Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

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Southern potato salad
5 pounds red potatoes, chopped medium size, boiled and cooled
(salt potatoes really well while they are boiling)
1 large onion, chopped small; green onions also
5 eggs, boiled,
chopped small
¾ cup sweet salad cubes
(if you want them like a relish, use food processor)
1 teaspoon mustard
(just enough to add color)
Enough mayonnaise to hold together and some to spare (I’m a Bama May person; use what you prefer)
Black pepper
Little salt
Mix all of the ingredients together. Try to refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours. I always prefer potato salad the next day. Be sure that you have enough mayonnaise that can actually be seen.
Andy’s Note: For years, I‘ve assumed that everyone made as wonderful a potato salad as my mother and grandmother taught me to make. My mother’s potato salad was not only tasty but very attractive. She told me to remember to use red potatoes because they kept their shape better. As you can see, I use very few ingredients but use them in a large quantity. You must keep adding ingredients until it is tasty. I’ve made potato salad for 100 people, and it was tasty. My sister and I know of a place in Birmingham that has the BEST potato salad we’ve ever eaten. Even though my sister does not cook as often as I do, her potato salad is delicious! After all, we both learned from a pro – our mother!

Oven-fried vegetables
I use a large roasting pan with maybe two-inch sides. Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Slice any vegetable you prefer in large pieces and place in a large bowl. I like to use yellow squash, onions and green tomatoes. Sprinkle a little water on top of the vegetables and mix. I then cover the vegetables with self-rising flour and mix well. Throw the vegetables in the greased pan, place in a 450-degree oven and bake until you can see the brown on the bottom of the veggies. Then turn them with a spatula and bake until they are as brown as you’d like. When brown, drain on paper towels and salt as you like.
Andy’s Note: I sometimes mix squash and onions together or okra or onions alone. One can add a green tomato to any of the above. What I love is that it is so easy to fix vegetables this way and one can also feed a lot of people. Fresh vegetables will arrive really soon from our gardens!

Barbecued hamburgers
2 cups ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon mustard
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons
Worcestershire sauce
dash of Louisiana
red hot sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ pounds
of ground chuck
Mix all ingredients except meat into a skillet and cook until onion is done. Cook hamburgers in a separate skillet. Drain off most of the fat and add the sauce. Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve on warm buns.
Andy’s Note: I found this recipe in a church cookbook that was printed back in the 1970’s. It is so different and can be served in so many amazing ways. Can you imagine this being served over rice, wide noodles and good ole creamed potatoes?
Speaking of a country kitchen, I immediately think of my two precious grandmothers. Their love was unconditional. However, there existed a code of character from which you did not stray. Good manners were expected without exception. Treating them with the upmost respect came naturally. Last, but not least, they taught us to cook and to love good food.
Andy’s Country Kitchen Recipes will continue next week! Happy Cooking!
“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at The Messenger newspaper at 1957 Rainbow Drive and Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden.

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