Oklahoma - The Sooner State
Official Tourism Motto “Land of What’s New”
Suggested Motto “OK Place to Visit”
Two Truths and a Lie
The American Alligator is native to Oklahoma’s waterways. When freezing weather does arrive, they survive by entering a state called brumation, a cold-blooded version of hibernation. They still need to breathe so they poke holes in the ice and snorkel their snouts up for air.
An oil well operates underneath the state capitol building in Tulsa. Its official name is Capitol Site #1, but most people call it Petunia #1 because drilling began amidst a flower bed.
The official state vegetable of the state of Oklahoma is watermelon.
The Recipe - Strawberry O’s
Geographically Oklahoma is a really interesting place. Culturally it reflects bits and pieces of four neighboring regions: the Midwest, the South, the Southwest, and the West. Add to that the contributions of the 67 Native American tribes and it becomes impossible to condense the state’s identity into a single recipe. But that’s the point of this blog, so I have to try.
For the past few weeks, my kids have been singing “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I have no idea why. They cannot remember most of the words so I just hear this line on repeat, “Ooooooo-klahoma where the wind blooooooooooows!” I took their crooning as a volunteer cry and enlisted their help in this recipe.
We started with a beloved family recipe for sugar cookies. I replaced part of the flour with cornflour. Corn is sacred to many of the Native Americans and is part of Oklahoma’s official state meal. They helped roll out the dough and cut shapes. I used big and little rounds to make the letter “O”. (My kids kept calling them donut cookies.)
Immediately after baking, I dusted the cookies with crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Why? Well, strawberries are the official state fruit, but more specifically I wanted to honor some famous dirt. In most of central Oklahoma, the soil is red. This Port Silt Loam covers more than a million acres and supports much of the state’s agriculture. The red color comes from ancient sandstone that forms the basis of the soil along with siltstone and shale.
These were not my fanciest cookies, but they were certainly the most kid-friendly. They had a blast helping me and happily ate them up with big mugs of cold milk.
Want to experience Oklahoma for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
I have yet to visit the Sooner State; it's a day’s drive so maybe I will jump in the car some weekend and correct this grievance. In the meantime, I would highly recommend reading “The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl” by Timothy Egan. Also the FX show “Reservation Dogs” is groundbreaking and highly entertaining. Check it out.
Time for the whole truth
There is an oil well underneath the state capitol building, but that building is in Oklahoma City, not Tulsa. (By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)