by Ann Cipperly
During football season, Tim Gore’s favorite place to be is on his back porch with a blazing fire in the outdoor fireplace with appetizers and dinner cooking on the grill while watching the Auburn Tigers. Tim’s wife Betsy prepares the sides and desserts. They are both looking forward to the Auburn-Alabama game this weekend and enjoying a good time with family and friends on their back porch.
Tim cooks out with his two sons-in-laws, Michael Kennedy and Blake Sayers. “I’m truly fortunate to have two Auburn men that love my daughters,” says Tim, “and them being the grill masters that they are doesn’t hurt either.”
Mary Louise is married to Michael and lives in Opelika, while Anna is Blake’s wife, and they reside in Birmingham. Mary Louise works for Tailgate Guys, and Michael owns Williamson Landscaping. Anna is the owner of Anna Sayers’ Calligraphy, and Blake is employed at Robins and Morton Construction Co.
Michael grills Chicken Wings and Pheasant Poppers, while Blake’s specialty is steaks that he serves with herb butter.
Ted’s War Eagle Chicken is Tim’s favorite to cook on the grill. Betsy will generally bake an Orange Crush Cake or cookies for dessert. Friends will bring a dish as well.
Betsy is currently a teacher in the science department at Opelika High School, while Tim is the assistant director of memberships at the Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center.
Tim grew up in Opelika. In grammar school, he would ride his bike to the Opelika Parks and Recreation Center for day camps and to play with friends in the creek that winds through the park. With his love of the outdoors and sports, he spent many summer days at the center.
His enjoyment of being there led Tim to a career at the Opelika Recreation Center, the Sportsplex and now at the Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center, where he is continuing his love of working with young people and serving others.
Tim feels he had an excellent example to follow in his mother, Louise Gore, who was active in church and the Pilot Club of Opelika. When Tim was 11 years old, his father died suddenly of a heart attack. His mother raised him and his two sisters. His Uncle Lewis Cooper became a second father.
Tim played basketball and tennis at Opelika High School. He received a basketball scholarship to Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City.
He then transferred to Auburn University, majoring in recreation administration and was part of the Auburn marching band.
While attending Auburn, Tim worked part-time at the Opelika Recreation Center and, after graduating, began working full time.
“I loved it,” says Tim. “Working in recreation is a service oriented profession, being with people and trying to meet the needs of those around you.”
“I had great mentors with Bill Calhoun, the person who hired me, giving me the opportunity to get in recreation,” he adds. “It is not a job when you like what you do and get paid to play.”
Mr. Calhoun told Tim that although he would not have a big paycheck working in recreation, it would be rewarding, and he would receive a “paycheck” in other ways.
Tim received many of those other paychecks over the years. One of his former employees told him how much she appreciated him teaching her to be a lifeguard, as she was able to save a young girl’s life.
While at the Opelika center, Tim established Friday night Drop-ins for junior high students, the Summer Swing concert series, one of the South’s Top 20 events, and a soccer program that has grown to more than 700 students.
Every summer hundreds of children took swimming lessons at the center, and nearly all considered Tim their friend. He was known for his big smile and warm welcome to everyone attending the center.
Tim met Betsy when she became the swim team coach. They have been married nearly 30 years.
After 20 years at the Opelika Recreation Center, Tim and Betsy took a break and became one of the four owners of the Cottage Walk that was in downtown Opelika for years with Picket Fence, Cottage Cafe and Victory Designs.
After the businesses sold, Tim had the opportunity to return to the Opelika Parks and Recreation and worked at the Sportsplex, sharing an office with fellow assistant director Reid Pope.
In 2012, Tim became the assistant director of memberships at the Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center. “When I get here in the mornings,” he adds. “I sit in my truck, say a prayer, and hope I can have an impact on someone’s life today. When I walk in the building, I pinch myself that I get to work here.”
Since working at the facility, he feels he has received many “paychecks” from students.
On Sunday mornings, Tim is involved in Helping Hands at the First Baptist Church of Opelika. For the past 20 years he has served as a valet parking attendant for anyone who needs physical help or assistance unloading refreshments.
“Opelika is a great place to live,” he says. “Being able to have a great wife, great daughters and sons-in-law, I feel very blessed.”
Another of his blessings is relaxing on his back porch during football season. This Saturday, Tim and Betsy will be surrounded by family and friends, as they savor good food and friendship.
Ann Cipperly can be contacted at email@example.com.
Ted’s War Eagle Chicken
This is Tim’s favorite dish to cook on the grill.
