Tag Archives: Made in Oklahoma

Rustic or Refined, Oklahoma Soap Makers Are Something Special

Soaps by Colleen Thornton, Farmer and Owner of Heaven Sent Food and Fiber

I’ve always loved a really good bar of soap.  I have been rummaging around the soap shelves and “close out” sections of Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, and any other nook or cranny where there is a happenstance possibility of finding an imported, French-milled box of soaps for years.  And, when I find a box of Shea Butter, Lavender, or Evelyn and Crabtree triple milled Goat Milk soap – well, I just stand there and sniff it for a while.  Then, I take it home and wait until my previous bar is all gone.  Days when I get to open a new bar of soap are days where my happiness factor is multiplied many times.

Colleen Thornton with one of her little "babies."

I had one of those days…times about ten a few weeks ago when a box from Heaven Sent Food and Fiber arrived, full of soaps.  Colleen Thornton, the soap maker and owner of the company, had sent them my way.  We gave away four bars on our Facebook page last week, and I played with the remaining treasures.  Here’s a quick idea if you want to give Oklahoma-made soaps away as special hostess or holiday gifts… Continue reading Rustic or Refined, Oklahoma Soap Makers Are Something Special

My Little Victory Garden: The Urban Agrarian and One Last Walk Through Grandpa’s Treasure House

Matt Burch (center), founder of the Urban Agrarian, shown here goofing off at their stand with Ryan Conerly (left) and David Drennen (right). The casual attitude is contagious; the mission – also contagious.

I’ve been trying to visit the Urban Agrarian (UA) Sunday food market at N.W. 23rd & Hudson (located in the Cheever’s parking lot) for several weeks.  Today, I finally made it…with five minutes to spare before they closed.  Mick and I had left my grandmother’s farm about forty-five minutes earlier and we were driving our truck eastbound on N.W. 23rd Street, hitting every red light possible. I finally pulled out my cell phone and Tweeted:

@UrbanAgrarian driving back from grandma’s farm in Tuttle. Getting there with maybe 5 min to shop! Eek!”  In less than a minute, I got a notice about this reply to my message: “@RedDirtKelly no worries, we will be here.”

Here, why don’t you enjoy a short introductory video about the Urban Agrarian while I finish driving down 23rd St., okay? Continue reading My Little Victory Garden: The Urban Agrarian and One Last Walk Through Grandpa’s Treasure House

What’s For Dinner, President Henry?

Stilwell Strawberries

About one week before Thanksgiving, I spent some time with Oklahoma City University President Robert H. Henry.  The Henry family has deep roots in Oklahoma and his résumé in particular is as long as the Chisolm Trail.  That interview will be shared later in the weeks to come, but today we have an appetizer of sorts.  I noticed when we were talking that he had a love for gardening and cooking, and wondered out loud what he might “cook up” if he were to go home that evening and find a perfect made (or grown) in Oklahoma meal on his dinner table.  Here is his answer but I’m providing it with a caveat – do not read ahead if you are hungry.  You might be left with no choice but to leave what you are doing and seek out sustenance:

“If I could have anything I wanted, I would have tomatoes from my garden with smoked salt…Chardonnay Oak smoked salt, on a bed of fresh basil leaves with some sliced avocado and some vermouth or late harvest Riesling wine vinegar, and a little fresh ground pepper.  And olive oil…that would be the salad.

If I wanted to have a soup, I would have Ratatouille made from eggplant, zucchini, peppers…and again, some basil and really good olive oil.  [And] some grated Parmesan cheese.

For the main course I would have new potatoes, oven roasted with rosemary from the garden…and garlic.  Then I would have, probably a brined bone-in chicken breast that was charcoal-grilled.  And, for dessert I would have…I would have it be June, so I could have Oklahoma strawberries with either crème glacée, or a real homemade shortcake that looks like a biscuit; warm, with butter, piled high with strawberries and real whipped cream.

That would be it.  In a younger day, I would have substituted really great fried chicken…maybe from Juniors, or from my own kitchen cooked in a real frying pan and, and double fried.  Once ‘till it’s slightly golden, then cooled and then fried again.  Real French frying is frying twice…[and I would add] some pan gravy with that.  My age and my lowered metabolism causes me to go with the grilled chicken.”

Continue reading What’s For Dinner, President Henry?