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Leave Room For The Pie

Joyce Roberts has been the pie master at Opal’s Restaurant in McKee in Jackson County since 1988, baking melt-in-your-mouth pies daily. Among her offerings are chocolate, coconut cream, butterscotch, and lemon cream pies. She also makes fresh strawberry pies when berries are in season.

Kathy Carpenter purchased the restaurant with her husband, Doug, from her mother, the original Opal, in 1997. They run the restaurant with the same tradition of friendly service and good food that began when Opal’s opened in 1984.

Customers can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this down-home eatery. Guests can enjoy a variety of menu items, including Philly hoagies, tenderloin sandwiches, burgers, and platters, including a 12-ounce T-bone dinner as well as shrimp and oyster dinners.

Also, a hot food bar is served every day except Saturday, featuring at least two meats and four to six side dishes. Monday always features pork chops and soup beans, Friday has fried catfish and cod, and Sunday you can be guaranteed fried chicken and homemade chicken and dumplings. And don’t forget about the pies.

The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m-8 p.m., (606) 287-1530, and is located in McKee at the corner of Hwy. 89/Main Street and Water Street.

9-inch pie shell
1 stick unsalted butter
2 C milk
3 egg yolks
3 Tbsps plain flour
3 tsps cocoa
1 C sugar
Pinch of salt
1⁄3 C water
1 tsp vanilla

Bake pie shell and let cool. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter, then add milk and heat to boiling. While milk and butter are coming to a boil, in a separate bowl, beat egg yolks, flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Add 1/3 C water to egg yolk mixture and mix until blended. Add egg yolk mixture to boiling milk mixture and cook over low to medium heat, stirring, until filling thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into pie shell and let cool. Preheat oven to 350°. (Note: if you like a more chocolate taste, you can add a little more cocoa, but be careful, the more cocoa you use, the more bitter it becomes.)

2 Tbsps sugar
1⁄8 tsp cream of tartar
3 egg whites

In a small bowl, mix sugar and cream of tartar. Add just enough water to make a thick paste. In a larger bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form. Add paste and beat 1 or 2 more minutes, until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on pie and brown lightly in oven. Serves 6-8.


2 quarts peaches
6 C sugar

Peel and slice peaches and mix with sugar in a Dutch oven. Let stand 12 to 18 hours (no need to refrigerate). Bring slowly to a boil on stove, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. After mixture has simmered for 40 minutes, the fruit will begin clearing and thickening into syrup. Continue to simmer until fruit becomes clear; this is your signal that it is done. The thinner you slice the peaches, the quicker it will cook to this stage. Pour boiling hot preserves into sterilized half-pint jars and seal with sterilized lids. Serve with hot biscuits and butter. Makes 7 half-pints.

Submitted by BETTY B. RAMEY, Grayson, Grayson RECC. This recipe came from Betty’s mother-in-law, Agnes Madden Ramey, who received it from her mother, Rachel Jordan Madden.

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