Lettuce and Pea Salad, Cornbread Skillet Casserole and Quick and Easy Banana Pudding
I grew up around women who recognized that there was no greater art form on earth than a lovingly prepared meal. As a matter of fact, there is nothing more rewarding to a Southern woman than to hear someone say, “My gosh, I ate too much!” or “Can I have that recipe?” Food is central to our gatherings and it comforts when we are grieving. There is no greater way to bring people together than a good home-cooked meal. It wasn’t until I started putting my cookbook together that I really came to appreciate what Southern cooking really means. I realized that a recipe handed down was the sharing of the heart and soul of the one who took the time to write it down on paper. In my cookbook, I pulled together my own family’s recipes. In sharing their recipes, I discovered the feelings and emotions that made the writing of my cookbook one of the most precious experiences that I have ever had.
Lettuce and Pea Salad
1 head of lettuce
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, cooked
1 pint mayonnaise
6 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Break up one head of lettuce into the bottom of an oblong dish. I liked to use Pyrex for this. Add the following in layers in order given: celery, onion, green pepper, peas, mayonnaise, cheese and bacon.
Andy’s Note: This salad needs to be served really, really cold. I sometimes use the canned English peas instead of the frozen.
Cornbread Skillet Casserole
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (17 oz.) can cream style corn
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
8 (ounces) grated extra-sharp cheese (please grate it yourself)
1 large onion, chopped
2-4 Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
Combine first seven ingredients together. Brown the ground chuck. Pour half of the cornmeal mixture into a greased iron skillet. (I use a foil pan, so there is no clean-up). Sprinkle with beef. Top with cheese, onion and peppers. Pour remaining batter over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let it stand five minutes before serving.
Andy’s Note: I have had this recipe in the column several times. It was part of my weekend meal, so I decided I just had to share it again. My son Mac loves this casserole!
Quick and Easy Banana Pudding
1 can Eagle Brand milk
2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
1 large Cool Whip
3 cups milk
Slice bananas. Mix Eagle Brand milk, instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whip (leave enough for topping) and milk. In a large rectangular dish, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and mixture. Continue until all ingredients are used. Cover top with Cool Whip and chill.
Andy’s Note: Of course, I love the homemade banana pudding the best, but this is a good, quick and easy recipe.
Next week, I plan to share some wonderful dishes for Easter.
“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.