Southern Cooking: Cabbage Soup, Mexican Cornbread and Jane Cosby’s Banana Pudding


By Andy Bedwell

I love walking into the kitchen on a cold and rainy day and smelling a warm and inviting soup simmering on the stove. I love all kinds of soups. Some are thin soups with rich broths, hearty soups that are meals by themselves and many other homey and soothing soups. I also like to serve soups over rice, Chinese noodles and good ole Southern cornbread. Salads make a nice meal with a warm bowl of soup and leave you satisfied.

Cabbage Soup

2 cans pinto beans

plus 2 cans of water

1 pound ground chuck

(less if you like)

2 cans stewed tomatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1 small cabbage, shredded

salt, pepper, and a little sugar (1 ½ teaspoons)

Brown meat. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cabbage. Simmer for about two hours. About 15 minutes before serving, add the shredded cabbage.

Andy’s Note:  No, this is not the “diet soup!” This soup is so good and so easy. I had a lady from Guntersville that called me this morning to tell me how much her family had loved this soup (I love calls like this!). So, I thought, why not share it with all of you! This is wonderful served over rice.

Mexican Cornbread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

2 eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

(the kind you sprinkle

on spaghetti)

Pimento, medium jar

(drained and mashed

with a fork)

1 1/4 cup milk

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small can

cream style corn

3 jalapeno peppers, chopped with the seeds

(not good unless it

has a little heat)

3/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased and hot iron skillet. You can use a 9 x 13-inch pan and cut into squares. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Andy’s Note: I have to say this is a Bedwell, Fielder and McCleskey family favorite. Mary and Dale have always loved for me to make this recipe. I think it was also Goodyear’s favorite. I like for my iron skillet to be hot enough to sizzle when I pour the mixture in.

Pinto beans, creamed potatoes, a slice of onion and tomato and a huge cold glass of Southern sweet tea go perfectly with this dish.

Jane Cosby’s

Banana Pudding

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 eggs, separated

4 cups whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

vanilla wafers

4-5 ripe bananas

Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a double boiler r a thick bottomed sauce pan. Add egg yolks and half of the milk. Stir until smooth and then add rest of the milk. Cook on stovetop until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread a thin layer of custard in bottom of baking dish (I use a three-quart clear oval one so that the layers show). Cover with a layer of sliced bananas. Spread another layer of custard, wafers and bananas. Always end with custard on top.

For meringue, beat eight egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add in half a cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Pile meringue high over hot custard, making sure to cover completely and seal all the edges. Bake about 15 minutes on 350 degrees until lightly browned. Cool a few minutes and then enjoy! You may prefer whipped cream instead of meringue. Jane says this makes a large amount, so you may want to divide in half.

Andy’s Note: Jane McCleskey Cosby is my wonderful cousin and the greatest cook ever! You will be missing out on a treat if you do not try this pudding. This is a homey and satisfying finish to any meal. Thank you for sharing, sweet cousin.

Let’s get ready for some football, everybody!

Roll Tide and War Eagle!

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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