By Andy Bedwell
Years ago, our summers were full of shelling peas and butterbeans, shucking corn and putting up tomatoes. This is where I learned about the seasonality of food and how to preserve it at its peak. My mother always had fresh frozen vegetables in her freezer. I am the daughter of a true Southern lady and a wonderful cook.
I know that’s where my passion for cooking took root while working at her side for many years. Food and cooking are always about so much more than just sustenance. For me, they define some of the most precious relationships that I never thought would exist. In my cookbook, I tried to share stories about my family and some of the memories that I remember so well.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
2 bunches broccoli
1 head cauliflower
1 cup cubed apple
½ cup chopped
walnuts (may use pecans)
½ cup raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
Cut florets from broccoli and break into bite-size pieces. Peel stems and cut into one-inch lengths. Place in a large salad bowl. Break cauliflower into florets and add to bowl. Add apples, nuts, and raisins and toss.
For dressing: Mix mayonnaise and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add to salad and toss to coat. Cover and chill.
Andy’s Note: Sometimes I add a little grated cheese to this salad. This salad adds a festive touch to any meal. You must try!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Cut large bell peppers in half, remove seeds and rinse. Pare boil until tender. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, grate extra-sharp cheese and add the same amount of crushed saltine cracker crumbs as you did cheese. Mix cheese and crumbs. Add chopped bell pepper and onions. Then add enough mayonnaise to hold all of this together. Stuff peppers with mixture and bake at 350 degrees until brown on top and bubbly around the edges.
Andy’s Note: This is the most popular recipe that I talk to people about at all of the shows that we attend. This is my mother’s original recipe and I just had to share it again on this Mother’s Day weekend. We put these in foil pans and stacked them in the freezer. Delicious!
Butterscotch Coffee Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
instant vanilla pudding
1 cup Crisco oil
1 cup water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Grease a 10-inch tube cake pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix and both pudding mixes. Add eggs, oil and water. Mix until until well blended. In another bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Pour one-half of batter into pan and spread out evenly. Then sprinkle one-half of nut mixture. Cover with the rest of batter. Next, the nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 325 degrees for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.
Andy’s Note: I received this recipe from a lady who is on a food chat line with me. I made it last Sunday and my bunch loved it. Easy and Good! The picture of the coffee cake is in this column. Of course, I used the mixer for the batter. Sometimes the cakes mixes are real lumpy. Decorate with red cherries, drizzle with a sugar glaze, sprinkle with crushed pecans, and you have a cake “fit for a king.”
Happy Cooking, Andy
“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” is available at The Alabama Gift in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.