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Prairie Flavors


Fireworks and good cooks


By Laura Araujo


This month’s Prairie Flavors features a sneak-peak inside the kitchen of a couple of award-winning co-op cooks— Cotton Electric Cooperative’s Bill and Janie Lou Dupler.


Janie Lou Dupler has won multiple awards for her unique recipes. Photos by Laura Araujo Slower Cooker Hummus


The Duplers use strawberries to create a special dessert to honor the military.


B


ill and Janie Lou Dupler started out their lives in a similar manner—both were delivered by the same doctor at the Angus Clinic in Lawton, Okla. However, their story of love—and lots of good food—only began when they were in their 60s. In 2005, both Bill and Janie Lou lost their spouses of 40 years to medical conditions. Bill attended church across from Lawton’s Ritter Gray Funeral Home where Janie Lou worked.


“I kept running into her and we were able to comfort one another in our grief,” Bill said. “One night we went out for a hamburger and fried okra.” Their fi rst date took them to Ann’s Country Kitchen in Lawton and less than two years later, on July 1, 2007, they were married.


“We like each other a lot, but we really got married to double the grandbaby base,” Janie Lou said jokingly. “We love the grandbabies.”


It was, in fact, the grandchildren who encouraged Janie Lou to start competing in


county and state fair cooking competitions. They were competing in the fairs for 4-H and Future Farmers of America and suggested that she enter one of their favorite desserts— her strawberry pie. Over the years, Janie Lou has won countless ribbons at the Comanche County and Oklahoma State Fairs.


Homemade Breakfast Sausage and Omelet with Herbs and Goat Cheese


Dupler’s “Here’s to the Red, White and Blue” pie


“Both my parents loved to cook. I married young at 16 and didn’t have much else to do but cook. My whole family has always cooked, canned and sewed,” Janie Lou said. “I was blessed to meet Bill who likes to cook too. It’s fun to have things we can do together.”


Bill takes on the role of Sous-Chef in the Dupler kitchen and is the offi cial strawberry huller for Janie Lou’s award-winning pies and preserves.


Janie Lou’s most recognized recipe is her, “Here’s to the Red, White and Blue” pie, which was the blue-ribbon winner in the 2010 Oklahoma State Fair Pie Baking Contest and the fi rst runner up in the Pillsbury National Pie Baking Contest the same year. Having worked for years at the funeral home, Janie Lou wanted to create something special to honor the military.


“I can’t tell you how many active duty and retired military we’ve lost over the years. It’s astounding,” she said. She modifi ed her strawberry pie, adding blueberries and topping it with 13 stars for the 13 original colonies. “It’s as easy as it can be and the oven doesn’t have to be on for very long,” Janie Lou said. “The sad part is the pie has to chill until the glaze sets up.” To go with the pie, Janie Lou shared a family recipe for homemade ice cream, which has been passed down through fi ve generations. She recalled that the dessert was a highlight of the Fourth of July—whenever they could get ice to make it. “The only difference is we no longer raise our own cows and chickens to furnish most of the ingredients,” she said. “Sugar was rationed during World War II so they saved their rations. If they could get lemons and oranges they would make a citrus ice cream. If not, they just made vanilla ice cream.”


26 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


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