BY ANN CIPPERLY
Margaret Maynard and her husband Bill moved to Auburn last May from Harvest. They are both Auburn University graduates and have been coming to the area over the years to watch Auburn sports and stay at their game-day apartment. They said they are glad to be a part of the community and meet new friends. Margaret, who has a love of cooking, is sharing her favorite recipes that she has collected over the years.
Nestled along a winding road in the countryside outside Auburn, the home of Margaret and Bill Maynard is filled with rustic antiques, some from her childhood home. After making frequent trips from Harvest over the years for football, basketball and baseball games, the Maynards are enjoying living full-time in their country home instead of making weekend trips at a game-day apartment.
The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Margaret lived in several places in Alabama and Georgia growing up. She was born in Montgomery when her father was serving at a church in Tallassee. The family then moved to Mississippi, where her father had two churches, one in the country and another outside Hattiesburg near Collins.
Margaret said she has fond memories of many Sunday dinners after church services in Mississippi. She remembers the wooden tables built between the trees on the church grounds. Tables would be laden with delicious homemade dishes. The macaroni and cheese was always her favorite dish.
As the minister’s wife, Margaret’s mother was in charge of hosting bridal showers at the church. While Margaret and her sister were in grammar school, they learned to be mini hostesses. They learned how to make mints and other confections, as well as mix punch.
While her father was serving two churches, it was difficult to support their family with two children. When her father received an offer from Decatur, Georgia, he accepted the position.
Margaret’s father had a degree in agriculture from Auburn University and had helped with grounds work when he was attending seminary in Decatur. When the grounds manager retired, her father accepted that job.
While her mother influenced Margaret in having a love for cooking, she also learned how to cook from a grandmother and another grandmother’s beloved family cook. Margaret enjoyed visiting her grandmothers at Marion Junction, an old railroad town outside Selma where her parents grew up.
Her maternal grandmother, “Grandmommie,” was an excellent cook who prepared southern dishes “by sight” instead of recipes. Margaret watched her make cornbread and divinity candy, which were her favorites, she said. During summer, Margaret and her sister would shell peas with her on the porch. Fresh okra was cooked with freshly snapped green beans. Sometimes meals were entirely garden vegetables.
Her grandmother also made fruit preserves that she gave the family. Margaret said she grew up savoring homemade strawberry and fig preserves on toast at breakfast.
At her paternal grandmother’s house, Margaret and her sister would sit on stools in the kitchen and watch her grandmother’s cook, Ida, prepare meals. When Ida made breakfast, she would use a scoop of lard sitting in a container at the window for cooking biscuits, eggs and bacon. Margaret said she enjoyed watching how she used the cast iron skillets and cooked everything at once.
Ida would clean as she cooked, which influenced Margaret, since the kitchen didn’t look messy. She also learned how to organize the kitchen from Ida and to keep a list of items as they were getting low.
“Ida was always there and she was a part of our world,” Margaret said. “When she was no longer able to work, we would go visit her.”
When Margaret and her sister were older, their mother worked and would leave recipes on a butcher block in the kitchen for them to start making dinner. Sometimes they had to figure the recipes out, which helped them learn to cook, she said.
When Margaret graduated high school, she attended Auburn University, where she met her husband Bill, who was living in Madison near Huntsville. They continued to date after graduating.
Margaret graduated with a degree in elementary education and began teaching in Clayton County, Georgia, while Bill accepted a position with McDonnell Douglas in Huntsville, later becoming Boeing. A year later, they were married. Margaret began teaching fifth and sixth grades in Madison County, then became a reading coach.
She enjoyed teaching and sharing recipes with other teachers. They also shared cooking tips and shortcuts.
The Maynards continued to come to Auburn over the years for sports events and had a game-day apartment, which made it easy for Margaret to prepare large servings of food for tailgating with friends, she said. She was the designated cook for tailgating and always had a taco tailgate that was popular. When the weather turned cooler, she made large batches of soup.
Margaret and Bill have two grown children, Amy and Sam. Amy, who graduated from Auburn, resides in Huntsville. Sam is a junior at Jacksonville State and plays baseball. During his freshman and sophomore years, Sam played baseball for Southern Union.
