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Sprinkled among the tantalizing recipes in Café Oklahoma are historical vignettes reflecting the colorful past of the Sooner State.  I hope you enjoy these glimpses into Oklahoma history.


Oklahoma very nearly became two states. For years, there had been strong sentiment for admitting the Indian Territory as the Indian State of Sequoyah. Neighboring Oklahoma Territory, meanwhile, would become the State of Oklahoma. Constitutions were written for both, but in the end the two Territories were joined into one and admitted to the Union as Oklahoma. It remained for them to seal that emotional issue in some way, and they arrived at a quaint solution. They had a wedding on Statehood Day. The bride, representing the Indian Territory, was a beautiful dark-haired, dark-eyed lady of Cherokee descent, Anita Trainer Bennett. The groom, representing Oklahoma Territory, was tall, fair-haired C.G. “Grist Mill” Jones, an Oklahoma City civic booster and railroad promoter. The ceremony took place in Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Territorial capital, on the steps of the Carnegie Library, before an immense crowd of people yearning to witness a piece of history and enjoy the festivities – which without a doubt included plenty of picnic lunches with barbecue beef, fried chicken, potato salad and all the trimmings, served up in hearty Territorial fashion. You can sure work up an appetite witnessing history. It was a brilliant day, November 16, 1907, and the ceremony was lavish – the bride in a lavender satin floor-length gown, a picture hat and gloves; the bridegroom in striped pants and black formal coat. All the peoples were represented – giving the bride away was a future Choctaw chief, with judges, politicians and the about-to-be-inaugurated first governor in attendance. There’s a suggestion of the sensitivity of the event in the vows that were read. “…To you, Mr. Jones, as the representative of Oklahoma, I present the hand and fortune of Miss Indian Territory…Despite the unhappy circumstances of her youth, which have cast a shadow of sorrow over a face by nature only intended to give back warm smiles of God’s pure sunshine, this beautiful maiden comes to him as the last descendant of the proudest race that ever trod foot on American soil…Although an orphan, Miss Indian Territory brings her spouse a dower that, in fertile fields, productive mines and sterling and upright citizenship, equals the fortune of her wooer. Mr. Oklahoma, into whose identity Indian Territory is about to be merged forever, must be entrusted to care for this princely estate…” The crowd cheered as the bride, whose identity had been a closely-kept secret, stepped forward, lifted her veil and waved a greeting. She shielded her eyes from the bright sun with a mauve chrysanthemum – even that was symbolic, as it was to be the official flower of the newly-born State of Oklahoma. A choir of Cherokee girls sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the crowed cheered. The twin Territories had become one State.

Sooner Salsa
Oklahoma Crude Cake
Pawhuska Potato Salad
Hickory Ribs

A Tradition of Outlawry
  If there's a touch of larceny in the Sooner soul, we come by it, well, honestly...

First Wedding in Oklahoma
  It was a brilliant day, November 16, 1907, and the ceremony was lavish ....

Maybe Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
  And line up they did, weeks in advance...