Sunday, November 28, 2010

Choctaw Zweibelkuchen - a weekend recipe

Central Oklahoma has many citizens of German extraction, the language still spoken in Oklahoma households where German cuisine is still proudly served. Choctaw, Oklahoma, and the Old Germany Restaurant have hosted an Oklahoma version of Oktoberfest every September for the last twenty years.

Here is a Germanic recipe with a slight Okie modification. P.S. – this recipe originated in German wine country and, yes, grapes are now grown and wine being produced right here in central Oklahoma. Although great with wine, I can personally attest to the fact that this dish is also great with a cold Beck’s. Yes, southern comfort food sometimes has European origins.


• 16 strips bacon

• 4 large yellow onions, chopped

• 2 jalapeno peppers, roasted, deseeded, finely chopped

• 2 eggs plus 1 yolk

• ¾ cups sour cream

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Caraway seeds

• 2 -8 inch pastry shells half baked at 400 degrees


Fry bacon until crisp. Drain, crumble and set aside. Fry onions in oil until soft and yellow. Add beaten eggs, and yolk, chopped jalapeno pepper, sour cream, salt and pepper. Add crumbled bacon. Pour mixture into pie shells and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until centers are firm. Enjoy.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Bayou Runs Through It

It's likely true that the lessons you learn as a teenager do as much to cement the real values in your life as anything else. That said, I spent many of my teenage years attending college in Monroe, Louisiana. Majoring in geology, I took many science courses but I also dabbled in English and the arts. Probably the most important course that I took at Northeast Louisiana was a lesson in life - a lesson in how to cope in a world filled with no family and mostly strangers.

When I attended NLSC, a gallon of gas cost thirty cents, or less. A Coke was a nickel and you could buy a pitcher of beer for a dollar. My favorite watering hole, along with that of most of the male population of the college was the Trianon. I wrote about the Trianon in my short story A Talk with Henry. Henry was a real person and I took much of the dialogue for the story from actual conversations.

I started college during summer school, at the tender age of seventeen. My Brother Jack and close friend Elwin also attended summer school the same year. The year was 1964. There was an air show at the airport that summer and a local pilot offered plane rides in his Beechcraft Bonanza for a penny a pound. Jack, Elwin and I all took our first ride in an airplane for a cost of less than five dollars.

A Bayou runs through the campus of what is now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. During summer, Bayou DeSiard is a hot spot for students. While not quite Florida, sun bathing students line the beach and it was, and is, a great place to meet members of the opposite sex. Jack, Elwin and I went swimming every day that semester and even light-skinned Eric had a tan before the end of summer.

At night, Jack, Elwin and I would haunt the Trianon. There were gambling machines, the walls black, lighting dim and music loud. We chugged lots of beer and discussed every important world issue there was. At summer's end, Jack and Elwin both flunked out, unable to return the next semester because of poor grades. I made it, passing, but barely.

Today, I can't remember a single course that I took that summer. As far as grades are concerned, I almost flunked my first semester in college, but now it doesn't seem so important. Looking back, I think that I probably aced the part of my life that was most significant at the time.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Joy's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Mocha Butter Frosting

Marilyn’s mother Joy had seven children. When her husband died in his early forties, she went to work to feed and support them, first as a waitress and later, owning her own café. None of her children ever went hungry and I quickly realized during the short time I knew her that she was a wonderful cook. Former customers of Joy’s café still remember her home-made cakes and pies. Here is one of her personal favorites.


• 2 cups flour
• 4 tbsp cocoa
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup mayonnaise


Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Mix well and pour into two 9” greased and floured layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spread with mocha butter frosting.

Mocha Butter Frosting


• 1/3 cup butter
• 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla
• 2 tbsp light cream
• ¼ cup cocoa
• ½ tsp instant coffee


Cream the butter, adding half the sugar, cocoa and all of the instant coffee until well blended. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Blend in remaining sugar and cocoa, adding enough cream to bring the frosting to spreadable consistency.