By Ann Cipperly

At her home on Fourth Avenue in Opelika, Jane Haynie is surrounded by family photos and mementos as she talks about the small cookbook she assembled a few years ago for her family. “Kitchen Keepsakes from Jane Haynie” turned out to be popular with friends as well as family.

While Jane’s husband, Bobby, worked at Ampex like my hubby, Jane and I did not meet until recently when we began chatting at the O Grows Farmers Market. Hearing Jane talk about her love of family, Opelika and cooking, made us instant friends.

Jane’s family moved to Opelika from LaGrange, Georgia, when she was 9 years old. She loved Opelika. Jane was a cheerleader, ROTC sponsor and selected a class favorite her senior year at Cliff High School. She “loved” high school and Opelika.

After Jane’s father left her mother, Bernice Leverett, with four children, her mom began working hemming sheets at Pepperell Mill. While in high school in 1953, Jane began working for Dr. Peacock. After working for the dentist a short time, a tornado went through Auburn and damaged his house, causing him to be out of work for a while.

Jane then went to work at the soda fountain at Haynie’s Drugstore in downtown Opelika where she was employed in 1953 and 1954. While working there, milkshakes, cherry Cokes from the fountain and limeades were popular.

J.K. Haynie was the original owner of Haynie’s Drug Store. He sold the business to the Pearsons in the early 1950s. Jane remembers Haynie’s was the hub of the town when she worked there. At that time, Uniroyal, Ampex and Diversified Products had not opened. She remembered if anyone went to town, they generally went to Haynie’s.

Jane knew Bobby from high school. They became friends while she was working at Haynie’s, but he was not related to the family that owned the drug store. Bobby grew up in Tallassee and moved to Pepperell when he was 14 or 15 years old and then attended Cliff High School in the tenth grade, as Pepperell School only went through the ninth grade. After high school, Bobby joined the Navy.

Jane and Bobby married when she graduated from high school. She attended vocational school and worked at several jobs, including for Judge Ivey, who was a justice of the peace at the courthouse. Sometimes she would have three small jobs during the week.

Jane was the first bookkeeper at Tom Dyas Chevrolet. After five years, she went to work for Beck’s Turf Grass Farm. She retired after working there for 23 years.

At one time, Jane, who is creative, had a cottage business making wrap skirts. She created appliques on some of the skirts, while she painted others. Some of the designs were highly detailed.

Bobby graduated from Auburn University and went to work at Ampex. Education was important to him, and he wanted his children to have a college education. He enjoyed attending Auburn University football games with their daughter, Linda, for 26 years.

Jane and Bobby have three children, five grandkids and two great-grandchildren, who all live in the Opelika-Auburn area. Daughter Lisa Chappell is a nurse practitioner and teaches online at a nursing school in Kentucky. Lisa and her husband, David, have two sons, Nathan and wife Kelly, and John and his wife Laurel, who have two daughters.

Their son Robby is an RN at EAMC and his wife Carolyn is a nurse. They have three children, Leila, Sam and Maggie.

Daughter Linda, who is retired from Auburn University, is married to Tom Caudle. Linda was delivered at home by her father, which was not planned. After the delivery, both mother and child were taken to the hospital.

Jane has had a love of cooking for her family over the years. When Jane published her cookbook in 1994. It was going to be for family. Since she had to have a certain number printed, the extra books went quickly to friends who wanted a copy, knowing that she is a good cook. They were gone quickly.

One of her oldest family recipes is for Mama’s Depression Soup, which has been made by her family for five generations. Some called it egg drop soup. Her son, Robby, adjusted the ingredients and named it Depression Soup.

Jane’s mother and her grandmother were both good cooks. Her grandmother was a humble lady who made the egg soup when anyone in the family had an upset stomach or was sick, and it has been passed on in the family. It is made from items that are generally on hand in the pantry.

Jane has enjoyed baking sourdough bread over the years. The starter she still uses was given to her in 1993 by George Pierce. She has been adding to it over the years from the basic starter, and keeps it in the refrigerator.

Her daughter Linda praises her mother’s cooking. She remembers her mother always had breakfast on the table when they got ready for school and cooked dinner every night while working. She always loved being in the kitchen and experimenting with recipes.

