Skylar Diggins, Monica Wright and the Tulsa Shock

I’m happy to report that  as of today The Shock is now on a 2 game winning streak…

Welcome back.  As we experience life’s adventures its always fun to find a surprise. On Thursday night while I was in downtown Tulsa researching a story about The Summit Club, I decided to take in a WNBA game at the BOK Center.  The Summit Club is located on the top three floors of the Bank of America building and its just a three block walk over to the Center.  I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining the game was and thought a report would be appropriate. Even if you’re not a basketball fan or don’t follow women’s basketball you need to check this out and here’s a few reasons why:

First the building; the BOK Center is fan friendly. It’s beautiful on the outside and once you’re inside its just the right size so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the space. When I walked around I didn’t see a bad seat in the house. The fun started with the pre-game activities led by the Shock’s mascot called the “Volt!” A live wire in a fox suit, this mascot is a volt of energy who performs non stop acrobatics along with three sidekicks all dressed in black. Even though on this night the Shock lost to the Los Angeles Sparks there was no let up in the Volt’s antics.

This side trip to the game had been put together in a hurry and turned out to be the highlight of the day. When I found out that the Shock was playing the powerful Minnesota Lynx on Saturday night I knew I’d be back. The Lynx won the WNBA championship two years ago and with two Olympic team players on their roster they were in the finals last year too. I wanted to be there to see if the Shocks team would have the strength to overcome this challenge. The Shocks’ roster includes Elizabeth Cambage, the 6’8” first year player from Australia and the newly acquired 6’4” Courtney Paris whom many of you may remember playing for Oklahoma. You throw in Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins whose name is all over the college record books, Candice Wiggins, the star from Stanford and Regina Williams from Miami, Florida and I was hoping for a home court win.

I’ll move the clock forward and if you follow women’s basketball you know it didn’t happen but the Shock did give it a go. Looking ahead I see nothing but good things happening for the Tulsa Shock team and I will be back this season. A celebrity sighting report from the game found Notre Dame’s head coach Muffet McGraw in attendance giving away autographed photos from Notre Dame. Kids and adults lined up courtside to meet and have their picture taken with this coaching legend.

Oklahoma City Thunder stars Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb were also courtside and made themselves available to visit with fans. There was another soon to be super celebrity in Oklahoma at the game I want to mention and here’s this week’s scoop: According to her official bio the Lynx’s 5’10” Monica Wright is from Woodbridge, VA and played college ball at the University of Virginia. She was ACC Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year and also won national defensive player of the year. In addition Monica was the 2nd overall draft pick in 2010 and if you haven’t already heard she’s engaged to Oklahoma City Thunder player and past NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant.

Kevin was in China on a promotional tour for Nike but I did get a chance to speak with Monica briefly at the game. I understand that Kevin has recently purchased a huge dwelling in OKC to call home. I’m predicting that this new power couple will have a huge positive influence in Oklahoma in the coming years.

I’ll wrap up this basketball update with the schedule for the Shock’s remaining home games in July. On Friday night they will be playing the Connecticut Sun. Then on July 21st it’s the Atlanta Dream and Thursday July 25th it’s the Indiana Fever. The Shock are about a third of the way through their season and for such a short drive I can’t think of anything more fun. Tickets are cheap and the food in the BOK Center is worth saving your appetite for.


Up next week it’s the start of a four part series. Back in the early 1900s the rich and famous built some fabulous summer homes in Newport, RI and I’ll be taking you there with me for a tour. Then it’s on to the north shore of Long Island and a train trip to New York City. Till then I’ll see ya down the road……

P.S. I owe Jay McKissock and Overlees Woods an apology for calling the Primo grill that they sell an “Egg” which was a mistake. Check out the Primo- made in America, it’s a unique cooker that several of my friends own and love.




Summer Grilling Recipes

A few recipes from Buffalo Dale’s kitchen:

Welcome back.  While there are many T.V. shows and cookbooks which focus on outdoor cooking with grilling season in full swing I thought I might share a few of my favorite recipes and cooking tips.  My experience goes back to 1994 when I operated “Smoklahoma”, a roadside meat smoking business along Route 1 in Connecticut.  I served sandwiches and custom smoked meats at a time when there were very few BBQ and smoked meat joints in the East.

This would make me somewhat of an expert and I have heard around town that the “Primo” is a cooker that is making waves as “the grill” to have. A guy who would know all about that is Jay McKissock out at Overlees-Woods. They have been selling them for several years and Jay can tell you if the Primo is right for your style of cooking. I have eaten some food prepared on a Primo and I can tell you it was very good.

As for myself, nowadays I use a Hasty Bake grill that I was lucky enough to get at an estate sale in like new condition. Many of you are probably familiar with Hasty Bakes since they are made right here in Oklahoma. I like the combination of smoking and grilling that this cooker offers in a compact size. My favorite thing to cook out is a simple T-bone steak, preferably locally raised and cut ¾ to 1” thick. I marinate it in Allegra marinating sauce for several hours, adding a light coating of black pepper and garlic powder when I flip the steak to marinate the other side. While the steak is marinating I prepare cabbage, corn, peppers, onions and any number of other seasonal vegetables, smoking them in foil with butter until tender which usually takes at least an hour. Then I sear the steaks on the grill to seal in the juices, smoke them for a short while until they are close to done. Finally I put them back onto some high heat for the last few minutes of cooking.  With a little bread warmed in the smoker and maybe a green salad you have the perfect meal. I like to serve the food right off the grill and eat under a nearby shade tree. I use apple or pear wood because we happen to have a few of those trees on our property but other woods such as hickory work well too.

