Virginia McCleskey’s White Coconut Cake, Carolyn Mayo’s Crescent Rolls and Carolyn Mayo’s Chicken Casserole


By Andy Bedwell

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the morally intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” – George Washington

During the next few weeks this column will honor our wonderful mothers and the delicious dishes that they so lovingly prepared for their families. I requested that readers of this column, friends and family send me the favorite dish or recipe that they enjoyed the most that was prepared by their mother. I hope that you enjoy reading and preparing these beloved recipes that are real treasures.

Virginia McCleskey’s White Coconut Cake

¾ cup shortening

2 cups sugar

3 cups cake flour (plain)

3 teaspoons baking powder

8 eggs

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon lemon

or almond extract

1 cup warm water

½ teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar for 10 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt three times. Chill flour mixture overnight in refrigerator, chill egg whites also but in separate containers, alternately add flour and water to creamed mixture. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into four 9 inch greased and floured cake pans. Put in cold oven and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Do not let layers brown.

Divinity Frosting

4 cups sugar

4 egg whites

1 large coconut

1 cup coconut milk

(If not enough coconut milk to equal one cup, add water to equal one cup)

Boil sugar and coconut juice until it will spin a thread. Slowly pour over beaten egg whites, beat until it has the consistency to spread on layers. Then sprinkle coconut and frosting between and on top of layers. If you like, you may use vanilla flavoring in the frosting.

Submitted by her daughter: Mary McCleskey Fielder

Carolyn Mayo’s Crescent Rolls

2 cups cooked chicken

8 ounce package

crescent rolls

cups chicken broth

1 can Cream

of Chicken Soup

1 cup grated American

or Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray eight-inch square baking dish. In same pan over low heat (do not boil) mix broth, soup and cheese, stir with whisk constantly until cheese melts.  Unroll crescent rolls, separate into eight triangles. Place one tablespoon chicken in center of each crescent roll. Roll the dough up and place in the bottom of dish. Sprinkle remaining chicken over top of crescent rolls. Pour soup mixture over all. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until crescent rolls are browned on top and sauce is bubbly.

Submitted by her daughter: Christy Mayo Yocum

Carolyn Mayo’s Chicken Casserole

cups cooked chicken

(4 small chicken breasts)

½ cup mayonnaise


1 cup chopped celery

1 small onion

1 Can Cream

of Chicken soup

½ cup slivered almonds

or water chestnuts

Mix all ingredients together with ½ cup almonds or water chestnuts. Place ½ cup of crackers in the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Add mixture and top with crushed potato chips. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Submitted by her daughter: Benita Mayo Sawyer

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our precious mothers.

Happy Cooking, Andy

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

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