choose them at a stage too firm and orange (green) and suffer the consequences of a horrible experience – something like all the moisture being sucked out of my mouth, with no way to quench the thirst!  But the ripe persimmons…ah, those were nice.  And still are.

My father brought some to our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and luckily not all of them got eaten.  I have them now and I thought I would share a few basic pieces of information in case you are outside and see them in a tree somewhere.  They are worth your harvesting time.

Continue reading Native Oklahoma Persimmons 101

Little Victory Garden “Extra” – A Visual Guide to Making Red Sumac Lemonade

I’m sitting here drinking my second glass of “Indian Lemonade” (aka Sumac Lemonade), taking sips between each photo I upload.  I have a history with trying to make sumac recipes and it’s not pretty.  The reasons were all the same: I was making hot drinks with the beautiful red berries and they just weren’t as good as the cold drinks.

I keep thinking one day I’ll learn to love hot sumac lemonade, but that’s a very low priority on my gastronomical intake list. Cold is good.  Cold is ESPECIALLY good in July when it’s so hot outside. And, I don’t need to keep rewriting the instructions when others have done such a nice job.  What I CAN do is provide you something I needed before I made mine this morning – visual aids!

I like to see how things work, and I couldn’t find a recipe with step by step photo guides.  So, I made you one.  Simply follow the recipe from the link I provided, and if you have questions you can check out these photos below.  I used a leftover juice carton and filled it with cold water so when we de-stemmed the berries a bit we could fill it up, then “shake, shake, shake” the carton until the vitamin C-laden red powder had infused the water.

The basic steps are simple. Gather the sumac, get rid of any bugs (I had to throw one away because there was a web woven all around the berries), de-stem and/or de-berry the sumac, place the berries in cold water, agitate the mixture like crazy, strain through a cheesecloth or clean tea towel, add sugar…enjoy. That was a long sentence for such “simple” steps. But really, the process is easy and kind of fun. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend helped me this morning with the project. Continue reading Little Victory Garden “Extra” – A Visual Guide to Making Red Sumac Lemonade

My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie

You know the scene, right?  The rat’s cooking has turned a failing restaurant around and garnered enough raves to entice a visit from the most revered food critic in Paris.  So, did the staff serve him truffles, pate’, or something lovely drenched in butter?  No, Remy (the infamous rat chef) served the food critic a peasant dish: ratatouille.  As the first bite was analyzed, memories of childhood and a mother’s love flooded through the critic’s brain.  The corners of his mouth turned upward, and the rest was…well, if you haven’t seen the movie, then perhaps you should.

As I rummaged around in my garden this week, I had a light bulb moment. Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie

The Pizza Song

The Bings may be somewhat described as Puritans, but never with a Puritanical attitude, mind you. That is true for major life choices, and for the seemingly simple things as well. Every day things, like choices in music. We mostly listen to Christian music, but enjoy a classic 80’s rock tune every now and then. One of our favorites is affectionately referred to by the family as “the pizza song,” for said pure reasons:

We love simple things, like pizza, and we love us some Hideaway.

First off, a bit of historical context is in order. Little Frau and I met one another in the hinterlands south of the Red River, and our second date was in one of those classic double-decker Pizza Huts that were all the rage back in the day. And, for such a tiny young lady, she could down half a large pepperoni and multiple glasses of Dr. Pepper with the best of them. As a college student, she could eat that way, oh, every night.

Hold on, for the story changes from here. Fast forward to the era of the 2000’s, and 4 out of the 5 Bings have turned out to be exclusive Gluten-free (GF) diners out of medical necessity. Said diagnosis and lifestyle was was not deemed necessary until the love of pizza by all Bings was deep and strong. And in Oklahoma, this pizza yearning has been like being thirsty in the middle of the ocean. Water everywhere, but none that won’t kill you if consumed.

It has been quite a Journey. You see, More cosmopolitan or “urbane” locales like Colorado, Kansas City, or even the hinterlands surrounding Austin, Texas have been blessed with multiple GF pizza options for quite some time. But, not Oklahoma. Not till now. Continue reading The Pizza Song

You May Be “The Grillmaster,” But Have You Grilled…PIZZA?

Summer is here and if you are like me you don’t want to heat up your kitchen from cooking.  (The idea SOUNDS good, anyway!)

Have you ever considered cooking a pizza on the BBQ grill?  I had no idea that pizza could be cooked on the grill until I picked up a Pampered Chef catalogue and saw a recipe for Grilled Pizza with Tomatoes and Olives.  I read through the recipe and decided it was within my skill level of cooking and I liked all the ingredients (my main requirement for picking a recipe) required so I decided to give it a try.  My family and I really enjoyed the recipe.  I hope you will give it a try I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Grilled Pizza with Tomatoes and Olives
2 oz. mozzarella cheese  (about 1/2 cup grated)

1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed Continue reading You May Be “The Grillmaster,” But Have You Grilled…PIZZA?

