Someone’s in the Kitchen with Bobbie Joyner

Published 11:15 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer

BURDETTE—Folks around Burdette and Black Creek call her the “Apple Jack Lady.”

Bobbie Joyner doesn’t mind.

“Heaven knows I’ve made a plenty of them,” she said with a smile.

“In fact, my husband, Edwin, and I made 300 once for the Black Creek/Burdette Ruritan Club to sell to raise money for the club.

“We wanted to help,” she added, “and people seemed to like my apple jacks, so we thought that was a way to do it.”

Apple jacks are just one of Joyner’s cooking creations, however. The great-grandmother, 83, has been cooking her way, coming up with her own recipes since she got married right out of high school.

“Actually, I didn’t even know how to cook when I got married,” she said. “My mom had five children to raise and didn’t have a lot of time to teach us.

“Also, I probably wasn’t all that interested anyway,” she added with a grin.

Joyner was born and grew up in Savannah, Georgia. She married George L. Wright, whom she attended high school with, soon after they graduated.

After her husband served his time in the military, he found employment with the Union Camp Corporation. During the years, he was transferred to Montgomery, Alabama, and then to Franklin.

When the couple settled here, Joyner also began working for Camp’s, and retired in 1987.

“But back to cooking,” Joyner went on. “When I got married, I honestly could barely boil water.

“So I learned by trial and error. If I made a mistake, I’d just start over again.

“That’s when my mother came to my rescue,” she added. “I was on the phone with her almost every day.”

Joyner said she gradually learned, and according to her children, actually has become a very good cook.

She noted that one of her specialties during the early years was spaghetti.

“I served that to my husband so often that he actually asked me to try something else,” she revealed with a laugh.

Joyner’s husband passed away after 36 years of marriage, she said. Two years later, she married Edwin Joyner, who sadly passed away a little over a year ago.

They had been married 27 years.

“Both my husbands were wonderful people,” she said. “I have been very lucky.”

Joyner said she cooks big meals now only on holidays, when her children and their families come home.

That’s when she makes the turkey and dressing, several kinds of vegetables and desserts.

“I have three children and Edwin has three. I don’t see all of them as often as I’d like, but we are all very close.

“Mine are the ones who fill the house at Christmas and Thanksgiving.”

Other times, Joyner doesn’t do much of the cooking, but she enjoys helping Steve Ivy with his catering. Ivy is a relative who caters in the Southampton/Isle of Wight County area.


NAME: Barbara “Bobbie” Joyner.

AGE: 83.

OCCUPATION: Retired from Union Camp in 1987. Since then I’ve concentrated on taking care of my family and my home.

FAVORITE FOOD: Fried Chicken



WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST COOKING EXPERIENCE: The first time I tried cooking grits, I didn’t realize how much they swelled. Before I finished, I had to transfer the grits to two other pots.

WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT YOU CAN’T COOK WITHOUT AND WHY: Salt. It brings out the flavor in almost everything.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT COOKING: Have all of your ingredients on hand before you start.

WHO IS THE BEST COOK YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN AND WHY: My mother, Lila Lee. She cooked the old-fashioned way. She seldom used a recipe, but just seemed to know how much of this and that to use, mostly without measuring. Everything she cooked was good, and she seemed to do it so effortlessly. Even though I didn’t learn to cook until after I was married, she helped me tremendously when I needed her.



2 pkg. dried apples
4 ½ cups water
1¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cans Butter-me-not biscuits
Vegetable oil

Directions: Add apples to water, cover and cook over medium heat until all water has evaporated. Add sugar and cinnamon. Cook until sugar dissolves, with little syrup left. Refrigerate until cold. Roll biscuits out until the size of a saucer, using very little flour to roll biscuits. Place one tablespoon of apples on center of rolled biscuit, fold over and seal with fork. Turn and seal other side. Fill frying pan 3/4-full of oil and heat over medium heat. Fry apple jacks until golden brown on both sides. Drain well on paper towels.