The last time Oklahoma crossed my mind was in the spring of 2013 when we were still in China and still a family of two for a couple months longer. A friend of ours emailed me wondering if by chance I’d be interested in joining a small number of musical fans for a ladies’ night featuring a viewing of the Royal National Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” starring a younger, Wolverine-less Hugh Jackman. Thanks to my mother’s insistence that as children we watched mostly classic movies — a move that was likely done to ensure that there was something on TV that she enjoyed as well (genius move, btw), but in the end also provided me with a more well-rounded understanding of art and culture — I responded with “I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” and began mentally planning what to bring as a side dish (because in the Foreign Service, an event did not occur unless a side dish was involved).
A couple days later I set out for my friend’s house, side dish in tow, and upon seeing that is was a pollution-free(ish) day, decided to enjoy the mile or so walk down to her place. Apparently this was a ghastly faux pas on my part because the looks I received from the locals, particularly of the older generation, ranged from stupefied to disgusted. People were actually craning their necks around as they rode past me on their bikes. I couldn’t decide which component of my demeanor had created such shock value. Was it:
a.) I was a foreign pregnant lady (They’re just like us!)
b.) I had opted for a shirt and yoga pants instead of the local pregnant uniform of a moo-moo or animal graphic sweater over leggings
c.) I was doing a combination of a & b while exercising, which in a society where pregnant women wear lead aprons (like the kind you wear for x-rays) when sitting at the computer, making copies, or standing in the same room as a microwave, could possibly be a major no-no.
I still have no idea what I was doing wrong that day, but luckily I was coming up on our two-year mark and had grown accustomed to the baffling differences between our cultures. I laughed it off and joined my friends in snickering over Hugh Jackman’s Oklahoma accent whilst eating…come to think of it I’m not sure what we ate, but it probably fell in the cookies/brownies/chips/dip section of the food pyramid. Unfortunately I was unaware at the time that fried pies were such an intrinsic part of Oklahoma’s culinary fare, otherwise these would have been a must-bring. In fact, this may be my favorite state dessert to date. I can neither confirm nor deny that a hearty “OOOOk-lahoma!” was belted after my first bite.
State by State Desserts: Oklahoma – Fried Peach Pies
Fantastic: Thank you, Oklahoma, for sharing this dessert with the rest of us!
I used this crust recipe from Savoury Table (can’t wait to make these again, this time using her coconut filling recipe!). And because I had canned peaches on hand at the time (a miracle find at the grocery store), I used this recipe from Taste of the South for the filling. If you do use canned fruit instead of fresh, be sure to drain off some of the juice so your filling isn’t too runny.