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Stirring up memories


Januaryóthe two-faced month
December 31, 2003

††††††††††† In a few hours, weíll be in another year and in the month of January.Itís always a bit hard for me to realize that itís time to pull down the calendar and hang this yearís favorite on the kitchen wall.In 2003, our family enjoyed a new scene of Tuscany every monthóthis year, I havenít decided, but Iím leaning toward English Garden.Whatever I pick, in the morning, I hang it on the wall and welcome January.

††††††††††† Now thatís 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 monthóand 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.Heís all Roman.

††††††††††† Guarding 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 Yearís Eve is a good time to join Janus in looking back over the past.††† This week instead of offering new recipes, Iím offering a selection from the last year or so of ďStirring up memories.ĒEnjoy sharing and eating these happy memories!

Letís start with a couple that you can stir up quickly if you havenít quite finished your New Yearís Eve cooking plans. Both of these will also be good if youíre 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 weíll know who the National Champion ought to be.

Happy munching!


PeeWee Lambertís Texas Fudge

1-pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1-pound Cheddar cheese, grated

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 5-ounce can evaporated milk

2 4-ounce cans green chilies, chopped

††††††††††† Combine cheese, eggs and milk.Line a 9 by 13 baking dish with chilies.

††††††††††† Cover 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.

††††††††††† Being a Texas girl at heart, I added a teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce to half of my mixture.Very tasty.Itís 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) mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup minced onion

1 12 ounce bottle seafood cocktail sauce

††††††††††† Bring 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.

††††††††††† Meanwhile, 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.

††††††††††† If calories donít count at your house, use the real thing for cream cheese and mayonnaise.

††††††††††† This is a classic seafood dip and is good with chopped shrimp or flaked crabmeat or practically anything that swims.

Donít think this is enough?Remember our vicarious trip to Alaska with Artsfest last spring?†† Iíve received good reports on this recipe.Donít be misled by the nameóitís no joke.


Muriel Wightís Moose Balls

1 small can evaporated milk

3 pounds mooseburger (ground beef does the same good job)

2 cups quick oats

2 eggs

1 cup chopped onion

1/2teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

††††††††††† Mix well and shape into walnut sized balls. Place in a flat pan, one layer to a pan.


2 cups catsup

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons liquid smoke

1/2teaspoon 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.

My grandfather 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.Itís too late to have them ready on New Yearís Eve, but theyíll be dandy for the football games.And they are so easyóthe cook can watch the game too!

My grandmotherís overnight baked beans

3 cups dried navy beans (or other white beans)

3/4 molasses

2 teaspoons dried mustard

1 medium coarsely chopped onion

4 tablespoons of butter

salt and pepper to taste

††††††††††† Wash 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.

††††††††††† If you like a tomato-y baked bean, add one can ofchopped tomatoes (or a couple of cups of chopped fresh tomatoes) with the other ingredients.

Need some sweet treats for dessert?Here are two of ďStirring Up MemoriesĒ most requested.Idaís pie makes itís own crust, another plus for the cook.

Ida Wilsonís Egg Pie

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter or margarine

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 egg

2 cups sweet milk

Ĺ cup self-rising flour

1-teaspoon vanilla

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 Chandlerís Teacakes

1 cup sugar

1 cup Crisco

3 eggs

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 į 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