Jane and Bobby celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006. The family created a video featuring everyone in the family, which has become a treasure. Bobby passed away the following year. An important part of Jane’s life has been being a member of Pepperell Baptist Church since 1970.

Although cooking is not as easy as it once was for Jane, she still enjoys getting in her kitchen to cook once in a while. She is thankful to have her family close by and for them to be using her recipes. When the weather is nice, Jane enjoys sitting on her porch surrounded by her flowers, as she savors memories of Bobby, happy family times and living in Opelika.

Mama’s Great Depression Soup

Robby Haynie

This has been passed down in Jane’s family for five generations. It is still served when anyone in the family isn’t feeling well.

In a saucepan on low heat, warm 2 cups 2 percent or whole milk. Whisk constantly as you add 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 ½ Tbsp. cornmeal, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper. Slip in 3 eggs and simmer until eggs are semi-opaque, pushing with a spatula to keep from sticking. Cook slowly to keep milk for scorching.

“If the eggs are intact or broken up,” Robby said, “it is still great.”

Fresh Tomato Soup

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup butter

4 lb. very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

6 cups chicken broth

1 small can tomato paste

1 ½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1/3 cup chopped or 2 Tbsp. dried basil

In large saucepan, sauté 2 medium coarsely chopped onions and 2 crushed cloves garlic in 1/4 cup butter until tender.

Add 4 pounds peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped very ripe tomatoes, 6 cups chicken broth, 1 small can tomato paste, 1 ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, cool slightly. Puree in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped or 2 tablespoons dried basil. Heat gently. Serve hot.

Bacon-Cauliflower-Tomato Delight

1 medium cauliflower, about 2 lbs.

2 slices cheddar cheese

1 lb. bacon

1 (8-oz.) container. sour cream

4 large tomatoes

Cook whole cauliflower in 1 cup salted water in large saucepan, covered for 20 minutes or just until fork-tender. Drain but leave in pan. Place cheese slices on top. Cover, return to very low heat just until cheese melts.

While cauliflower is cooking, fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Crumble 3 slices into the sour cream. Reserve bacon fat.

Slice ends off tomatoes. Cut in half and sprinkle with salt. Sauté for about 2 minutes cut side down in 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Turn, top with large dollop sour cream. Cover pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Place cauliflower in center of large platter and ring with tomatoes and bacon.

Tinsley Dressing

Tom Caudle

2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup white vinegar

6 tsp. garlic powder

Combine in adequate bottle. Shake well. Do not refrigerate. Shake well before each use.

Tinsley’s Oven Barbecue Chicken

Linda and Tom Caudle

Recipe is from Tom’s grandfather Tinsley.

1 cup oil

Large onion, diced

1 ½ cups catsup

1 ½ cups water

2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. mustard

2 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

10-12 chicken thighs

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over chicken thighs in a baking pan. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 ½ hours.

Old Fashioned Egg Custard

Bernice Leverett

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 tsp. nutmeg

Unbaked pie crust

Flakes of butter

Beat eggs well. Mix flour and sugar together; add to beaten eggs. Add milk and nutmeg, mixing well.

Pour into pie crust. Sprinkle flakes of butter on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.    

Sour Kraut Relish

Judy Johnston

1 (No. 303) can kraut

2 cups celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 small jar pimento, chopped

1 cup sugar

½ cup white vinegar

Wash kraut and drain. Mix all ingredients together and store in tightly capped jar in refrigerator. Keeps a long time.

Smothered Green Cabbage

Lisa Chappell

1 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped & core removed

½ cup margarine

2 Tbsp. bacon drippings

1/4 tsp. dry minced garlic

1 tsp. caraway seeds

Salt & pepper to taste

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Melt butter and bacon drippings in Dutch oven. Add cabbage. Cook and stir over medium heat until cabbage is tender-crisp. Add garlic, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Stir in soup. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Best Ever Chili

3 lbs. ground lean beef

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 ½ cups tomato juice

1 (16-oz.) can tomatoes

2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce

1/4 cup chili powder

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin seeds

2 (15-oz. each) cans chili beans

In Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir beef, onion and garlic until meat is browned and broken up and onion is tender. Drain. Stir in all remaining ingredients except beans. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Stir in beans. Simmer 1 hour longer over very low heat.

