Cleora's Kitchens

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More About This Title Cleora's Kitchens


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 pati and pine nut pilaf. Through stories, menus, and recipes, Cleora recreates the flavor of her own remarkable history—and ours.


Cleora Butler was a well-known cook and caterer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for almost 60 years. She ran her own business, Cleora’s Pastry Shop and Catering.