Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cattleman's House Dressing

There's a pivotal scene in my book Bones of Skeleton Creek that takes place at Cattleman's Cafe located on the south side of Oklahoma City. A rancher has hired P.I. Buck McDivit to help him catch the culprits rustling cattle from his ranch. Buck's friend Trey is an agent for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and they meet at Cattleman's for lunch to discuss the case.

I-40 bisects Oklahoma City into what are really two distinct towns, the north side, and the south side. Just south of I-40, on Agnew, is a retail neighborhood known locally as Stockyard City. It's the home of Cattleman’s Steak House, the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Oklahoma City. Cattleman's opened its doors in 1910 three years after Oklahoma became a state.

The restaurant and Stockyards hold many bittersweet memories for me as I was banking at the now-defunct Stockyards Bank when my little oil company, caught up in the eighties oil bust, went “belly up.” Cattleman’s is still a fixture for oilies, cattle raisers, and other risk-takers, a fitting legacy as the owner won it in a game of dice.

Many luminaries including John Wayne and Ronald Reagan have graced Cattleman’s doors since 1910. The restaurant serves stiff drinks and some of the best steaks in Oklahoma City (no kidding!) along with lamb fries and their signature Cattleman’s Salad. The recipe for their famous house dressing is a secret, but it’s hard keeping a secret for one hundred and eight years. Try it and enjoy. If you can't get there in person, read Bones of Skeleton Creek and have lunch with Buck and Trey.

Cattleman's House Dressing

8 oz. cream cheese ½ pint sour cream
Egg Beater = 1 egg 1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp garlic powder ¼ cup Wesson Oil
¾ cup water

Blend in a bowl larger than 2.5 quarts with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of Wesson Oil and blend until smooth and well mixed. Add ¾ cup of water and blend until smooth and well mixed.

Makes a bunch and you may wish to share a portion or two with your friends.


Born near Black Bayou in the little Louisiana town of Vivian, Eric Wilder grew up listening to his grandmother’s tales of politics, corruption, and ghosts that haunt the night. He now lives in Oklahoma where he continues to pen mysteries and short stories with a southern accent. He is the author of the French Quarter Mystery Series set in New Orleans and the Paranormal Cowboy Series set in Oklahoma. Please check it out on his AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBook author pages. You might also like to check out his website.

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