Since Margaret and Bill wanted to attend Sam’s games, they decided to retire and make Auburn their home since they were already spending so much time here attending sporting events, as well as visiting friend, Margaret said. They made the move last May after purchasing their country home on 10 acres.
The Maynards are enjoying being part of the community and seeing shows at the Gogue Performing Arts Center, she said. They attend Trinity Methodist Church in Opelika, and Margaret is involved in the sewing ministry, learning to make quilts.
She is continuing her love of cooking and is sharing her favorite recipes she has collected over the years. One of the recipes is Miss Randall’s Chocolate Chip Cookies from a lady who lived next door to her paternal grandmother in Marion Junction. The recipe calls for chocolate and butterscotch chips and has been a family favorite for decades.
When Margaret was teaching, she would use this recipe to teach that math is important to her students. One project was making cookies and bags to take home.
Since the cookies freeze well, Margaret keeps a batch in the freezer to pull out for company to serve with coffee. Another favorite is Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies that she prepared for parties at the school, she said. The taste is similar to Thin Mint cookies.
Her mother made the Oakhurst Casserole recipe, which she collected from an event at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur years ago. It is quick and easy to assemble using all canned ingredients. Margaret keeps the ingredients on hand for when she needs to take a dish somewhere quickly.
Betty’s Topping recipe is from a friend’s mother in Decatur. Making this to serve over ice cream is a sweet memory for Margaret.
Molly’s Chicken Rollups recipe is one she would prepare before going to church and let it slowly bake. When the family came in from church, it was ready to serve with rice and biscuits for lunch. The recipe is easy to double or triple to serve a crowd. She uses Boar’s Head Black Forest ham from the deli rather than a sweet honey ham. Sometimes she thickens the drippings with flour and serves it in a gravy boat.
Pizza casserole is always a hit, especially with children, she said. The recipe will make two smaller casseroles, which will give you one to share. The green peppers can be omitted.
Other favorites include the Marinated Carrots recipe from her aunt. Margaret makes those at Thanksgiving, along with her Grandmommie’s cornbread for dressing.
Margaret also credits her mother-in-law as an influence on how to manage a home. She kept the children when Margaret was teaching and helped in other ways to make her life easier.
“We are thrilled to be living in Auburn now,” Margaret said. “It is wonderful being in the community and meeting new people. We enjoy having our Huntsville friends visit at our new home and continuing to attend Auburn sports.”
Mrs. Randall’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Butterscotch
These are a family favorite.
1 cup Crisco shortening
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
2 cups quick oatmeal
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Cream together Crisco shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar; add eggs. Be careful not to over beat.
Sift flour, soda and salt. Gradually add to cream mixture. Add water and vanilla.
Stir in oatmeal, chips and nuts.
Place parchment paper on cookie sheet and using teaspoon, drop cookie dough on to parchment paper.
Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Hints: For soft cookies, bake for 8 minutes and let cool. For cute, round cookies, chill dough and shape into small balls before baking.
1½ lbs. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 small cans mushrooms
3 cans cream of tomato soup
1 cup chopped celery
2 chopped green peppers, optional
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. bag egg noodles
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sauté onion and ground beef. Add mushrooms, soup, celery, pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper; simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Cook egg noodles according to directions on package.
Add egg noodles to meat mixture and combine.
Pour mixture into large casserole and top with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts and mixture bubbles.
¼ cup butter
¾ cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
½ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter and add broken pecan pieces. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook until mixture boils and sugar melts. Stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and add evaporated milk and vanilla.
Serve warm over scoops of chocolate ice cream.
Molly’s Chicken Rollups
6 slices deli ham (I use Black Forest thinly sliced ham.)
6 boneless chicken breast cutlets
6 slices bacon
Small sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Rice for serving
Lay one chicken breast on top of one slice of ham and roll the chicken up into the ham to make a small package. Wrap with a slice of bacon.
Place each bacon wrapped, ham and chicken bundle in a 9×9 casserole that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
Top each chicken bundle with a spoonful of sour cream (use all the sour cream).
Pour a can of mushroom soup over all the chicken bundles.
