Tabitha Royal’s health fairs bring joy to many

Tabitha Royal is still in the Christmas spirit.

Submitted photo

Tabitha Royal has a saying that she repeats to herself often. She wants to share it in hopes that others will always remember it and practice it: “Let us enjoy this beautiful life together by bringing a smile to every face that meets ours.”

Tabitha likes to keep her life interesting so she takes turns attending Hillcrest Baptist Church in Saks and First United Methodist Church of Weaver. She also enjoys a weekly or daily dose of Charles Stanley. She chooses to not get involved in clubs and membership organizations because “there’s too much drama and political stuff, whose right and who can do what better than the other, so I’d rather do things behind the scenes.”

Her hobbies include music, gardening, Alabama football and spending time with the ones she loves. Her life includes two dogs, Runt, age 13, and Shadow, age 2.

Tabitha works for “a blessed state organization.” She’s been a social worker for 16 years, which at times seem like 50 “but it’s totally been an awesome ride.”

Her job gives her the opportunity to serve “our awesome senior citizens of Alabama by providing to them health and positive attitude education.” She’s able to get them connected to the services they need. She coordinates and hosts health events throughout the year to help them get out of the norm and experience new things.

“The health fairs are meant to lift their spirits, encourage better health choices, and remind them that no matter their age, they have a purpose to do something great on this earth,” she said.

She arranges for those attending the health fairs to meet local celebrities, including chief meteorologist James Spann and news anchors Brenda Ladun and Pam Huff from ABC 33/40.

She will announce some new health fairs for this new year. Those who would like to keep up with the health fairs coming to their area can contact her at royal.tabitha@aidb.state.al.us or call 256-761-3740.

Tabitha was born in Ashland and graduated from the Alabama School for The Blind in Talladega and Jacksonville State University. She is the daughter of Dalaphine and Ronald Cotney and Charles Royal of Ashland. Her siblings are Chris Royal of Alpine and Justin Royal of Mississippi.

Tabitha likes to cook. She learned a lot from her mother and also by trial and error. She said her family and friends always brag on her spaghetti and Cajun boiled peanuts as well as her grilling skills.

“They say I make a mean beef stew,” she said.

RECIPES

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

   Mix the following ingredients in a bowl:

3 bags of broccoli (boil till able to mash with a fork) put 2 T. of salt in water to help season

1 block of cream cheese

I T. of sour cream

2 cans of broccoli and cheese soup

1 can of water (just use the can the broccoli and cheese soup came in)

2 cans of milk

½ cup shredded cheese (American)

2 T. of salt

2 T. of garlic salt

1 pack of crushed Ritz crackers

   Blend and then pour into dish. Cook for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove from oven, place layer of shredded cheese on top. Add a layer of crushed Ritz crackers. Place back into the oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch for cheese and crackers to melt and cook. Be careful not to let the cheese brown and get over cooked

CAJUN BOILED PEANUTS

2 pounds raw peanuts

   Place in cold water to clean and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use a pot and fill with water.

   Put half a cup of salt into the water. Rinse the peanuts and place into the pot of water.

   Bring to a boil. Place a jar of jalapenos (pick your kind and heat) into the pot with the peanuts.

   (Be sure to put the juice and jalapenos in, adds more flavor.)

   Take a bottle of hot sauce (again pick your heat and favorite) and put into the pot with the peanuts.

   Once they start to boil, turn them down and let them cook for 24 hours slowly for best flavor and to get best results. Had half of cup of salt during the slow cooking.

   Remember the more hot stuff you add the hotter the spice, so only cook what you can handle.