2 whole chickens or chicken breasts and thighs
64 oz. vegetable oil
64 oz. cider vinegar
Small container of poultry seasoning
1 box dark brown sugar
8 oz. bottle Worcester sauce
Juice from lemon
1/2 bottle of ketchup
1/2 bottle of Heinz 57 sauce
In a large pot heat all of the marinade ingredients to boiling. Remove from heat and add chicken. Tim uses chicken breasts and thighs. Marinate 2-3 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade. Sprinkle inside and out with season salt and lots of pepper. Grill or smoke until done.
To make Brown Sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to almost boiling.
Serve chicken with Brown Sauce.
Aunt Jane’s Loaded Potato Bake
6-8 new potatoes
Salt and pepper
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Boil potatoes until tender. Slice and place in bottom of baking dish; salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle bacon and chives over potatoes.
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, shredded cheese and spread over potatoes. Bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes until cheese melts.
Blake’s Classic Steak
4 Tbsp. butter
2 steaks of choice
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425.
Heat cast iron skillet (or oven friendly pan) on high heat with butter. Quickly place seasoned steaks on hot skillet. Sear first side of steak for 2 minutes, flip to other side for 1 minute. Immediately place pan with steaks in oven and cook until desired doneness.
Let steaks rest for 5 minutes on a platter, and serve with Herb Butter Medallions on top.
Herb Butter Medallions
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
Mix softened butter until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Place mixture onto piece of plastic wrap. Roll mixture into log and wrap in aluminum foil.
Place in freezer until ready to use. Cut into medallions and serve on steaks, potatoes, etc. Keep in freezer for up to 6 months.
Michael’s Chicken Wings:
Your favorite frozen chicken wings
Your favorite barbecue Sauce (We use a friend’s homemade barbecue sauce)
Season chicken wings with favorite seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, Tony’s). Drizzle olive oil over wings.
Place wings on skewers and place on charcoal grill at 225 degrees and cook for 2 hours or until done. Cover with your favorite barbecue sauce the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Tailgate Bean Dip
2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Original Rotel, drained
2 green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
Stir all ingredients together. Add more vinegar or sugar, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Serve with tortilla or corn chips.
8 ears of sweet corn
1 stick butter
2 Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
Cover shucked corn liberally with butter around entire ear. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning on each ear.
Take two pieces of buttered and seasoned corn and wrap completely in foil. Continue with the remaining corn making 4 packets.
Place corn off of direct heat and cook for 40 minutes until hot and slightly charred. Rotate corn packets occasionally.
16 oz. sour cream
1 can of Rotel
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip Mix
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with Frito and Scoop chips.
Louise Gore’s Cheese Straws
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ lb. margarine
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. red pepper
3 cups self-rising flour
Mix all ingredients by hand and put in cookie press. Place on cool baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes until lightly brown on edges. Makes about 15 dozen.
Tim’s Brownie Delight
2 boxes Ghirardelli Brownie Mix
3 XL Symphony Bars
Mix brownies according to directions. Place batter of 1 mix in the bottom of a greased 13×9 pan. Unwrap candy bars and place on top of the browning mix.
Place the batter of the second brownie mix on top of the candy bars. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Cut into 2 x 2-inch squares. Top with vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
Orange Crush Cake
3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Orange Crush, Fanta Orange or other orange soda
2 Tbsp. additional Orange Crush
Orange food coloring (mix red/yellow) to desired color
1 Tbsp. orange zest
3 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Orange Crush
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Combine flour and salt, adding 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
With mixer on low, slowly add 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. orange soda until combined. Add orange food coloring if you want to deepen the orange color and orange zest for more flavor.
Thoroughly coat a Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Add large spoonfuls of batter until the pan is filled.
Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool 5 minutes and place on cooling rack.
Drizzle glaze on cooled cake.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Modified from Deb’s Biggest and Best Oatmeal Cookies from Baptist Bounty)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup Crisco
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups raisins
Cream margarine, Crisco, and sugars; add eggs, vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in uncooked oats and raisins. Shape into large balls and roll into cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Michael’s Pheasant poppers:
Sliced Water Chestnuts
Sliced Pickled Jalapeños
Uncooked Bacon Slices
Cut pheasant into 1- inch cubes. Marinate in teriyaki sauce for at least 1 hour. Build poppers by cutting bacon strips in thirds, stack water chestnut, pickled jalapeño and pheasant pieces; wrap bacon around stack and secure with tooth pick.
Grill until bacon is crisp.
Liz McCollum’s Crab Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature 1 cup mayonnaise 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack, divided 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, minced Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 12 oz. lump crab meat 2 green onions, sliced 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 1 baguette, sliced and toasted Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 cup Monterey jack, Parmesan, artichokes, garlic, crab meat, green onions and Worcestershire. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer dip to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and sprinkle remaining Monterey jack cheese on top. Bake until warmed through and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Top with parsley. Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.