Hot Chicken Salad Casserole, Janice Lankford’s Asparagus Casserole and G-R-E-A-T Cookies

May 10, 2019 chris
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By Andy Bedwell

I do not know if church homecomings happen outside of the South, but if you get a chance to go to one, go! We always tried to hold these events in the summer at our little Eastside Presbyterian Church in East Gadsden. Our service would focus on the families who had come home and then everyone would go into the fellowship hall, where one would see tables of potluck dishes. One would see casseroles, mounds of fried chicken, roasts, ham, and dishes that you might not even recognize, all homemade by the best cooks that I have ever known. Everyone eats too much because you just have to taste everything. I was always fascinated by cooking and by food itself. Preparation of food could be magical in the hands of those little ladies in the kitchen of Eastside.

Hot Chicken

Salad Casserole

4 cups cooked

chicken, diced

3/4 cups chicken broth

2 cans of cream of chicken soup (what would we do without this soup?)

1 cup diced celery

2 cups sliced almonds

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup hand-grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 onion, chopped

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 stack saltine

crackers, crushed

1/2 stick butter melted

Mix all ingredients together except the last two. Put in a large flat casserole dish. Mix the last two ingredients and spread over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This is the kind of dish that one would carry to a potluck, and it not just be an ordinary chicken casserole. It is so delicious and easy!

Janice Lankford’s

Asparagus Casserole

2 cans whole asparagus (save the liquid)

1 can English peas

2 boiled eggs

2 cans cream of mushroom soup plus half a can of asparagus liquid

8 ounces hand grated

extra-sharp cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Layer asparagus, peas, eggs, cheese and end with soup. This will probably do two layers. Add a crumble with saltine crackers crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Andy’s Note: Janice married my cousin Barry Lankford from Attalla. She gave me this recipe several weeks ago and said that this had been in her family for years. Every Christmas she makes all of her children one to carry home with them. My aunt Sue Lankford was one of the best cooks in Attalla, and I think she would be so proud of Janice.

G-R-E-A-T Cookies

2 cups frosted flakes

3/4 cup quick oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup Crisco oil

Mix all ingredients. Drop by tablespoon on an un-greased cookie sheet. Leave room between each cookie because they will spread. Bake at 325 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Remove while warm and they will be crisp as they cool.

Andy’s Note: My mother loved for me to make these cookies. She was one of my best critics. When she approved of one of my recipes, I immediately separated it from the others. Mothers Day is this Sunday, and I seem to miss my mother more and more every year. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you precious ladies.

Happy Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.