Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma’

Bushel of PeachesImagine you are watching a movie and the scene takes place in a small southwestern town, at the annual festival.  Local musicians are on stage:  young girls with violins and guitars, men trying their hand at singing to a recorded track, little girls in frilly dresses singing broadway tunes.   Politicians are out en force, with their signs and bumper stickers, manning booths.  There’s an auction going on, bushels of peaches going to the highest bidder.  Announcements are being made about the winners of the cook-off from earlier in the day.  People cool themselves with handheld political fans while they stand in line for homemade ice cream and fried pies.  Toby Keith plays over the sound system while signs are everywhere giving Jesus all the glory.  Dogs and babies are having a day out.  It’s hot and sunny.  Men wear cowboy hats; women stroll with umbrellas. 

And there you’d sit in the movie audience, thinking “Man, this is really over the top.”   And I would have to agree with you.  But on July 17, 2010, at the Stratford Peach Festival in Stratford, Oklahoma, it was all of that and more. 

And my friend Lise and I did just as we were supposed to do as visitors:   we strolled and looked at the vendors selling homemade food and crafts, bought snacks and eyed fresh produce.  I bought an apron that a nice lady had made.  Then we each got a peach fried pie, and ate while waiting in line for peach ice cream and peach iced tea, all the while commiserating with a stranger on how hot it was and how the line should be in the shade.  We mosied over to the pavilion to catch some talent and watch part of the peach auction.  Lise visited with another stranger about her daughter selling pies and snowcones in another Oklahoma town.   Little kids were dancing and some boys were fanning their dog to keep it cool.   We had to revisit a roasted nut stand so I could get cinnamon almonds to take home.   Then off we went to purchase our share of the delicious fresh peaches. 

Looking back, I would say it was just about as perfect as a small town festival could be.   It was one of those days when you feel lucky that you got to step into the scene and experience it — entertaining while you are there and nice to remember when you eat your warm peaches at home.   So, to you Okies, if you ever get a chance to go to the Stratford Peach Festival, I can recommend it.  Oh — and the peaches are good, too.

Fresh Watermelon for SaleBoys fan their dogGirls playing violinHomemade Peach Ice Cream


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The Sam Noble Natural History Museum at the University of Oklahoma was celebrating its 10th anniversary last night.  To help with the party, they had the special exhibition “Chocolate” from The Field Museum in Chicago.   A few restaurants were also on hand, giving out chocolate treats.   Sam Noble Natural History Museum

The show was a nice look at the processing of cacao beans, the history of chocolate, and even associated dishes and utensils used with chocolate in the past.   I ran into some friends there:  Mark and Cindy, Karen and Bob, and saw a lot more people that I recognized from around town –  even met some new friends!   The event ended up being a nice local gathering for a Friday night. 

I tasted a lot of different chocolates, from covered dried cherries and grapes to covered nuts and coffee beans.   The chocolates ranged from milky to dark, and everything in between.  One restaurant was giving out chocolate covered Gummi Bears but I couldn’t bring myself to take a bite.  That’s just wrong.   Another vendor had warm fondue-type melted chocolate and butterscotch, with marshmallows on skewers.  I went against the grain and dipped a chocolate biscotti into the butterscotch.  It was so good I almost lost my mind and double-dipped, but of course I didn’t!  (But I wanted to.)   Another table had a chocolate fountain –  I was going to hold an apple wedge under it but I took a bite first and I swear it was the worst apple I’ve ever tasted.  

All in all it was a fun event — I’m glad Tracy invited me along!  I always enjoy getting out, going to local events, and who can say no to chocolate? 

10th Anniversary10th Anniversary10th AnniversarySam Noble Museum10th Anniversary Chocolate ExhibitionSam Noble Museum

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(Disclaimer:  any and all recorded comments are from a hazy wine-influenced memory.)

AS PART OF MY FOOD, INC. gathering last night, we tried out some regional wines.   Mitch brought a bottle of Mizzou Cellars Norton, bottled by the Missouri University Institute.  The wine is made with norton/cynthiana red grapes and is a full-bodied dry red wine.   Sounds like a good healthy drink to me! 

Christie brought a bottle from Texas called Texas Sunset, a red table wine from Bella Vista Cellars of Wimberly.   So, this is another red wine to keep in mind for your daily drink.

I picked up two bottles of Oklahoma wine:  Oklahoma Sunset, a dry rose, from Tidal School Vineyards in Drumright, and Oklahoma White Zinfandel (the name says it all) from Canadian River Vineyards & Winery of Slaughterville, just a few miles from here. 

We started from light and went to darker in our tasting.  Everyone agreed that the zinfandel was sweet, but I don’t really like sweet wines and it was pretty good, I thought.  So mildly sweet but not too bad.  This wine, Oklahoma White Zinfandel, was my favorite.   Altogether I think everyone liked this wine.

Next was the Oklahoma Sunset, more dry than the zinfandel, but very similar in taste.  A couple of people preferred this wine – Marcie said this was her favorite.   It was in my top two.

The Texas Sunset was next in line and it is a good red wine.  The flavor is not sweet, and not too dry.  Just a good solid wine.  I don’t think the Texas Sunset was anyone’s favorite, but again we all agreed it’s a good wine, and no one really disliked it.

Last in our line of wines was the Mizzou Vineyards full-bodied red wine.  Everyone liked this wine; it does have a full array of flavors.  Mitch, Tracy, and Christie said they liked this wine best.  That’s three of five people who participated.  I think we have a clear WINNER.  

I think I can speak for all of us in recommending any one of these wines.  This was my first taste of wine from any of these states –the great flavors really surprised me.   I can’t wait to try more regional wines, especially from Oklahoma.  OK, now, who makes organic wine in Oklahoma?   Off to research . . .

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