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Fun food adventures in Oklahoma

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I look forward to food the most when travelling (although shopping and learning history come close!). And boy did I eat a lot this past week! With the huge variety of food I have tasted, I'm thankful that my mom brought up my older sister Stephanie and me to not be picky eaters.

On Thursday, July 14, Aggin, Sarah's mom, invited all of the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Plant Science over to her house for dinner. She made a few basic Filipino dishes, such as empanadas, using ingredients that can be bought from Walmart since the closest Asian grocery store is in Oklahoma City. There was a dish that resembled low mein, but made with angel hair noodles and not greasy at all. I'm quite certain that the juicy chicken drumsticks - my favorite food that night - were marinated in a sauce that contained soy sauce since my mom has cooked them that way before. There was also green bean soup, a similar nostalgic childhood food that my mom used to make.

Food aside, Sarah has a beautiful home! It was love at first sight for me. I admired the layout and color balance between the home accessories and furnishings from the U.S. and the Philippines. U.S. designs appear plain compared to the colorful flowery, swirly, geometric, flowy styles of other countries.

Next night's dinner was at the Two Frogs Grill. I had the fried seafood platter, which consisted of shrimp, frog legs, catfish, and hush puppies with a side of baked potato and fried okra. The frog legs weren't bad at all. They actually reminded me a bit of chicken. For dessert, I tried out their famous apple dumplings. Now I really want to know their recipe for that - they're too good to not know!

seafood plannter and apple dumpling
Top: The Fried Seafood Platter at the Two Frogs Grill. Bottom: Two Frogs Grill's "Our Famous Apple Dumpling."

On Sunday, Tara, Sarah, Gloria (my roommate at the quadraplex), and I went to the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge where we somehow managed to survive off of one water bottle while hiking for one and a half hours to the halfway point in Charon's Garden. Thank goodness Sarah brought an extra water bottle, which we shared on the way back down the trail. The adventures at the Wildlife Refuge is a whole other story though. Afterwards, we cooled down with an early dinner at Meers. People at the Noble Research Institute recommended this place to us, but a person at the front desk of the Visitor Center in the Wichita Mountains told us about a local diner a few minutes down the road from Meers that sold giant cinnamon buns. After some consideration, we decided to try out the famous burgers at Meers. In all honesty, to me, the burgers there aren't particularly special. I prefer my meat juicy rather than on the drier side. Although, the peach cobbler was absolutely delicious but way too big! Sarah and I had ordered one each with ice cream on top; we were expecting a slice with a scoop of ice cream on top, but it turned out to be a big bowl. I managed to eat the peach cobbler, but not the ice cream. All in all, all of that food was a good end and beginning to a week.

Top picture: The quarter pound Meers Cheeseburger at Meers. Bottom: The giant bowl of peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream on top.

Christina Chiu is a 2016 Lloyd Noble Scholar in Plant Science from Greenville, South Carolina.