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. Speaking of the choir, I just have to share this terrible memory. My mother always told me if she ever saw me misbehaving in the sanctuary, she would leave the choir and come and take me out of church. Well I did misbehave, and she did come out of the choir in her choir robe and ushered me outside.

Her words were fierce, and I certainly believed every word she said. She took me back to where I was seated, and she paraded back to her seat in the choir. Needless to say, that was the last time that I ever misbehaved in church. Childhood memories are so precious!

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

Center:
1 cup strawberry preserves

Combine first six ingredients. 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 instead of a flavored cracker. You must try!

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
cornbread mix
1/2 stick margarine, melted

Cut squash into chunks and cook until tender. Drain well and mince. Place squash in a mixing owl and add eggs, milk, salt and cottage cheese. Stir in cornbread mix and spoon mixture into a greased skillet or a one and one-half quart glass baking dish. Pour margarine over top and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Andy’s Note: A lot of people think this is better than cornbread. This is really good and another 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. You may want to put a chocolate or butterscotch sauce over the pie.

Andy’s Note: This is delicious! It can be in your freezer indefinitely. With our weather still in the 90s, I thought this would be so good for you to have on a “hot” evening. It is comforting to open your freezer and see a delicious pie ready to slice.

Happy Cooking, Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in Downtown Gadsden and at the Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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