Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


The Best Banana Muffins and

Fresh Blueberry Pie

After World War ll, a lady described a typical picnic lunch for that time in history. She said they packed a shoe box lunch and took off in the pony cart for a beautiful place in the woods.  The usual contents were:  fried chicken, tomato sandwiches, buttered biscuits with jelly,  hard boiled or deviled eggs, a piece of fruit, a LARGE piece of cake, and lemonade in a thermos jug. I just thought as I was reading this that our picnic lunches today are so similar.  If I were planning a picnic lunch today, I would have to include this banana muffin that I made a few weeks ago.

The Best Banana Muffins

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup mashed bananas

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

4 tablespoons margarine, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Add alternately the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt with the buttermilk. Stir in the bananas, vanilla, and pecans. Fill your paper cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. While they are still warm, dip tops of muffins in melted butter, then in cinnamon/sugar mixture. This will make 24 muffins.

Andy’s Note: My only warning is that these have to be baked in the liners. I do not like to use liners with muffins, but in this case, it is a MUST! I love to have a muffin in the morning with my coffee. If you like bananas, you will adore this recipe. Mary Fielder has already made a request for me to bake some for her mah jongg group.

Blueberry Pie

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 4 tablespoons flour)

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups fresh blueberries

2 pie crust

1 tablespoon butter

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Fill one pie crust with the 3 cups of berries. Sprinkle the sugar, cornstarch, and salt mixture over the berries. Dot with butter. Cut the second crust for a lattice top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes. This is good with Cool Whip or ice cream.

Andy’s Note: This is another pie that I refer to as a “plate pie.” You can actually use any berry that you like. When blueberries are ready to pick, this is the first pie that I want to bake. After baking this pie, I am ready to experiment with other blueberry recipes.

This has definitely been a work week for me. Corn in the freezer, strawberry jam made, tomatoes canned, pepper sauce being made, stuffing peppers for the freezer, and waiting for okra to be pickled. My daughter told me the other day that she understands why I have always loved the winter months. Too much work in the summer! 

Happy Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Little Faces Doll Shop, Alabama Gift Company, and the Messenger on Broad Street.

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