Christmas cooking… with Andy Bedwell


I know all of you have your favorite memories of the Christmas season, but my is sitting in my rocking chair, holding my precious grandson, and singing, “Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree” while looking at the Christmas tree lights twinkle. We changed the words from Christmas tree to Santa Claus! “Oh, Santa Claus! Oh, Santa Claus, Matthew wants a red tractor.” He would always fill in the blank with a different toy. Where has the time gone? Now that little boy is 6 feet 2 inches tall and a senior in high school.

Frozen Christmas Salad

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

16 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup sugar

2 large bananas, cubed

2 tablespoons lemon juice (sprinkle over bananas as soon as they are cubed)

2 teaspoons vanilla (clear if you can find it)

1 cup mixed candied fruit

1 cup chopped pecans

12 ounces Cool Whip

Mix all ingredients together and freeze in a mold.

Andy’s Note: This recipe is so old and so unusual. My mother made it every Christmas and carried it to different events. You have to make it when the candied fruit is available. Mother always poured her salad into a mold and I always use a 9 x 13-inch foil pan and cut into squares. It is so white and pretty with the colorful fruit.

Millionaire Fudge

9 cups sugar

2 large cans Pet milk

20 ounces marshmallow cream

6 packages chocolate chips

2 sticks butter

2 cups chopped pecans

Mix sugar, pet milk and butter. When butter melts, put chocolate chips to melt and boil for one minute. Pour into a buttered pan and cool before cutting into squares. Pecans can be omitted.

Andy’s Note: This recipe makes five pounds of candy. It is easily halved for a smaller amount. This is a wonderful creamy fudge and will keep forever in the refrigerator.

Christmas Jam Cake

1 cup Crisco shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup jam

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups flour (sifted before you measure)

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoon cocoa

3 eggs

Mix all of the spices, cocoa and flour, then sift together. Beat soda into buttermilk. After creaming Crisco and sugar, beat in one egg at a time. Do not over beat the eggs. Alternate the milk and soda mix with flour. Beat in the jam last. This makes a two-layer cake. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Keep checking for doneness.

Butter Filling:

3 cups sugar

1 cup of heavy cream or whole milk

Cook in a heavy boiler until it forms a firm ball tested in cold water. Set aside until cool and then beat in 2/3 stick of margarine until creamy and spreading consistency.

Andy’s Note: I wish all of you could see the paper on which this recipe is written. It is splattered, old, yellowed and folded a million times, but this recipe is so delicious.

Ada Lee Bishop’s Russian Tea

3 lemons

3 cups sugar

3 tea bags

1 small cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

Put juice and rind of lemons over the sugar. Then

put tea bags, cinnamon, cloves in a quart of hot water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and pour over sugar, lemon juice and rind. Let sit until cool. Then add about 3 quarts of water.

Andy’s Note: This is also an old recipe. My cousin, Ada Lee, was known for her iced tea. She was a wonderful cook and I have several of her recipes in my cookbook.


Happy Christmas Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

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

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