Monday, May 18, 2009

Oklahoma, My Adopted State

When I moved here several months ago, I didn't really know anything about the state of Oklahoma. Being from Southern California, my vision of Oklahoma was lots of never-ending flat prairie. And, was I ever wrong. So, this morning I thought it would be fun to gather and share some information about Oklahoma with you. Enjoy.


Oklahoma Facts

· The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw words: "okla" meaning people and "humma" meaning red, so the state's name literally means "red people."

· Oklahoma has the second largest American Indian population of any state. Many of the 380,000 American Indians living in Oklahoma today are descendants from the original 67 tribes inhabiting Indian Territory.

· Thirty-nine of the American Indian tribes currently living in Oklahoma are headquartered in the state.

· The governor of Oklahoma is Brad Henry (took office in January 2003); the lieutenant governor is Mary Fallin.

· Oklahoma has 43 colleges and universities.

· The highest point in the state is Black Mesa in Cimarron County (4,973 feet); the lowest is due east of Idabel in McCurtain County (287 feet).

· Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state, with over one million surface acres of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.

· Oklahoma is the third largest gas-producing state in the nation.

. Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the production of all wheat, fourth in cattle and calf production; fifth in the production of pecans; sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.

. Oklahoma's four mountain ranges include the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas and the Kiamichis.

. Forests cover approximately 24 percent of Oklahoma

. Oklahoma is bordered by six states: Texas to the south and west, Arkansas and Missouri to the east, Kansas to the north and Colorado and New Mexico at the tip of the northwestern Oklahoma panhandle.

. Oklahoma is comprised of 77 counties.

. Oklahoma has a land area of 68,667 square miles and ranks 18 in the nation in size.

. According to 2000 U.S. census data, Oklahoma's population is 3,450,654. Of those,
76.2 percent are white, 7.9 percent American Indian, 7.6 percent African American, 5.2 percent Hispanic and 1.4 percent Asian.

. Oklahoma's two most populous cities are Oklahoma City, with 506,132 residents, and Tulsa with 393,049. The next largest cities are Norman, with a population of95,694 and Lawton, which has 92,757 people.

Famous Oklahomans

Troy Aikman, Football

Johnny Bench, Baseball

Garth Brooks, Singer/Songwriter

Walter Cronkite, Broadcast Journalist

Geronimo, Apache Warrior

Woody Guthrie,

The Hansons, Singer/Songwriters

Shannon Lucid, Astronaut

Shannon Miller, Gymnast

Will Rogers, Humorist/Entertainer

Maria Tallchief, Ballerina

The Oklahoma Meal

The official Oklahoma Meal is chicken fried steak and okra. Here's a chicken fried steak recipe and two different ways to cook okra. Enjoy!

1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup bread crumbs, dry
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (4 ounce) cubed steaks
vegetable oil

Combine first four ingredients, mix well, set aside. Combine bread crumbs and next three ingredients, mix well. Dip steaks in buttermilk mixture, dredge in flour mixture. Let stand 10 minutes on paper towels. Pour oil to depth of 1/4 inch in heavy skillet. Fry steaks in hot oil (375 degrees F.) over medium - high heat, adding oil as necessary until the meat is browned. Remove steaks from pan and drain on paper towels; set aside. Use drippings to make cream gravy or serve plain.

1 1/2 lbs. okra
3 fresh tomatoes cut up
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
5 strips bacon
salt and pepper to taste

Slice okra into thin rounds. Grease 2 1/2 quart casserole. Layer okra, tomatoes, salt, pepper, onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper in casserole. Lay bacon overlapping on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour. Serves 6.

Mixture of equal parts flour and corn meal, salt and pepper to taste, okra, cut up into 1/2 inch thick rounds

Mix cut okra with dry ingredients to coat. Fry in 1/2 to 3/4 inch of oil until golden brown.


Yarntangler said...

Two reasons I couldn't be an Oklahoman: Chicken fried steak and okra.

spiritualastronomer said...

Tell me about it. I ws surprised to see those recipes since I haven't seen much chicken fried steak here. However, the okra, fried like that in small pieces, isn't too bad - none of the gummy texture left.

Chuck said...

Good stuff!

spiritualastronomer said...

Thank you, Chuck