Stirring up memories
January—the two-faced month
December 31, 2003
In a few hours, we’ll be in another year and
in the month of January. It’s always a
bit hard for me to realize that it’s time to pull down the calendar and hang
this year’s favorite on the kitchen wall.
In 2003, our family enjoyed a new scene of Tuscany every month—this
year, I haven’t decided, but I’m leaning toward English Garden. Whatever I pick, in the morning, I hang it
on the wall and welcome January.
that’s a strange word. I got to
wondering why we call the first month of the year by this name, and I
discovered it has a logical history.
The Roman god
Janus gives his name to the month—and appropriately so, because Janus is the
gatekeeper god in Roman mythology.
Interestingly, unlike most of the gods and goddesses of Roman mythology,
Janus has no Greek counterpart. He’s
gates is hard work because you have to keep up with both who is coming and who
is going. Janus is perfect for the job,
because he has two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward. No one gets anything past Janus. Since the New Year serves as our gateway to
the future, it is appropriate that the first month of the year is named for
this gateway god.
New Year’s Eve is a good time to join Janus
in looking back over the past. This
week instead of offering new recipes, I’m offering a selection from the last
year or so of “Stirring up memories.”
Enjoy sharing and eating these happy memories!
Let’s start with a
couple that you can stir up quickly if you haven’t quite finished your New
Year’s Eve cooking plans. Both of these will also be good if you’re planning to
settle down in front of the television for the Independence Bowl or the Sun
Bowl or the Liberty Bowl today. Or the
Outback Bowl, the Gator Bowl, or the Orange Bowl tomorrow. Or maybe the Cotton Bowl or the Peach Bowl
or the Fiesta Bowl on Friday. Go on,
make extra batches and munch your way through the Humanitarian Bowl on Saturday
and the Sugar Bowl on Sunday. By then,
maybe we’ll know who the National Champion ought to be.
PeeWee Lambert’s Texas Fudge
1-pound Monterey Jack cheese,
1-pound Cheddar cheese, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
2 4-ounce cans green chilies,
cheese, eggs and milk. Line a 9 by 13
baking dish with chilies.
the chilies with the cheese mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40
minutes. Cool and cut into bite size
pieces. Drain the pieces on paper towel
to absorb the excess moisture. You can
also use two 8-inch square dishes or pans.
a Texas girl at heart, I added a teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce to half of my
mixture. Very tasty. It’s also attractive to reserve some of the
peppers and sprinkle them on top just before putting in the oven.
Layered Catfish Appetizer
1 pound catfish
12 ounces reduced fat (light)
whipped cream cheese
3 tablespoons reduced fat (light)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup minced onion
1 12 ounce bottle seafood cocktail
3 cups of water to a boil, add the catfish, cover and simmer for 5 to 7
minutes, or until the fish flakes readily.
Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, cool, then flake.
combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and
onion. Spread evenly in the center of a
dinner plate and chill. Spread the
cocktail sauce across the chilled cheese mixture and top with the flaked
catfish. Garnish with parsley and
cucumber curls. Serve with crackers and
thick unpeeled cucumber slices.
calories don’t count at your house, use the real thing for cream cheese and
is a classic seafood dip and is good with chopped shrimp or flaked crabmeat or
practically anything that swims.
Don’t think this
is enough? Remember our vicarious trip
to Alaska with Artsfest last spring?
I’ve received good reports on this recipe. Don’t be misled by the name—it’s no joke.
Muriel Wight’s Moose Balls
1 small can evaporated milk
3 pounds mooseburger (ground beef
does the same good job)
2 cups quick oats
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
well and shape into walnut sized balls. Place in a flat pan, one layer to a
2 cups catsup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
Mix together in a
saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves.
Stir well and spoon over moose balls.
Bake at 350
degrees for one hour. Cover with foil
for the first 30 minutes.
Makes 50 to 60 moose balls. These are good for a football party.
never missed a football game if he could help it. These baked beans my grandmother cooked up in the slow cooker
will be dandy with the mooseballs. It’s
too late to have them ready on New Year’s Eve, but they’ll be dandy for the
football games. And they are so
easy—the cook can watch the game too!
My grandmother’s overnight baked beans
3 cups dried navy beans (or other
2 teaspoons dried mustard
1 medium coarsely chopped onion
4 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste
and rinse beans and place in a Crockpot; cover with cold water, and cook on the
low setting overnight. In the morning, ladle
out any remaining water; stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook for 1 to 2 hours on the high setting,
then turn to low and let cook the rest of the day.
you like a tomato-y baked bean, add one can of
chopped tomatoes (or a couple of cups of chopped fresh tomatoes) with
the other ingredients.
Need some sweet treats for
dessert? Here are two of “Stirring Up
Memories” most requested. Ida’s pie
makes it’s own crust, another plus for the cook.
Ida Wilson’s Egg Pie
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter or
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups sweet milk
½ cup self-rising flour
1 can (3.5 ounces) coconut (optional)
Cream the butter or margarine and
sugar together; then add the eggs. Add
the milk, flour and vanilla. Beat until well combined and pour into a 9 or
10-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees
for about 30 minutes or until light brown.
Grannie Julia Chandler’s Teacakes
1 cup sugar
1 cup Crisco
3 teaspoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
Nutmeg, vanilla and enough flour to
make a stiff dough
Mix all ingredients. Roll out on floured surface and cut. Bake at 350 ° until lightly brown.
If you have food
memories or a favorite recipe to share in the new year, you can e-mail me.
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Trilla Pando is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance & the Story Circle Network