Granny Mac’s Brown Sugar Bar, Granny Mac’s Date Loaf, Grandmother Icy’s Egg Custard Pie and Grandmother Icy’s Chipped Beef with Gravy


By Andy Bedwell

You’re more than a
wonderful Grandma.
You’re a woman I admire and a friend I can count on.
Your love and inspiration are gifts in my life,
And I am thankful for you.
Happy Mother’s Day,
Matthew Langley

When I visited my Grandmother Icy on the weekends, the house already smelled like pinto beans, fried chicken, fried okra and cornbread by the time I opened my eyes in the morning. Before she left the house for church, Grandmother Icy would have an entire meal ready to eat the moment everyone walked into her house after church. I smile and think of Grandmother Icy and wonder how in the world she was able to prepare such a feast on Sunday morning. Now I understand why my mother did the same thing for years while also teaching a ladies Sunday school class.

My visits with Granny Mac were always on Sunday afternoons because of her living out in the country about 15 miles from our house. She always had a Sunday feast for whomever might be stopping by, including many of our family members. Under a dish cloth on top of her stove, you would find a wonderful beef roast, her homemade yeast rolls (which she made for everyone in Cherokee County) and the best chow-chow that you have ever tasted. As a young child, I learned to peek under that cloth to scan the leftovers. The best prize was her “made from scratch cookies” that we all loved. I love remembering what I would find under that cloth and also think about Granny Mac’s nurturing love for her family.

Both of my grandmothers were good-hearted Christian women.

Granny Mac’s Brown Sugar Bar
1 cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 stick margarine
Mix, bake and cool.
Bake about 15 minutes
on 350 degree oven.
Second part:
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 ½ cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all and pour over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Andy’s Note: When I saw this recipe, I said to myself that this recipe looks delicious! Of course, I love a brown sugar brownie. We must try!

Granny Mac’s Date Loaf
1 pound graham crackers, crushed
2 packages pitted dates
1 pound marshmallows
1 cup pecans
Enough cream to moisten
Crush graham crackers, chop nuts and dates. Add marshmallows and enough cream to moisten. Roll into loaf or roll and wrap in wax paper. Chill several hours and serve with whipped cream.
Andy’s Note: I have eaten this before and it out-of-this-world. I love that you do not use your oven. I think this would be good to have in the refrigerator around the holidays. This is an old, old recipe!

Grandmother Icy’s Egg Custard Pie
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups milk
to almost boiling
½ stick margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sprinkle with nutmeg before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Andy’s Note: Reading this recipe reminds me of all of the egg custard pies that I have sent to Goodyear. Those men loved an egg custard pie.

Grandmother Icy’s Chipped Beef with Gravy
2 pounds cooked
beef roast, sliced
½ stick margarine
2 tablespoons
all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole sweet milk
salt and black pepper to taste
toasted bread
In a skillet, melt the margarine and add the flour, combine well. Slowly stir in the milk, starting with one cup adding the remaining if needed to thin the gravy. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the sliced beef and put a lid on and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over toasted bread.
Andy’s Note: I believe she had to cook a large roast to have two pounds for this recipe. Some people use ground beef for this recipe, but the sliced roast is divine!

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.

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