Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


Sylvia Stewart’s Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake, Strawberry Crescent Bars and Sausage Dinner Quickie

May this season be rich with the laughter of friends,

With the closeness of family whose love never ends,

May your hearts be content,

May your spirits be light,

And all of your holiday memories bright.

Merry Christmas

Sylvia Stewart’s Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake

4 cups pecans (do not chop)

3/4 pound candied pineapple (chopped)

3/4 pound whole candied cherries

1 pound seedless white raisins

1/2 pound margarine

2 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 bottle (1-ounce) French brandy flavoring

4 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Line tube pan with foil. Have nuts and fruit mixed together and set aside. Save some to decorate if desired. Mix butter, sugar, eggs and flavoring in a large bowl of the mixer. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with butter and egg mixture. Work the batter into fruit and nut mixture with a heavy spoon or with hands. Spoon mixture into tube pan and bake three hours total. About 30 minutes before the cake is done decorate and brush with honey. I always glaze the top with honey if I decorate or not. Let cool for two hours. Put on rack until cold. Saturate a cloth with brandy and wrap cake tightly and then wrap in foil. After one week, saturate the cloth again.

Andy’s Note: This is the best fruitcake you will ever make! This fruitcake is so moist and good. This recipe was in the Bishop family for years. My family still has a void in their hearts with Sylvia’s absence. We loved her so dearly and she was such a wonderful person. Rosie Peterson, this was the recipe I was telling you about the other night.

Strawberry Crescent Bars

2 packages crescent rolls

2 (8-ounce) cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk (save the white)

3/4 cup strawberry jam

Line a two-quart Pyrex dish with one package of crescent rolls. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk in your mixer until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of your first crescent rolls in the Pyrex dish. Then spread the jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with your second crescent rolls and brush with the  egg white and also sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Andy’s Note: If you have never made these, you have just got to try them. You will never believe that anything this easy would taste so good. Sometimes, I cover with a light donut glaze. So good!

Sausage Dinner Quickie

1 Pet Ritz deep dish unbaked crust

1 pound Dean’s mild sausage

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cups sharp shredded cheese

2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup Pet milk

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Drain sausage and drain in colander lined with paper towel. Saute onion and pepper in sausage grease. Add sausage and stir. Mix cheese and flour together. Mix with sausage mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over sausage in pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This dish is great to slide in the oven after a tiring day of Christmas shopping. This goes well with some baked apples and a hot cup of coffee.

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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