Allegra marinating sauce works well on hamburger too. I usually put the meat in a large bowl with a small amount of the sauce depending on how much meat you have. You don’t want the meat to be runny because it needs to be able to keep its shape. Stir in some garlic powder, pepper and chopped onions, then make your patties. I generally smoke these a little while too before putting them right on the heat. Allegra makes many types of marinades but my choice is the “original.”

Another favorite recipe of mine is one I picked up on a friend’s ranch a while back.

First lightly grill some good tender pieces of steak and then take some large Anaheim peppers. Cut each pepper down the middle and stuff with pieces of the meat and longhorn cheese. Wrap each pepper in two strips of bacon, season and finish cooking in the oven on 375 degrees until the bacon is crisp. I always plan on at least two peppers per person when I’m having a party because it’s hard to eat just one of these.

When I’m cooking cabbage I take out the core and put two beef bouillon cubes and garlic powder in the center and fill with butter. Wrap each cabbage in foil so you can periodically open it and put it in the smoker for a least an hour or two depending on the size of the cabbage. For a spicier variation add a chopped jalapeno pepper before you put in the butter. Its good warmed up the next day to

Even though it’s not Thanksgiving my favorite special occasion dessert is still pecan pie. This easy (and fail safe) recipe for Creole Pecan Pie comes from Gourmet magazine:

Cream ¼ cup butter with ½ cup of sugar. Beat in 3 eggs, 1 cup of dark corn syrup and

1 ¼ cup of chopped pecans.  Pour the filling into an unbaked pie crust and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Reduce oven to 300 degrees and bake for another 30-35 minutes until the filling is set and the crust is browned.

Serve warm with ice cream and/or whipped cream and soon you’ll look like Buffalo Dale.

Summer cooking in Oklahoma is truly an art with many hundreds of favorite recipes and just as many cooks to go with them. This art is not just limited to steaks and chicken either. And cooks on the east coast love outdoor cooking as much as we do but their choice of foods is a little unfamiliar to us.

More on that soon but first coming up next week it’s my time as Dr. Gopi Vasudevan gives me a look over, or should I say a look into. Colonoscopy- the word bothers me but not the process. Look for a photo to come- Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…..

P.S. If you’re looking for pecans in July, I understand that Green Country Pilot Club has some great ones still available. Call Cheryl at (918) 333-7719 for more info.


Cody Canada, The Lone Ranger and the Fourth of July

Coming soon: I travel east to seek justice for a dead man.

Welcome back.  The band is called Cody Canada and the Departed. I was invited to attend a recent music festival in Caney, KS where this group was scheduled to perform but unfortunately due to my extended stay covering the fires in Colorado I missed their show. The good news is that I did get the opportunity to visit with Cody on the telephone. He is from Yukon, Oklahoma and many of you may remember him from his years with the popular band Cross Canadian Ragweed. I am working on a future story about his career and the influence of legendary performers such as Waylon Jennings, Steve Earle and Willie Nelson had on him.  Stay tuned for more about this accomplished musician and his new band.

The next bit of information is related to a “soon to be released” movie called The Lone Ranger. I was in New Mexico last year when they were filming along the Cimarron River in a majestic canyon that starts just outside Cimarron and runs up in the clouds to Eagle Nest. The beauty of this place could probably be better described by a more accomplished writer but you really have to experience the area to fully appreciate it with Eagle Nest Lake on one side and the ski area of Angel Fire on the other. The sunsets here at 9,000 ft. attract photographers from around the world.

If you’re not up for a sunset, the village of Red River is just down the road out of Eagle Nest. This is a former mining town that has preserved its historic character and has many interesting shops and restaurants. I haven’t been to many other places like it in my travels and I highly recommend a stop here if ever you’re in the area.

I’m bringing these places to your attention, along with Taos, Cimarron, Philmont Ranch and the UUBar Ranch because on Friday July 5th, the east side branch of ARVEST Bank will be hosting a presentation on the area at 10:30 AM.  Jerry Poppenhouse and several other photographers who just returned from the area will be showing photos on a big screen including footage of wild life, mountain scenery and historic structures as well as scenes from the wildfires which were close to our home base on the UUBar. There will also be photos of the old Santa Fe Trail which illustrate the challenges that travelers faced along the trail. So if you like New Mexico be sure to catch this great presentation which by the way is completely free.

Since I will be leaving for the east coast in just a few weeks I got curious as to what folks up there will be doing for the 4th of July. We have so many great events here and I found out in Yankee Magazine that they will be celebrating New England style. Here is just a sampling of the many events along the coast.  The grand daddy of them all is the annual Boston Pops Concert which concludes with a fantastic fireworks display. The concert is always televised on OETA so you can see it in Oklahoma too. If you happen to be in Boston, you can take a dinner cruise in Boston harbor and experience the fireworks while on board an historic tall ship.

In Bristol, Rhode Island they have the country’s oldest continuous Independence Day celebration which includes a parade, a ball, a drum corps show, visiting ships and of course fireworks.

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA is a recreation of life in New England during the 1830s with authentic arts and crafts, food and drink and actors portraying people from that era. They offer an old fashioned 4th of July with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and the opportunity to learn period dances and drill with the Sturbridge Militia before ending the day with fireworks. This is a big attraction and always draws crowds.

So from shore to shore, border to border, Americans will be celebrating our independence tomorrow in ways both old and new, on water and on land. You have a good one too, stay safe and till next week, I’ll see ya down the road…