Someone’s in the Kitchen with Jacqueline JoynerPublished 9:18am Friday, November 29, 2013
By Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
WINDSOR— Although Jacqueline Joyner is 81, she continues to live the way she always has. She likes to stay busy and she loves to cook.
Stop by to see her any time and you’ll most likely find her in her small kitchen baking a cake or mixing up her special potato salad.
“I learned that as a child,” Joyner said with a smile. “Mama used to say that keeping busy would keep you out of trouble.”
“And what better way to keep busy than to cook?” she added.
Joyner, who lives in Windsor, worked for the Isle of Wight School System in one of the school cafeterias and also drove a school bus for 32 years. Retiring in 2001, she then opened a restaurant with her son, Jerry, in Franklin, but was forced to close within two years because she suffered a shoulder injury.
Undaunted, Joyner began baking for some of her neighbors and friends at home.
When word got out, she found herself with as many orders as she could handle.
“A lot of people are too busy to bake,” Joyner said, “and a lot just don’t know how and probably don’t want to learn.
“So when they find a place to get ‘home cooking’ without the hassle, they seem to go for it.”
The active senior was born and raised near Zuni. A widow since 2001, she and her husband had five children. Joyner said one child is now deceased, but the others keep in touch and one, in fact, lives with her.
“I have a big family,” she added with a smile. “15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. “
Joyner’ daughter, Stormetta, who lives with her also cooks, her mother said.
“She makes some of the best apple and sweet potato jacks and when she takes them with her to work, her co-workers go wild.”
Joyner, on the other hand, doesn’t make fruit jacks, but is known for her cakes, pies, home-made yeast rolls and her own special potato salad, said her daughter.
“In fact,” Stormetta added, “mom has 13 orders for cakes already. But she always have more to do on holidays.”
Cooking has always been a passion for Joyner.
“I feel like when you know how to cook, you can always get by in this world,” the great-grandmother said.
“That’s one reason I’ve taught all my children to cook and I hope they’ll do the same for my grandchildren.”
NAME: Jacqueline Joyner.
OCCUPATION: Retired from Isle of Wight School system after 32 years. Now works part-time as a baker.
FAVORITE FOOD: A tie between roast beef and fried chicken.
LEAST FAVORITE FOOD: Spaghetti.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER COOKING: The first cooking experience I can remember is when I was 12. I cleaned, cut up and fried a chicken all by myself. I also remember it tasted really good.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST COOKING EXPERIENCE: I made a mess of two pies once, left out the flavoring.
WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT YOU CAN’T COOK WITHOUT: Sugar.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT COOKING: Once you fail, try again. Don’t give up.
WHO IS THE BEST COOK YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN AND WHY: My mother, Evelyn Warren. She could make the best pound cake I have ever tasted. Although she taught me most of what I know about cooking, I don’t know how she did some of the things she did. As far as I can remember, she never used measuring spoons, but had her own way of knowing how much was enough. She was an old-fashioned cook; made everything from scratch. And back in the day, she cooked on a wood-burning stove, which of course had no adequate temperature controls. She was amazing.
IF YOU COULD EAT ONE THING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE: Fried chicken.
BUTTER PECAN CAKE
1 box Betty Crocker butter pecan cake mix
1 carton of pecan-coconut icing
1 cup water
½ cup oil
Combine all ingredients (including icing) together and beat two minutes. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Cook in 350-degree oven for one hour, or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup coconut
2 Tbls self-rising flour
1 tsp vanilla or lemon flavoring
1 (9-in) uncooked pie shell.
Combine all ingredients well and pour into uncooked pie shell. Bake at 300 degrees for 40-45 minutes.