Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

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Chicken Salad, Vegetable Salad and Fluffy Pink Salad

There are so many foods that are unique to our region of the country. Sweet tea, pimento cheese, deviled eggs, fried chicken, fried catfish and tomato sandwiches are all wonderful staples in the South. 

I always evaluate a new restaurant by the quality of the sweet tea! Iced sweet tea just has to be sweet and very cold. My grandmother, Icy Sanford, was known far and wide for her famous sweet tea. Icy’s sweet tea was always in demand!

Fried chicken and fried catfish cooked in an iron skillet has definitely been perfected in the South.

Pimento cheese made with hand-grated sharp cheese and chopped pimentos, along with deviled eggs made with sweet relish and dusted with paprika, are the two signature dishes of the Deep South. Pimento cheese is the “Caviar of the South.”

During the long, hot, summer my favorite food staple is the delicious tomato sandwich. I love a tomato sandwich made with a sliced, red, ripe garden tomato on fresh white bread slathered with Duke’s Mayonnaise and sprinkled with salt and black pepper. A tomato sandwich is a true Southern delicacy!

Chicken Salad

4 cups chopped chicken breast (I use the food processor)

1/2 cup chopped onion (I use the food processor)

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

2 cups halved seedless red or green grapes

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/2 cup chopped pecans

salt and black pepper

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate.

Andy’s Note: Sometimes, I like to add pineapple tidbits or mandarin oranges instead of the grapes. I also love dried cranberries.

Vegetable Salad

1 pound fresh broccoli

1 small head cauliflower

2 large carrots, sliced

2 small onions, sliced and separated into rings

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Crisco oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Cut broccoli into bite size pieces. Separate cauliflower into flowerets, slicing into bite size pieces. Combine vegetables into large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and stir well.

Add mayonnaise mixture to vegetables, tossing to coat vegetables. Chill several hours.

Andy’s Note: This is a delicious and very attractive salad. It is wonderful to serve when all of the fresh garden vegetables are gone.

Fluffy Pink Salad

(known as the Pink Stuff)

1 can cherry pie filling

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 medium size can of crushed pineapple, drained

1 ( 8-oz.) package sour cream

1 large container of Cool Whip

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix ingredients together and chill.

Andy’s Note: I know all of you have this recipe. You may be like me and forget to use it. The children at Gaston School loved it.

Happy Cooking, Y’all!

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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