Starting with a freedman's wagon ride out of Texas, Cleora Butler takes us from the beaten biscuits of her childhood, baked in a wood-burning stove, to fricasseed quail she later prepared as a caterer. Rich with stories and turn-of-the-century recipes impossible to find--possum grape wine, mother's hickory nut cake, hot water cornbread, and burnt sugar ice cream--Cleora's Kitchens also provides a glimpse of changing 20th-century tastes. More than 400 recipes are arranged by the decades in which she first cooked and served them, from grandpa's sausage in the early days to the first avocado anyone in Oklahoma had ever seen, to duckling pate and pine nut pilaf.
Born in Texas inn 1901, Cleora Butler traveled north by wagon with her family to Oklahoma. She developed her skills during the 20s, 30s, and 40s cooking for the newly rich oil barons in the Oil Capital of the World, then became an independent entrepreneur with her own bakery and catering business.