Fall Apple Cake

Linda Caudle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together:

1 ½ cups oil

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

Sift together:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

Mix oil mixture and dry ingredients together.

Fold in:

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples

Coat a Bundt pan with Baker’s Joy nonstick spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 1 hour or until tests done.

When cake is almost done, prepare sauce.


1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring well.

When cake is baked, remove from oven and pour boiling sauce over cake. Let sit 2 hours before removing from pan.

Pizza by the Yard

1 loaf French bread, unsliced

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped

3/4 tsp. salt

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped

½ tsp. dried oregano

1 lb. ground beef

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 green pepper, cut in rings

4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cut loaf in half lengthwise. Combine tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, onion, olives, oregano, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add meat, mix well. Spread atop loaf halves.

Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with tomato slices and green pepper rings. Sprinkle cheese atop tomatoes. Bake for 5 minutes.

Chicken Breast Supreme

Carolyn Beck

1 jar premium dried beef

4 chicken breasts, split and boned

2 (8-oz.) containers sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup


Place 2 slices dried beef inside each chicken breast half and roll up.

Wrap with 1 strip bacon. Place in baking dish. Mix soup and sour cream.

Pour over chicken. Bake at 300 for 3 hours.

French Creme

Mr. “Guy”

At one time, Jane lived across the street from a couple with the wife being French. When her French father visited, he made Jane this French Crème. Although he did not speak English, he managed to provide the recipe that has a melted sugar topping.

4 eggs, well beaten

1 qt. milk

4 heaping Tbsp. sugar

3 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and stir constantly until thickened. Pour into individual dessert dishes.

Measure 5 tablespoons granulated sugar in cast iron skillet. Heat until sugar dissolves, turns a caramel color and begins to bubble up. Remove from heat and immediately spoon over mixture in dishes. Chill well before serving.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

1 (16-oz.) box graham crackers

2 (3.4-oz.) box instant French vanilla pudding

3 cup + 3 Tbsp. milk

1 (8-oz.) Cool Whip

½ cup nuts, chopped

6 Tbsp. cocoa

2 Tbsp. white Karo syrup

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tsp. butter

2 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. milk

Butter 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Line with whole graham crackers. Combine pudding with 3 cups milk, beat until thickened. Add Cool Whip and blend well.

Pour half the pudding over the crackers. Sprinkle nuts over the pudding. Add another layer of crackers and pour the rest of the pudding over them. Add another layer of crackers.

In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa, syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk until smooth. Pour over last layer of crackers and refrigerate for several hours or until ready to serve.

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Nancy Cargill

1 box yellow cake mix

1¼ cups water

1 box instant vanilla pudding

¾ cup Crisco oil

1 cup chopped nuts

1 Tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs, slightly beaten

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a Bundt pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until tests done. Prepare Glaze and pour over baked cake.


1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

½ tsp. melted butter

½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix together well. Drizzle over cake.

Pork Soup

Tom Caudle

1 lb. ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes

1 small can tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 medium potatoes, cubed

2 carrots, sliced

Salt, pepper

1 tsp. basil

2 tsp. parsley

Brown pork with onions. Drain. Combine all ingredients and simmer for about 2 hours.


2 cups Bisquick

1 egg, beaten

½ cup oil

1 and 1/3 cups club soda

Mix ingredients together and ladle onto a hot waffler maker and cook until done.

Extract Fruit Cake

1 lb. butter

2 ½ cups sugar

6 eggs

3 oz. lemon extract

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

4 cups flour (use ½ cup to flour fruit and nuts)

½ tsp. salt

½ lb. candied cherries, chopped

½ lb. candied pineapple, chopped

½ lb. white raisins

4 cups pecans, chopped

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Add sifted dry ingredients and lemon extract. Add ½ cup flour to nuts and fruit. Add to cake mixture.

Grease and flour tube pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 300 for 2 hours 15 minutes or until cake tests done.