Strawberry Cheese Ring, Summer Squash Bread and Pecan Ice Cream Pie

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By Andy Bedwell

Sunday family dinners at houses in the South were a nourishing part of childhood years. We gathered at my mother’s home where we were surrounded with the aroma of Southern cooking at its best. It was also a time for us to share in each other’s lives and reconnect with the people we loved. I can remember when my mother attended church every Sunday, taught a Sunday school class, sang in the choir and had a fabulous lunch for all of us.

Strawberry Cheese Ring

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup chopped, pecans

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 medium onion, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 cup strawberry preserves

Combine cheese, pecans, onion, garlic, pecans and Tabasco sauce. Mix well and chill in a round bowl. When thoroughly chilled, use hands to shape around a small serving bowl. Place on a dish and chill well. When ready to serve, fill the bowl with strawberry preserves. Surround with crackers.

Andy’s Note:  Sometimes I use pepper jelly. This is an old recipe and so delicious. The preserves are delicious when served along with the spicy cheese ring. I always use wheat thins in-stead of flavored crackers.

Summer Squash Bread

3 cups small yellow squash

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces small curd cottage cheese

6-8 ounce box corn bread mix

1/2 stick margarine, melted

Cut squash into chunks and cook until tender. Drain well and mince. Place squash in a mixing bowl and add eggs, milk, salt and cottage cheese. Stir in corn bread mix and spoon mixture into a greased skillet. Pour margarine over top and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andy’s Note: A lot of people think this is better than corn bread. This is really good way to use our summer yellow squash. Sometimes I sprinkle grated cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese on top during the last five minutes of baking. This is really good with fried fish and sliced tomatoes.

Pecan Ice Cream Pie

1 cup flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1 quart French vanilla ice cream

8 pecan halves

Mix together flour and sugar. Add pecans and butter. Mix well. Reserve one-fourth cup of mixture for topping. Spread remaining mixture in a 10-inch pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Spread reserved mixture in a small dish and bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and crumble. Soften ice cream and fill crust. Top with crumbs and garnish with pecans and freeze.

Andy’s Note: This is delicious. You may want to put a chocolate or butterscotch sauce over the pie. It can be in your freezer indefinitely. It is comforting to open your freezer and see a delicious pie ready to slice on a hot day.

Happy Cooking!

Andy

“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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