Pauline Jenkins learned many years ago that the interest and love she has for children not only helps them, it helps her as well.
Pauline graduated from Piedmont High School and later received a degree in early childhood education from Gadsden State Community College. It was then that she began to fulfill a dream of having a day care center.
Pauline didn’t have just one center though, she has two. They were called Lenny’s Childcare and were located in Gadsden, and she ran them for seven years.
“I loved it,” she said. “You worked under DHR (Department of Human Resources). They would come out and check you every now and then. I always had a score of 100 except for one time. I had a 99 because I didn’t have any paper towels.”
After she closed her day care centers, she was a foster care parent for almost two years. Wanting to continue working with children, she became a substitute teacher in the Piedmont School System. Pauline is continuing her work as a substitute teacher, and she also works several days a week at Piedmont’s new restaurant, Diva’s Greenfield Diner.
She finds herself enjoying the restaurant business.
“I especially like meeting people,’ she said. “I’m a short order cook and I prep the food for the chef. So far, working there has been teamwork, and everybody is falling in place to do what they need to do. I’m enjoying working there. I believe it will be a great success.”
This isn’t Pauline’s first job in the food industry.
When she was in her early teens, she helped her father, the late Paul Brown, and Hershel Dempsey at their business, The Snack Bar. One of her jobs there was cooking on the grill and helping her father make chiliburgers.
At this point in her life, as the mother of three and grandmother of three, she’s found a calling in ministry.
“I’ve been seeing visions of things I’m really supposed to be doing, and one of them is teaching,” said Pauline. “It’s about saving souls.
“Jesus said go out and preach and teach and that’s what I want to do.
“Sometimes, when people are hurting, just telling you that you love them helps them. I’m not there yet, I’m still studying for it.”
Pauline is studying under Bishop Terry Jones at Abundant Life Church in Gadsden.
She likes to play the piano.
“I took lessons, but I also play by ear,’ she said. “I still like to get out and play softball, and I love learning new tech games.”
Pauline’s children are Jackquelyn Mitchell and Eugene Mitchell of Piedmont. Her grandchildren are Jakeiya Mitchell and Tykiya Mitchell of Piedmont and Dontavious Cummings of Lineville. Her mother is the late Josephine Brown.
Pauline said her mother taught her to cook, mostly with what was raised on their land.
“I’m from the old school,’ she said. “We cooked on those old wood stoves. I fried a lot of chicken and milked cows. I had to help my mama start the fire to cook.”
Pauline said she remembers going out into the yard and finding a chicken to cook.
“We had a lot of beans and fried chicken,’ she said. “We’d just go out in the yard and wring their (chickens) necks. It was always fresh chicken because we were in the country. If times got bad, I could do it all over again.”
- 2 c. cooked rice
- ¼ c. onion, chopped
- ¼ c. celery, chopped
- 3 T. margarine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 (8 oz.) jar processed cheese spread
Saute onion and celery in margarine. Add broccoli, soup, milk, cheese spread, salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly thick. Pour into casserole dish with rice. Mix and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Banana Split Cake
- 5 bananas (not too ripe)
- 2 c. graham cracker crumbs
- 3 sticks margarine
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- Chopped nuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 (No. 2) can crushed pineapple
- Large Cool Whip
- Small jar cherries
Melt 1 stick margarine. Mix with cracker crumbs and press into Pyrex dish. Beat sugar, 2 eggs and 2 sticks margarine for 15 minutes. Place mixture on crust. Place sliced bananas on top of this and put pineapple on top of bananas. Top with Cool Whip. Add cherries and chopped nuts. Keep refrigerated.
Amish Potato Salad
- 8 med. potatoes, cooked, cooled and grated
- 5 eggs boiled, cooled
- Grated onions, optional
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- ¾ c. sugar
- 3 t. mustard
- ½ t. salt
- ¾ t. vinegar
- ¾ T. celery seed
Mix together and pour over potatoes, onions, mayonnaise, sugar, mustard, salt, vinegar and celery seed. Add eggs and mix well.