Basketball season is here. It is also the 40th anniversary of the Cruger-Tchula Academy’s high school boys’ basketball team who compiled a record of 31-0 before the state tournament in the school year 1975-1976. These guys were quite a team and when they played there was “standing room only.” The stands were full and people lined the walls just to watch them play. All the other teams were hoping to be the ones to break their streak, but no one could touch them. They even beat Pillow Academy by 10 points on their home court.
Whenever I write something about Cruger-Tchula, I always get a world of response. The school and its people were a family. Even though the buildings are no longer there, the heart and love for the school remains in everyone who attended or taught there.
One member of that team was Dub Barfield. His father, Al Barfield served as a teacher, coach, and headmaster for many years. His mother was also a teacher at CTA. Dub passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. We attended his funeral and Steve was also honored to be a pallbearer, as were several other members of the team. They have all stayed in touch and have remained friends for 40 years. Not only did they have sports in common, but they all loved to hunt and fish. We have had the joy and pleasure of attending our children’s weddings and welcoming grandchildren into the world.
Dr. Chris Waterer, also a member of the team, gave a beautiful, poignant eulogy. He spoke of meeting Dub in the second grade when they moved and Mr. Barfield began his career at Cruger-Tchula. These friends went through elementary, Jr. high, and high school together. They were teammates and friends. We have often gotten together as adults and the conversation was always going to get to ballgames and “Remember whens.”
Those of us who love Cruger-Tchula need to keep this precious family in our thoughts and prayers. Dub was a kind, generous, and loving son, husband, father, and friend. He will be missed.
Hope you enjoy today’s recipes. Thanks for reading.
CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS SALAD
1 ( 15 oz. can) crushed pineapple in juice
2 ( 3 oz.) pkg. lemon gelatin
7 oz. ginger ale
1 (16 oz.) can cranberry sauce
1 ( 8 oz.) Cool Whip
1 ( 8 oz. ) cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
Drain pineapple juice and save to make 1 cup of liquid. Bring to a boil and add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Stir in ginger ale and cranberry sauce; pour into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish to set. Mix the Cool Whip and softened cream cheese and spread over the gelatin mixture like a frosting; then top with pecans.
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
Asparagus liquid plus enough milk to make 2 cups
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
2 ( 15 oz.) cans asparagus spears, drained and liquid reserved
4 hard boiled eggs, cracked and peeled
½ cup saltine cracker crumbs, about 10 crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and whisk in the flour; cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and asparagus liquid. Add the salt and continue to cook until thickened – about 5 minutes. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Arrange the asparagus spears alternately in the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Thinly slice the eggs and arrange them on top of the asparagus. Gently pour the cheese sauce over the eggs and asparagus to cover; top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes until crackers begin to brown and bubbles around the edges.
1 ½ cups pureed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ stick butter, softened
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sweet potatoes, ½ cup sugar and the eggs; mix well.
Add the butter, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gently prick the pie shells on the bottom and edges; divided mixture evenly into pie shells. Divide the remaining ½ cup of sugar and pour ¼ cup sugar over the top of each pie. Allow the pie to stand for 15 minutes for sugar to melt into the pie. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool before serving.