We’ve all heard the wicked mother-in-law tales, and you may even have some of your own. Television and movies have overemphasized that image, and I have to admit, it can be pretty entertaining to watch sometimes. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, because the mother-in-law I was blessed with, known as Mrs. Betty, isn’t like the ones in the stories I hear so often.
Who is Mrs. Betty? Well, Mrs. Betty was born in 1939 in Troy, Alabama and lived there until she was married in 1957. She then moved to Andalusia, Alabama, and I have heard so many stories about what an energetic, lively, and hard working woman she always was. I could go on and on with those stories, but what Mrs. Betty is best known for is her recipes.
Ask around their small south Alabama town, and people will tell you how much they loved Mrs. Betty’s cooking and baking. She was well known for it.
Unfortunately, I’ve never tasted anything Mrs. Betty ever made. When I first met her 1993, she was already in a wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis. Sadly, the disease has worsened over the years, and she requires full time nursing care now. I have a lot of Mrs. Betty’s things now, including her cookbook collection, but I also have something better than those—her recipe box.
One day I started going through the many recipes in there and could not stop myself from reading one after another. My curiosity grew as I discovered Prune Cake, Boiled Cookies, Mayonnaise Cake, and so many more interesting, but amazingly simple, southern desserts and comfort foods.
I decided that I would start cooking through her recipe box, and it has turned out to be so much fun. I want to share her recipes with you, and even if you don't cook or bake, these dishes and stories will bring back cherished memories of your mom and grandmothers' kitchens.
That is the actual recipe box in the picture above, and the tea cup belonged to Mrs. Betty’s grandmother. Somehow, it was decided that my husband and I would have the honor of owning that entire set of antique china. I’ve never counted it all, but it’s close to, if not more than, 100 pieces, many of which I have on display in my house. Mrs. Betty says she remembers eating off those dishes when she was a little girl eating at her grandmother’s table. I’m sure those meals were from timeless recipes like these that have been passed around families and church socials for generations.
Update: I am very sad to say that Mrs. Betty passed away on October 6, 2015. I will continue to remember her by cooking and sharing these many treasured recipes that I have been fortunate enough to have passed down to me. I have actually found a SECOND RECIPE BOX that is as full as the first one. I did not know I had it until recently, and I can't wait to start making more of her dishes. There were two ministers who delivered the sermons at her funeral, and both had known Mrs. Betty for many years. Even though she had not been able to cook a meal in nearly 25 years, both sermons focused around her cooking and how well she was known for it. I hope you will continue to enjoy these recipes and share them with your families, along with ours, in memory of Mrs. Betty.
Shut Your Mouth Sweet Potato Cake with Toasty Marshmallow Frosting
All American Banana Split (No Bake) Cake
Solar Eclipse Party Recipes
Holiday Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Rum Pum Pum Pum Glaze
Island Getaway Lemony Coconut Crested Cake
Pecan Divinity and The Peanut Brittle That Built A Church
Happy New Year Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes and Black-Eyed Pea Salsa
Done Enough Pound Cake
Rise to the Top 30-Minute Chocolate Cake
Grateful Green Bean Casserole and Must-Have-Cranberries Cranberry Sauce
Merry Orange Cherry Christmas Cookies and Hosting a Cookie Exchange
Wing and a Prayer Mayonnaise Cake
Snow Day Oven Bake
Extraordinarily Average Day Tuna Casserole
'Frank Butterscotch' Rice Pudding