What happened Monday should never happen. As an Oklahoman, you know tornados are inevitable and you know they can get bad. But the truth is, most are minor enough that people stand on their front porches or just inside their storm doors to watch and take pictures. What happened Monday is not normal.
When I hear people say things like “Why don’t those people move? Why do they live there?” I feel sad they don’t know. Because the answer is simple–Oklahoma is home.
I’m an Oklahoman. By birth, by heart, and by the grace of God, I am part of one of the greatest families on this Earth. And my family is hurting terribly. They’ve lost so much and so many. It’s awful, it’s tragic, it’s incomprehensible.
And here I am, now living in Arizona, and feeling helpless. The ways I can help my family are limited from such a distance. I felt trapped as I watched online streaming video. My thoughts were completely with my niece, a student at a middle school in Moore. After the storm had passed, my dad told me she’d texted my stepmom terrified because she and her classmates were under their desks as low to the ground as they could get, but had nothing to hold onto if the roof got ripped off. My sister told me she’d gotten a call from my dad and all she could hear were tears in the background–my stepmom’s frantic tears of terror for my niece.
Oklahomans, more than any people I know, understand what it means to come together–to love each other, watch over each other, and give when you have so little yourself. Even in the midst of what could possibly be the worst tornado in state history, people aren’t thinking of themselves, they’re thinking of others. Neighbors emerging from the rubble that was their home only to go searching for each other, individuals joining hands in prayer as first responders look for survivors, and local businesses offering water, food, shelter, and anything else they can. The teachers–those angels who used their own bodies to shield their students. As a teacher and an Oklahoman, I can tell you they didn’t think twice about doing what they did.
So I’ll do what I can and what I know for my home state. I’ll pray. I’ll cook. I’ll give.
I wish I could bring this Oklahoma farm style ice cream to my family. It’s the recipe my Mammo always used–the one my mom remembers eating at family picnics on the farm as a little girl. The recipe is simple. There’s no custard base, no vanilla beans, no fancy cooking techniques. It’s pure, straightforward, and good–just like Oklahoma. It’s pictured below in two of my Mammo and Pappo’s dishes; ones we still have from their home in Oklahoma.
It seems so insignificant in the face of such destruction, but I’m also pledging Apple a Day’s full revenue for this month to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Oklahoma. It’s the least I can for my family. If you’d like to join me, I know it would be so appreciated. You can donate online here or text STORM to 80888. The funds will be specifically earmarked for those affected by Monday’s horrific events in Oklahoma.
From the bottom of my Oklahoma heart, thank you and God bless.
Oklahoma Farm Style Ice Cream
originally seen in The Farmer-Stockman Newspaper, August 1961
any adaptations, other than quantity, unknown
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 c. whole milk
2 c. cream (My Mammo always used half and half, but my mom uses whipping cream.)
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Beat eggs until light in color. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
2. Pour ice cream base into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Enjoy with those you love.
Yields: 2 quarts