Mother’s Frozen German Soup, Squash Dressing and Ripe Tomato Relish


By Andy Bedwell

Out in the country, we always planted a garden every spring. It never seemed like a lot of trouble, because I always knew how good all of the vegetables were going to taste when they were cooked.

I remember when my mother and I were always picking and snapping bushels of green beans. We brought five-gallon buckets of tomatoes out of the garden and carefully placed them on a picnic table that Mac built while he was in high school.  On that same picnic table, we placed tons of freshly shucked corn from the garden. We also solved most of the problems of the world while we were working around that table.

After the picnic table had been painted many times, I am sad to say that it finally left us. This week, I want to share with all of you some of our favorite recipes from the garden.

Mother’s Frozen German Soup

2 gallons tomatoes,

peeled and chopped

16 ears of corn (cut off)

1 ½ quarts of okra (sliced)

1 ½ quarts of butter beans (or lima beans)

1 cup sugar

1 cup vinegar

8 onions, chopped

8 potatoes, cubed small

½ cup salt

Cook together until done.

Andy’s Note: Everything should be fresh from the garden.  This recipe makes about 10 quarts. One can thaw it out and have a great soup. Mother and I would fill gallon pails of tomatoes for our correct measured amount for the soup. You can add some meat if you prefer, but all you need is a huge iron skillet of cornbread and a huge pitcher of Southern sweet tea. I loved opening my freezer and seeing this beautiful soup ready to eat on a cold and rainy day. You must try!

Squash Dressing

4 cups cooked

squash, drained

2 cups cornbread, crumbled

½ cup onion, chopped

3 eggs

1 can cream

of chicken soup

½ cup butter

1 teaspoon sage

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andy’s Note: You must double this recipe or you will regret that you did not. Squash is usually the first vegetable that appears in our garden.

Ripe Tomato Relish

20 really ripe

tomatoes, peeled

7 hot peppers

4 large onions, chopped

2 ½ tablespoons salt

3 cups vinegar

2 cups sugar

Chop vegetables really fine. Mix together and cook for three hours or until thick. You must simmer on low heat or it will scorch on the bottom.

Andy’s Note: I think this could be cooked in a crock pot, and I believe I will give it a try. I always double this recipe. Oh my gosh! It is so good on top of vegetables, hot dogs, hamburgers and even cornbread.

Experiment. Be creative. Have fun. To my way of thinking, that is just as much a part of cooking as the eating. That’s just what I’ve always tried to do. Thanks to all of the people who are encouraging me to write another cookbook. Your compliments made me step a little higher when I left the building (LoL).

Happy cooking, Andy

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” may be purchased at The Messenger newspaper located at 1957 Rainbow Drive in Gadsden.

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