Fry bread as big as your face



My mother was the best cook in Nowata County. Sadly, the cooking gene passed me by.

When I called my mother to tell her I was going to work for a soup kitchen, she didn’t reply. A heavy silence lay on the phone.

“But I’m not doing the cooking,” I said quickly.

“Oh, thank God,” she said.

Although I am not a good cook, I have spent many hours in kitchens — trying, watching, cleaning and talking with friends and family around a kitchen table. The kitchen is the heart of a home; it’s where the best communication takes place.

Recently, I spent some special time in the soup kitchen watching Indian women make fry bread for 800 people. Native American Days at the Iron Gate soup kitchen were organized by
Cherrah Giles, an official with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She marshaled an army of Native American volunteers to provide the food, cook and serve authentic dishes, then clean the kitchen.

Fry bread was an important part of those meals. The cooks were Creek, Cherokee, Osage, Ponca and from other tribes. They were of several generations, many were related and all were friends. It was a happy kitchen, full of laughter with flour flying, dough rising into mountains and lots of prayer.

“We always pray before we cook,” Giles told me. “And we pray while we cook. That’s what goes into fry bread — love and prayer.”

That’s what brings us together as a people, she said. Caring about one another and feeding one another.

“And, praying is what keeps them from killing one another,” she said, glancing at her mother and aunt at the stoves.

“We are fry bread divas,” her mother proclaimed.

Each cook had her own recipe and style.  Some used self-rising flour, a little dried milk and warm water. Some used only warm water and Red Corn Native Foods Mix, produced by the Red Corn family business in Pawhuska. I saw no measuring going on.

The real artistry was the mixing, rolling, patting and cutting. After being lightly kneaded, the dough was turned out onto a floured counter. Some rolled it out with a rolling pin the size of a child’s baseball bat.  Some patted it out.

Then they cut the thick dough like biscuits. One cook used a tin can as a cutter. For fry bread the size of your face, another used a small saucepan. Some cooks, I understand, cut the dough with a butcher knife or pizza cutter. Still others don’t roll out their dough at all; they pat and stretch individual balls into large patties. Some cooked it immediately, some let the dough rise overnight at room temperature.

Just before the dough was dropped into hot oil, it was stretched slightly and the center of each patty was poked with a finger or a knife. That makes the bread crisper; the indentation better holds honey or the juice of beans and meat for an Indian taco. Others, as befitting a chef’s prerogative, did not indent their bread at all.

Making fry bread is both a skill and a fine art. That’s why there’s a new movie titled “More Than Frybread,” a pseudo-documentary about an Arizona fry bread contest, and a funny play titled “The Frybread Queen.” That’s why the annual National Indian Taco Championship is held in Pawhuska. That’s why it’s an honor to have Oklahoma Red Corn Native Foods fry bread mix available in the gift shop at the Native American Museum of the American Indian. That’s why South Dakota named fry bread the official state bread.

And yet, fry bread has a dark and painful history. From 1864-1868, the U.S. government forcibly evicted the Navajo from their homeland in Arizona to New Mexico. The 300-mile journey, at gunpoint, became known as The Long Walk. The Navajo subsisted on government-issued flour, sugar, salt and lard, which they transformed into fry bread. It is not a healthy food.

Since one piece of fry bread contains 700 calories and 27 grams of fat, nutritionists say it has contributed to diabetes among traditional people.

Now fry bread is a festive dish associated with fairs, powwows and special occasions. Making it, in large quantities, is part of the celebration. What an adventure I had in the kitchen with Indian fry bread divas. What an honor to be welcomed into a parallel culture that is so close yet separate. What a universal experience: a tribe of women cooking traditional foods.

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June 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

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415 Couch Drive
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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
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Contact Name: Jenée Day
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Cost: Free & open to the public

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McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
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Cost: Free

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Central Library
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Sponsor: Tulsa City-County Library
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Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

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Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

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Tulsa Hills Church
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View map »


Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
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Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
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Magi 4 Christ Campers meet each Monday at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. At 4241 S. 37th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK. 74107.  We are a Christian group of camping enthusiasts. We are family friendly. Meeting...

Cost: Donations only

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Hope House
4241 S. 37th W. Ave.
South Door Activity Center
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Magi 4 Christ Campers
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Joys To The World 4th Summer Camp Enriching the quality of life for young adults with multiple disabilities. WHAT TO EXPECT Summer Camp is designed to meet the needs of students with...

Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

Where:
Tulsa Hills Church
840 W. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
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More information

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Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


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Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

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The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Joys To The World 4th Summer Camp Enriching the quality of life for young adults with multiple disabilities. WHAT TO EXPECT Summer Camp is designed to meet the needs of students with...

Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

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Tulsa Hills Church
840 W. 81st Street
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Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
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Join us for a movie in the garden to celebrate this year's Adult Summer Reading Program theme: "A Universe of Stories" Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in a thrilling story of two astronauts...

Cost: Free

Where:
Central Library
400 civic center
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Sponsor: Tulsa City-County Library
Telephone: 918-549-7323
Contact Name: Rebecca H

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Cost: Free

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418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Joys To The World 4th Summer Camp Enriching the quality of life for young adults with multiple disabilities. WHAT TO EXPECT Summer Camp is designed to meet the needs of students with...

Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

Where:
Tulsa Hills Church
840 W. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
Website »

More information

The Collinsville Chamber of Commerce is bringing back their much-anticipated Outdoor Summer Movies for a sixth year this summer. The movies will take place Thursday evenings in June at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Collinsville City Plaza
12th and Main Street
Collinsville, OK  74021
View map »


Sponsor: Collinsville Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 918-371-4703
Contact Name: Megan Edwards
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Joys To The World 4th Summer Camp Enriching the quality of life for young adults with multiple disabilities. WHAT TO EXPECT Summer Camp is designed to meet the needs of students with...

Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

Where:
Tulsa Hills Church
840 W. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
Website »

More information

Ahha Tulsa and Discovery Lab have partnered to create a special night out for families in downtown Tulsa. Parents are able to drop off children at Discovery Lab and stop by ahha for a kid-free...

Cost: Kids: $25 ($15 after first child), Adults: $15

Where:
ahha Tulsa and Discovery Lab
Discovery Lab: 560 N Maybelle Ave
ahha Tulsa: 101 E Archer St
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »

More information

A unique concert event from Vox Solaris Chamber Choir, mixing traditional choir music with craft beer.  Come join us for this choir concert in the non-traditional venue of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Welltown Brewing
114 W Archer St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Vox Solaris Chamber Choir
Contact Name: Jeffery Wall
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Car Show, Bike Show, Poker Run, Food, Live Music, Burnout Contest 

Cost: $0-$100.00

Where:
Downtown Wagoner
Main Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Wagoner Main Street
Telephone: 918-577-1772
Contact Name: Samantha Call
Website »

More information

Joys To The World 4th Summer Camp Enriching the quality of life for young adults with multiple disabilities. WHAT TO EXPECT Summer Camp is designed to meet the needs of students with...

Cost: $100/week; $400/4weeks; $30/day

Where:
Tulsa Hills Church
840 W. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: Joys to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Ramnath
Website »

More information

Tulsa Water Lantern Festival is coming up on June 29, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections....

Cost: 1-40

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Events Park
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Broken Arrow, OK
View map »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

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