It’s funny the things you get nostalgic over. When my family gets to talking about Oklahoma and the little town where my mom grew up, we just can’t help ourselves from oohing and ahhing and laughing about all the wonderful things about Kingfisher. In so many ways, it’s a quintessential Oklahoma small town; I’m really not sure it’s all that different from many of the other small towns. You’ve got cute little houses in rows, yards without fences, a small handful of traffic lights, and nearly as many churches as people. Many of the shops are still on an actual Main Street. It’s some serious Norman Rockwell Americana.
But what sets Kingfisher apart is that it’s our hometown. It’s where my Pappo built a house with his own two hands so my mom could go to the “big” school instead of the little country school all the farm kids went to. It’s where my little brother played baseball in the summer–nearly the whole town was at the ball fields on game nights, hanging out, eating snow cones, and rooting on the hometown players. It’s where we lined Main Street for Fourth of July parades complete with high school cheerleaders, the football team, kids on decorated bikes, the local Junior Miss, and the town’s one and only fire truck.
Without a doubt, one of the favorite spots in Kingfisher is a pharmacy and soda fountain that’s been there since my mom was a teenager. It’s now called The Soda Fountain, but I’m sure many people still call it Tom’s Drug, the name it had for so long. My Mammo took me there as a little girl. While her prescriptions were being filled, we’d go sit at the soda fountain counter and wait. She’d always order coffee for herself and a chocolate ice cream cone for me. When the waitress poured the coffee, she’d also slide over a small bowl of creamers. My Mammo would use a couple and I’d open one and drink it while I waited for my ice cream cone. Once her prescription was ready and my ice cream was gone, Mammo would dip her napkin into her ice water and wipe the chocolate ice cream mustache from my face.
My mom worked at Tom’s when she was in high school and she made countless glasses of this orangeade. To this day, it’s a Kingfisher favorite. The oranges are freshly squeezed when each glass is ordered. It’s pretty perfect as is, but you can change up the proportions as you wish. When oranges are at their peak and naturally super sweet, I use less simple syrup. You can increase the amount of orange juice for a stronger flavor, if you’d like. It’s also really good with a shot of vanilla or whipped cream vodka. Just sayin…
With just three ingredients, you can get a taste of my mom’s hometown with this nostalgic, refreshing Oklahoma orangeade.
from Tom’s Drug in Kingfisher, Oklahoma
4 c. water, divided
1 c. sugar
1 c. freshly-squeezed orange juice
1. Combine 1 c. water and the sugar in a small sauce pan. Turn heat to medium low and, stirring frequently, let sugar dissolve into water to make a simple syrup. Set aside to cool.
2. When simple syrup is cooled, combine remaining water, orange juice, and desired amount of simple syrup in a pitcher. Pour over ice and enjoy immediately. If keeping in the refrigerator, be sure to stir before serving as orange juice will settle to the bottom.
Yield: 4 servings
Thank you so much to all of you who have spread the word about my donation efforts to help those affected by the horrible EF-5 tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday. Your help is making a huge difference and I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate it.