In 2015, when chef Hope Egan decided to open her own full-service catering company in a small midtown-Tulsa kitchen, her life looked a lot different than it does today. Since then, Egan, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, has added nine acres, plus chickens, ducks, heritage hogs, organic produce and farm-to-table dinners to her lifestyle. In doing so, she packed up her family and moved to Stroud, perfectly situating herself to serve both the Tulsa and Oklahoma City markets. 

After spending years serving up delicious prepared foods at the Tulsa Farmer’s Market and working closely with local farmers, Egan fell in love with the idea of growing the food she serves. While her catering has long focused on farm-to-table dining, she wanted to grow her vision a step further. In 2018, the company evolved into the Red Thistle Collective, incorporating her dinners, which, like her catering, use meat, eggs and produce from her farm and other local farmer friends. 

Egan’s partner David Farmer and daughters Olivia Egan and Sadie Farmer also work at the collective. Olivia is a professional ceramicist who teaches at OK Contemporary in Oklahoma City. Many of her serving pieces are featured at Red Thistle dinners. 

Each dinner hosted at the farm in Stroud includes a changing menu that is hyperfocused on “Oklavore cuisine,” as Egan calls it. Because the line-up is so dependent on what ingredients are at their peak at the time of harvest, guests discover when they arrive what they will be enjoying that evening. 

As the growing season progresses, the farm-raised produce shifts from early lettuces, spinach, kale, chard, herbs, peas, beans, radishes and carrots into heirloom tomatoes, onions, leeks, peppers, garlic, corn, melons and beautiful squash. Chicken, eggs and pork also come from the farm, and each thoughtfully designed menu is intended to make you appreciate the locality of the food you’re eating. 

If a beautiful evening dining under the stars isn’t quite enough time to enjoy the peace and tranquility of farm life, Egan has partnered with Homma Camp Co. to provide luxury camping amenities, so guests can opt to extend their stay overnight. If you’ve never experienced camping by Homma, I highly recommend it. Guests have a choice of a tent with either one full-sized bed with bedding or two luxury extra-extra large Teton cots with flannel-lined sleeping bags. Each campsite comes equipped with rugs, side tables, lanterns, a doormat, string lights and camp chairs. In the morning, Red Thistle offers a complimentary continental breakfast. 

While Egan still offers full-service catering services to both the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas, her day-to-day focus has shifted to building and growing the family farm and hosting smaller and more intimate dining experiences. 

To book your dining and optional camping experience, visit Dinners are $125 per person and include food, non-alcoholic beverages, Oklahoma sales tax and service. Luxury camping can also be booked at the same time. The cost is $250 plus sales tax per tent, which sleeps two.

Field Pea Soup

1 pound dried black eyed peas or field peas
1 yellow onion
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
1 dried chipotle pepper
6 cloves fresh garlic 
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
Kosher salt to taste

For Garnish:
Sour cream
Pickled jalapeños

Soak beans overnight in a bowl of water. 
Bring three quarts of water to a boil with a teaspoon of kosher salt. Reduce to a simmer and add dried chipotle, garlic cloves and a tablespoon of garlic powder to the water. Simmer for an hour or until beans are cooked through.
While beans are cooking, sauté the chopped yellow onion in some vegetable oil on medium heat until softened. Season with a pinch of salt, add the cumin and paprika. Stir and sauté. Add to cooked beans. 
Add a teaspoon of mellow white miso and stir together. Taste broth for seasoning.
Add another teaspoon of miso if desired. (Be careful, it’s salty!) 
Add a splash of sherry and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Remove dried chipotle from pot. If you’d like beans spicier, blend the chipotle with a ladle of bean stock and 1/3 cup of beans in a blender and return to pot. Taste for seasoning and serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced radish, pickled jalapeños and a slice of lime.

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