Oklahoma Farm Style Ice Cream

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

2 eggs
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

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  1. Lisa
    May 22, 2013 / 11:15 am

    THank you for this post. As an Okie living in Australia for almost 21 years, I still call OK home. I'm a Sooner, darn it! My family is still there and seeing the devastation that continually happens in Moore is so heartbreaking. Oklahoman's are resilient and there's no place like home 🙂

  2. Jen
    May 22, 2013 / 12:32 pm

    So sad what happened in OK this week. I know exactly how you feel about being far away from home in the face of tragedy. Thinking of you and your family this week.

  3. Kelli
    May 22, 2013 / 12:57 pm

    Thank you, Kelsey, for posting this and your kind words. I am a native Oklahoman, and have lived here 32 years. I wasn't in OKC for the May 3rd tornado (which I'm sure you're familiar with) but I watched in horror on Monday from the moment the storm formed, to the wall cloud, and the mere minutes it took to go from an EF0 to an EF5. I have never seen, and hopefully will never again see, anything like it. I am also a teacher, and can't even imagine what it was like for those teachers and students in Moore. Thank you, thank you, for saying such lovely things about my home. I have seen far too much negativity about Oklahoma and its people these last couple of days, by people who have never even visited this state. They have no idea what it's like to have a full conversation with a stranger on an elevator as if they are an old friend, to wave at everyone in your neighborhood even if you don't know them, and to be a part of something greater than you. Yeah, our politicians are a little corrupt — but what state doesn't have that problem? The good people here are just that: good. And they deserve understanding and support right now, and you did just that.Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. Amy
    May 22, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    I'm so sad about these events, and I get SO angry at people who say just move! After Katrina hit, a ton of people said things like "Oh…New Orleans is a bad city…they had it coming." (as if God was punishing us…) or "New Orleans…yeah, they should have known a hurricane was eventually going to hit them." Heh..Regardless, this is a terrible thing that happened, and the last thing these people need to hear is stuff like that. Sending prayers to Oklahoma…rebuilding is miserable, but like you said…it's home.

  5. Theresa McLaughlin
    May 22, 2013 / 3:52 pm

    Sending prayers to all those affected by this storm. I know it hits close to home for you Kelsey, and I pray that your family is safe and that everyone is able to rebuild! – Theresa

  6. Jessica @ Sunny Side Up
    May 22, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I've been thinking and praying for the victims of this disaster. I will be sending extra thoughts and prayers out for your family. And I think it's awesome that you are able to use your blog in such a positive way!

  7. Maeghan
    May 22, 2013 / 7:53 pm

    Such a wonderful idea and a touching post. I can't get OK out of my mind this week. My thoughts and prayers are with all.

  8. Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles
    May 23, 2013 / 4:27 pm

    T&Ps coming to your OK family. The devastation is unimaginable. This is a beautiful gesture and I have shared it with my facebook fans.

  9. Kelsey
    May 23, 2013 / 5:05 pm

    Christine, thank you so much. I appreciate it immensely.Kelli, aren't we blessed to know what life is like in Oklahoma. You are so right–there are very few strangers there. It's wonderful.

  10. MeganDawn
    May 23, 2013 / 7:00 pm

    Thank you for the post. I too sat and watched those I love take cover as I sat helpless in Kentucky. I miss and love my home and family everday, but one thing we Oklahomans know..we will come back united, and stronger. Oklahoma is home, there is no replacement. And Sooners (or Cowboys..whatever your flavor), do not run.

  11. Lexie
    May 24, 2013 / 4:02 am

    That was a beautiful tribute to the amazing people of Oklahoma. You are an Okie through and through, and your queen-size heart is proof of that. You are a perfect example of why people love living in Oklahoma even when tragedies happen – love of family, love of God, and love for our fellow Oklahomans. Whatever someone needs…we give freely and with our whole heart. Your gift of a month's revenue to help the people of Oklahoma will never be forgotten. No donation is ever too small. I am so proud of you. I love you more…always

  12. Sue
    May 24, 2013 / 2:20 pm

    Laura from Tide and Thyme sent me over and I think I'm going to have to add you to my blogroll now. You have written so eloquently about the people you know and how helpless something as big as what happened makes all of us feel. Sometimes, we just need to go back to our basics, and feeding people our love through our food seems about as basic as it gets. Our hearts on the Shore are as heavy as for the losses as yours are. Our prayers and thoughts are with Oklahoma.

  13. Kelsey
    May 24, 2013 / 3:33 pm

    Sue, thank you so much for your kind words. It's not always easy to put such emotions into words, so hearing you say I did a good job of it is so nice to hear. Thank you also for visiting the blog and contributing to my donation efforts!

  14. Cara
    May 25, 2013 / 10:51 pm

    What a great idea to help – I shared this with my readers on facebook 🙂 Thinking of you and sending big hugs!

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