Sometimes I Share Secrets: Steak & Ale Hawaiian Chicken Marinade…Yup!

Image from http://taracooks.com/?p=2390 Thanks, Tara!

I’ve done a search on recipe sites and there are several “Steak & Ale Hawaiian Chicken” (and Kensington Club – same thing…) marinade recipes.  I’m aware they exist.  However, there are a few that sound downright weird, and a few that sound just about right.  In 1984 I got this from a cook at Steak & Ale who swore me to secrecy.  So I swore.  Then, even after they went out of business in Oklahoma I didn’t share the recipe.  I kept thinking…”I swore.  I swore I wouldn’t share it.”

However, it is now 2011. I think that after 28 or 29 years, it’s time to share the secret recipe.  And, it’s time to be grilling outdoors.  After all, all the BTUs you fire up in outdoor grilling will be that many you won’t have to cool down with your air conditioner inside, right?

So here it is.  It’s simple, it works, it’s delicious, and we use it on both chicken AND pineapple.  Any cut of chicken will work.  Just please remember to avoid mixing the bag of chicken marinade with your pineapple marinade unless you can swear you brought the pineapple temperature up high enough to kill any bacteria.  Swear?  Okay. Then here it is.  Enjoy.

1 1/6 c. unsweetened pineapple juice; 1/4 c. granulated sugar; just under 1/2 c. cooking sherry or wine; 1/3 c. soy sauce; 1/6 c. red wine vinegar; 1/3 t. granulated garlic. (1/6 c. = 2 2/3 T.) That’s it.  Allow fresh meat to marinate at least 3-6 hours. We put ours in a Ziploc bag.  Please enjoy – I know we do.

[kelly]

 

Pint Night Reviews: Flying Dog, from Maryland

“There is an ancient, Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’  Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom, and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

So last week’s pint night was a non event.  Most likely because The Abner was closed for Memorial Day.  But this week was a hoot. I got to see some friends I don’t always get to see, and I got cake.

There is a guy that comes in every Monday night while we’re there and he is a City of Noble police officer.  He knows about the law and he also claims to know about cake.  Two weeks ago he made a promise to Cale (our favorite bartender) and I to bring us cake: me, lemon and Cale, chocolate with buttercream icing.  And, he of his OWN volition said that if he didn’t bring us cake then we could slap him across the face.  He said he was sure it would be fun to tell a story where we slapped a cop in a bar.

So anyhow – he gets to the bar, had forgotten the cake, looked crestfallen, turned back around, and returned 20 minutes later with cake for Cale and myself. Continue reading Pint Night Reviews: Flying Dog, from Maryland

Yukon, OK v. Los Angeles, CA: A Bona Fide Pork Rind Throw Down

This evening I stopped by my favorite quick stop, Covell Corner.  Okay, it’s my ONLY area quick stop but they’re really great.  I could write an entire post about the family who started that business, how nice their employees are, and how their deli pizza is scrump-deli-icious… but that’s not what I want to share with you.  I wanted to let you know that I was in the store, wandering aimlessly because I couldn’t find Perrier or club soda, when I saw a full rack of El Sabroso Pork Cracklins beckoning me.

No, I don’t like pork rinds.  Not really.  But when I was a little girl, my mother would buy them as a special snack because SHE liked them.  So a few weeks ago I purchased a local pork rind microwavable product at the Farmer’s Market because the owner of the company was a friend…AND I thought, “Give them to mom, she might like them.”  My mother has made a lifetime habit of seeing some piece of clothing or other product while she’s out shopping, then thinking I might like it – purchases it and brings it to me at the next family get-together.  It’s about time I turned the tables on her, don’t you think? Continue reading Yukon, OK v. Los Angeles, CA: A Bona Fide Pork Rind Throw Down

Pint Night: From McNellie’s The Abner in Norman

So, every Monday night at McNellie’s The Abner in Norman is Pint Night. Good golly gosh, I love Pint Night.  The deal is, you go and buy the featured beer of the night, and you get to keep the glass that is made for that beer.

This first picture is of our kitchen cabinet:

The middle cabinet that is stacked and packed full of glasses is our beer glass shelf…and every single one of those glasses came from pint night.  The next picture is a high up shelf where we keep the too-tall pint glasses, or the extra fancy ones that are more fragile (like a Warsteiner Dunkel special edition Christmas glass with a hand blown glass ornament at the bottom): Continue reading Pint Night: From McNellie’s The Abner in Norman