Paul Collins of Bruce loves to make bread. He got a breadmaker as a Christmas gift and sometimes makes 8-10 loaves a week to give away. Bread making is “something to do” and he uses basic white bread recipes and adds what he wants--jalapeno with pepper jack cheese, raisins and pecans, blueberries and walnuts, and blackberries and walnuts.
Most people’s favorite is the blueberry and walnut. Sometimes he makes French or Italian bread, and Martha Young, formerly of Bruce, who now works in a bakery in Foley, Al., sent him a garlic butter recipe for the French bread. She says to wrap a garlic clove in foil with butter and put into the oven until soft, then put it on the bread.
The first thing Paul ever learned to cook was sugar cookies and he used to call Charlotte Beckett Oakley for the recipe. He had to call her every time because he never wrote it down. Paul says the internet is a great source for recipes and that’s where the Pecan Meringue Pie recipe came from. He used to watch Emeril some, but his ingredient lists are sometimes long and Paul, who says “it is simple and easy to cook”, likes to keep things simple. Paul and wife Connie’s favorites, are casseroles “because they are easy”. And he adds that the most important thing in his kitchen is a timer and “he couldn’t live without it.”
He always cooked a lot on the grill for the kids when they were home, and their friends. Among the boys’ other favorites are beef stroganoff, tacos with all the Mexican fixings, and Connie’s lasagna. Paul usually makes his country roast for family gatherings, and sometimes roast or tenderloin for the Beckett reunion. Paul and Connie also love seafood, boiled shrimp with trash (corn, potatoes, and he likes to add mushrooms), grilled steaks and chops, and he loves cobbler. He recently made his first cooked banana pudding, and it “was not as good as Mama’s (Earline Collins).”
Chuck Roast. (1/2 lb per person.)
To cook: Add one-eighth inch of water to glass baking dish. Sprinkle two tablespoons of garlic-pepper in the water. Place roast in water. Sprinkle garlic pepper on top and sides of roast. Cover with aluminum foil. Cook at 325 degrees in oven for 5 hours. Serve with cut up new/red potatoes, baby carrots, and one medium onion. These can be added to roast after 3 hours or cooked on the side. Remove carefully. Dish may be full of juices. Open aluminum foil carefully, steam will be very hot.
Boiled Shrimp with Potatoes and Corn on the Cob
raw shrimp thawed (1/2 lb per person)
fresh corn on the cob
new or red potatoes
Crab Boil (1 bag per pound)
¼ cup Crab Boil seasoning
½ Tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 or 3 lemons sliced
½ stick butter
Fill large stockpot half full with water. Add crab boil, crab boil seasoning, cayenne pepper, lemons and butter. Bring to boil. Add corn and potatoes. Boil for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove corn and potatoes. Add shrimp to boiling water. For medium-sized shrimp, cook for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. When shrimp turns pink and floats it is cooked. Remove shrimp immediately and place on ice to prevent shrimp from over-cooking.
Pecan Meringue Pie
3 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ to 1 cup sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
20 Ritz crackers crushed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl beat egg whites till frothy. Add baking powder and beat to incorporate.
Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in pecans, cracker crumbs and vanilla extract. Pour into a greased 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool before slicing. Top with whipped cream.
Ms. Marie’s Old Timey Tea Cakes
(Marie Bryant’s recipe)
1 cup of sugar
½ tsp. soda
½ cup shortening
1 Tbsp. buttermilk
2 cups flour (more or less)
Mix well, then add enough self-rising flour to make firm dough. Roll out and cut or shape into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet. They will flatten themselves.