"Whenever you do that, it takes the fun out of it."
He waits until the next day to put carmael icing on it.
The recipe was given to him by a neighbor in Lexington.
"I've made a few changes to suit my tastes, basically the spices. I wanted it a little more spicy."
Always took jam cake to work
Before he and his wife, Joan, retired to Boyle County in 2000, Greer worked for IBM in Lexington. While working, every Christmas when the department would have its dinner, he asked what he could contribute. Every time, the answer was, "Jam Cake." One year, a woman in the department bet him that hers was better than his.
"I didn't want to cause any problem with the employees, so I said, 'You make yours and I'll make mine and let the people decide.' After she tried mine, she wanted the recipe and said, 'If you ever made a cookbook, I will buy the first copy.'"
Greer hasn't published a cookbook, but he hasn't ruled out the idea, as his repertoire of dishes continues to grow. He can reel off recipes for baked chicken, Earthquake Cake and Bourbon Cookies, and always is on the lookout for a new recipe to try. Greer's love of cooking does not show on his figure. Perhaps, that is because when he finds a recipe that he likes, he always shares with his neighbors in Old Bridge.
In February 2005, he came to The Advocate-Messenger looking for a Peanut Butter Pie recipe that he had seen in the paper, but failed to cut it out. He never found it, but a conversation revealed his Jam Cake baking skills at Christmas. He promised to return during the holidays and the staff was pleasantly surprised when he did.
He is willing to share his treasured recipe, but still is looking for a Creamy Peanut Butter Pie. Anyone who can help him out, can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (859) 936-9398.
Cooking love began on the farm
The son of Joe and Geneva Greer, his love of cooking began while growing up in Lincoln County with three brothers and a sister. Although he had farm chores, he would spend time with his mother in the kitchen every time he had the opportunity. He had to watch carefully because his mother didn't go by recipes.
"I would watch my mother make pies and other desserts and, of course, she never used a recipe. Her measuring was a handful of this, and a pinch of that, along with a teaspoon, the one used for eating, not measuring, therefore it was a rude awakening when I tried to duplicate some of her recipes."
Greer and his wife, who was his high school sweetheart at Memorial High School, still return to their old stomping grounds. Greer Park off Ky. 501 in Kings Mountain is the site of a family gathering and for Greer that means new recipes. One reunion helped him end a long search for a German Chocolate Pie he had tasted in a restaurant while on vacation in Florida.
"It was absolutely the best, but when I asked for the recipe, they said it was for 40 pies and I wouldn't be able to make just one. I think they just didn't want to share it."
Also likes photography
After scouring the Internet and cookbooks, and failed cooking endeavors, his search ended when a cousin brought a similar one to the family reunion.
"It was just for a Chocolate Chess Pie. When I added the coconut and the pecans, I finally had found their recipe."
When not scouting new recipes, Greer might be seen out with his digital camera. A photo he took of a train going through a pass in Kings Mountain came in second at last summer's Boyle County Fair. This year, he plans to try again with a nature shot taken at Greer Park .
The Greers have two sons and their oldest, Jeff, shares his father's love of photography. He lives in Indianapolis and is a computer analyst with AT&T.
Their youngest son, Dale, lives in Louisville and is editor of University of Louisville School of Medicine's magazine. He also is a captain with the Kentucky Air National Guard.
Greer says working in the kitchen at the home he and his wife built in Old Bridge is a really joy because of its roominess. He says his wife never minds turning over the reins.
"One of the things she enjoys is I clean up my mess. I don't leave any dishes or pans for her to come clean up afterwards."
1/2 pound margarine (He uses Blue Bonnet)
2 cups light brown sugar (He uses Domino)
5 whole eggs