Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell – Preparing for Thanksgiving cooking

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By Andy Bedwell

We thank you, God
for all that You give:
The lives we live,
the food we eat
and for our loved ones.
Lord, help us all
to live our days
with thankful hearts
and loving ways.
Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)

Cherished recipes usually come out at the holidays. Here are a few of my favorites.

Mary Virginia’s Chicken and Dressing Casserole
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (save the broth)
4 cups cornbread, crumbled
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup (may use creamy onion)
1 stick of margarine
2 cups chicken broth
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon black pepper
Chopped parsley (I add some to my mixture and sprinkle lightly on top of the casserole)

Cook chicken in a lot of water and save the broth. Saute onion in margarine, then add remainder of the ingredients except chicken and parsley. After all is mixed, add the chicken and about ¼ cup dried or fresh parsley. Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees until brown on top. The middle should move when you shake.

Andy’s Note: If you just want dressing, leave the chicken out. Sprinkle parsley on top before you bake. I cannot say enough about this recipe. My daughter Mary Virginia put this recipe together, and I am so proud of her. I guess a little of me has rubbed off on her. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that this is the recipe they use for their dressing. You can double or triple it, and it still turns out good. At the craft shows where I sell my cookbook, people tell me that they cannot make dressing. Well, now you can. It is easy, moist, delicious and freezes well.

Green Bean/Shoe Peg Corn Casserole
2 tubes of Ritz crackers
1 ½ sticks of margarine, melted
3 cans French style green beans, drained
1 or 2 cans Shoe Peg corn, drained
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
8 ounces sour cream
2 cups extra sharp cheese, grated (by you, Leslie Morrison!)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 medium onion, chopped

Crumble one tube of crackers into a lightly greased dish. Melt one stick of margarine and combine with beans, corn, chestnuts, sour cream, soup, onions and cheese. Pour mixture over the crumbs. Crumble remaining tube of crackers. And yes, sprinkle over the top of casserole. Dot with the remaining one-half stick of margarine. Bake at 325 degrees until bubbly around the edges (about 45 minutes). Be careful and not let the crackers get too brown. And yes, sprinkle with parsley before you bake.

Andy’s Note: I have probably used this recipe more than any that I have collected. My sister Mary makes it now for all of our family events. It also freezes well.

Toasted Coconut Pie
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups sugar
1 stick margarine
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ ounces of shredded coconut (this was in a can)
1 unbaked pastry shell

Mix all ingredients together in order as listed. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This is an easy prepared dessert, yet so delicious! You must try!

Next week, I will share with you some of my favorite desserts!

Happy Thanksgiving cooking, Andy

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” may be purchased at The Messenger newspaper located at 1957 Rainbow Drive.

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