Cover casserole with foil and bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours.
Uncover and continue to bake at 275 degrees for an additional hour.
Serve over rice and use the pan drippings as gravy.
Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread
This also makes delicious muffins.
¾ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
3 bananas, mashed
10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, ¼ cup juice reserved
6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended. Don’t over blend. Combine flour and baking soda and gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed. Don’t over blend. Stir in mashed bananas, cherries, reserved juice and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until middle is done (watch to make sure bread does not burn around the edges). I sometimes bake mine for only 50 to 55 minutes.
For muffins, bake in greased muffin tins for about 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 pouch sugar cookie mix (I use Betty Crocker)
½ cup margarine, softened
¼ tsp. mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 cup crème de menthe baking chips (I chop up Andes Crème de Menthe candy if I can’t find baking chips.)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg in a bowl until soft dough forms. Stir in crème de menthe baking chips and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. (I use parchment paper on my cookie sheet to prevent chocolate chips from sticking.)
Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cookies should be very soft so you might need to decrease cooking time.
Cool and enjoy. These are great at Christmas with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce.
9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
6 oz. can frozen lemonade mix*
14 oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. container Cool Whip
Mix 6 oz. can of frozen lemonade and 14 oz. can of Eagle Brand.
Fold in container of Cool Whip.
Put in baked pie shell that has been cooled. Place in refrigerator to chill for several hours.
*Pink lemonade works best for this pie. It will make the pie a light pink color. Perfect for a hot summer day.
¼ cup oil
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
Small onion, sliced into rings
Bell pepper, chopped
1 can tomato soup
2 cans 16 oz. each) fingerling carrots
Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion, bell pepper and soup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Drain carrots and pour into a deep, casserole dish.
Pour heated ingredients over carrots and place in the refrigerator to marinate at least overnight.
1 can French style green beans, drained
1 can shoe peg corn, drained
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
Tube of Ritz crackers, crushed
½ stick margarine
Mix all ingredients except for Ritz crackers and margarine.
Pour in a casserole dish and top with crushed Ritz crackers.
Slice margarine into small pieces and place on top of crushed crackers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until casserole bubbles. Make sure cracker topping does not burn.
1 cup corn meal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup melted margarine
Combine ingredients. Pour into a heated baking pan and bake at 350 until golden brown.
3 cups cornbread, crumbled
2 slices wheat bread, toasted
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, sliced
1 ½ to 2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Pats of butter
1 cup cooked rice, optional
Crumble cornbread and wheat bread into a large bowl.
Boil celery and onion in chicken broth for 10 minutes. Add mixture to cornbread and wheat bread mixture.
Add eggs, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Margaret also adds a cup of cooked rice to the dressing, which is optional.
Pour into greased baking pan. Top with pats of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Basically, you cook the chicken and save the broth to cook the spaghetti noodles. This recipe makes a lot and freezes well.
Combine the following in a large boiler:
4 large chicken breasts with ribs
¼ whole white onion
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Cover with water and cook on low until chicken is done. This usually takes about 2 hours.
1 pkg. spaghetti noodles
When the chicken is cooked, strain the broth and use it to cook spaghetti noodles.
While the chicken cools, sauté:
½ stick margarine, melted
¾ chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
Once chicken is cool, cut it into small pieces or shred and place into a large bowl. Add the following:
Cooked spaghetti noodles
Sauté onion, bell pepper, margarine
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Stir the entire mixture and place in a 9×13-inch casserole.
Grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup chicken broth, optional
Top with cheese. Pour ¼ cup of broth over the casserole for added moisture.
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
2 2/3 cups creamy peanut butter
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
3 sticks margarine, softened
2/3 block paraffin
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate blocks (takes 8 blocks)
Mix peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and margarine.
Shape peanut butter mixture into balls about ½ inch diameter, insert a toothpick into each ball, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and chill.
After peanut butter balls have had time to become firm in the refrigerator, place chocolate and paraffin in the top of a double boiler and heat until melted.
Use toothpick to dip each peanut butter ball into chocolate-paraffin mixture about half-way.
Chill Buckeyes again. Remove toothpicks and serve.