October 2004 Neighbors
Dianne Gaines says she was a bit concerned that when she and husband Hank moved their two girls, Kelly and Ginger, to Auburn for college in August, she’d be lost. But anybody who knows this Autaugaville woman figured that was just wasted worry. And they were right.
“You know, really, I haven’t slowed down one bit,” Dianne admits, as she rattles off one iron after another that she’s got in the fire. Fact of the matter is, the Autauga County farm wife just might wind up being busier now than she was when the girls were at home.
For one thing, she plans to take an even more active role in the Alabama Farmers Federation, which she’s been involved with since she and Hank helped form the Autauga County Young Farmers Committee more than 20 years ago.
Dianne also has big plans on the business front. For the past 16 years, she’s been traveling the state appearing as a humorous/inspirational speaker to farm, women, church and youth groups. And every gig she’s landed has been simply by word of mouth.
Now, she’s ready to get serious about this God-given talent of hers and plans to start promoting herself on the regional and even national speaking circuits.
Dianne said Hank is supportive of her speaking career. After all, it was her gift of gab that first got his attention during a high school football game 20-something years ago.
“I was asking a friend, ‘Hey, who’s the hunk over there?’ and he was asking a friend, ‘Hey, who’s that loud-mouthed girl over there?’” Dianne says.
But soon they were together, and they never looked back. This past summer, they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Hawaii—something totally out of character for them, but an absolute blast, nevertheless.
One other thing about Dianne: She is an awesome cook. We’re talking those hearty meals, the kind that travels well out to the fields when the Gainses, including Hank’s brother Harold and wife Paige, are busy cutting hay or planting peanuts or harvesting cotton or rounding up cattle. The following, almost all of which are Dianne originals, offer just a glimpse of Dianne’s all-star down-home cooking skills.
Enjoy these recipes—and keep your eyes peeled. One day, you might just see Dianne’s name up in lights.