The Dining Room at The Pit® is First Class!

... as are the Prep Areas and Kitchens

... and The Catch of the Day is always a culinary delight!

Reservations are always recommended!
I've had reservations about The Pit® ever since the Health Department red-tagged the building as a public health nuisance.

At long last, Qed is happy to share some of his recipes that made dining at The Pit® a Delight!

Baked Tripe

To prepare this Baked Tripe Recipe, first cut tripe into good-sized pieces and spread over them the following stuffing:

Mix together 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons Crisco, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dust powdered mace, 1 tablespoon chopped cooked ham, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, dust paprika, and 1 well beaten egg. Roll them up and fasten with wooden toothpicks.

Dredge with flour and spread on each 1 tablespoon Crisco. Bake in hot oven 30 minutes, basting frequently with melted Crisco and hot water. Garnish with lemon slices and pass melted butter.

Saint Patrick's Spudnuts

Feeding hungry diners at The Pit®, the wizards in the kitchen were very creative at using an abundant crop.  We especially liked their light, fluffy potato doughnuts.  We encouraged the kitchen staff to let us enjoy them by making them often.

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 - 155 degrees)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups salt
4 eggs
3 teaspoons sugar
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Melted lard for deep-fat frying
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook until tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid; cool to 110 - 115 degrees. Discard remaining cooking liquid. Mash potatoes without milk or butter. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in reserved cooking liquid. Add mashed potatoes, milk, oil, sugar, eggs and salt. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; let rise again until doubled, about 20 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3-inch doughnut cutter. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat lard to 375 degrees. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown. For glaze, combine confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla in a bowl. Dip warm doughnuts in glaze. Cool on wire rack.

Yield: 4 dozen.

Velveeta® Fudge

Spray a 9 x 13 inch cake pan with PAM® (imitation cooking spray)

1/2 pound Velveeta®
1/2 pound butter
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
2 lb. box of powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Nuts, if desired

Melt Velveeta® and butter over light heat in a pan (Velveeta® is shapely, but it won't stay together when heat is applied). When completely melted remove from heat, pour in remaining ingredients and mix using a hand mixer. Pour into pan and chill until firm. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Crunchy SPAM® Bites

2 cups sweetened corn cereal (Capn' Crunch® is my personal favorite for this)
20 butter flavored crackers
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 can SPAM® Classic (12 oz.) or SPAM® Oven Roasted Turkey
1 egg, beaten

For Cheese Dip
3 ounces processed cheese
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 425°F. In a work bowl of a food processor, crush cereal and crackers*. Stir in garlic and onion powder. Using a butter knife, slice SPAM® into one-fourth to one-half-inch slices. Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut SPAM® into shapes. Dip SPAM® into cereal mixture, then into beaten egg and again into the cereal mixture to coat. Place SPAM® on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 minute, turning after eight minutes.

Meanwhile, for cheese dip, melt processed cheese in a microwave-safe dish. Stir in dressing and sour cream until smooth. Serve SPAM® bites with cheese dip for dipping.

* If a food processor is not available, place the cereal and crackers in a plastic food storage bag. Seal the bag and use a rolling pin to crush the mixture.

Corn-Stuffed Butterfly Chops

Corn stuffing is a delicious twist in this old convent recipe. These chops are prepared for special meals with scalloped potatoes, coleslaw and pickled beets. The guests always complement the cooking when this tasty dish is prepared.

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablesppon finely chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
4 bone-in pork loin chops (1 1/2 inches thick)
1/4 melted butter
1/4 cup water
8 slices thick canadian bacon (optional, for added zest)

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk; stir into corn mixture. Cut a pocket in each chop almost to the bone. Stuff about 1/4 cup corn mixture into each chop; secure with toothpicks. In a large skillet, cook chops in lard until browned on both sides. Transfer to a greased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking dish, wrapping each chop carefully with two slices of bacon; add water. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into stuffing reads 160 - 170 degrees. Discard toothpicks.

Yield: 4 servings.

Garden Vegetable SPAMWICHES®

1 can SPAM® Oven Roasted Turkey (12 oz.) or SPAM® Classic
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. butter, divided
12 fresh asparagus spears, ends removed and trimmed to a three to four inch spear
12 phyllo dough sheets
1 red bell pepper, cut into 12 strips
1/2 cup honey mustard
1 egg, beaten
sesame seeds
honey mustard for dipping, if desired

Heat oven 350°F. Cut SPAM® into four lengthwise patties. Cut each patty into three lengthwise strips. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté SPAM® in 1 tbsp. butter until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. In a microwave-safe dish, put asparagus spears in about one-half inch of water. Cover and microwave two to three minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1/2 c. butter. On a clean work surface, place one sheet of phyllo dough and brush with melted butter. Lay one piece of SPAM®, one asparagus spear and one red bell pepper strip at one end of phyllo dough. Gently squeeze or spoon about 2 tsp. of honey mustard down the center of each sandwich. Starting at the ingredient end, roll the dough around the SPAM® and vegetables. Repeat with remaining phyllo dough sheets, melted butter, SPAM® and vegetables. Place each bundle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush each SPAM® bundle with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, serve with additional honey mustard for dipping. Great served hot or cold.

Treasure "MAPS" Surprise

1 can SPAM® Oven Roasted Turkey (12 oz.) or SPAM® Classic, grated or cut into julienne strips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
16 to 20 slices crustless white bread *
cooking spray
Powdered sugar and ground cinnamon
honey or maple syrup
food coloring, if desired

In a bowl, combine grated SPAM® and cheese. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and vanilla extract. On a clean work surface, use a rolling pin to flatten each slice of bread. Sprinkle the SPAM® and cheese mixture over the surface of the bread. Roll up the piece of bread and gently press to seal the edges. Dip each of the "MAPS" into the egg mixture, turning gently to coat all sides. Place the "MAPS" into a lightly sprayed skillet or on a griddle. Cook over medium heat, turning gently, until all sides are lightly browned and "MAPS" are warmed through. To serve, lightly dust each with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Serve with honey or your favorite syrup for dipping.

Makes 16 to 20.

* If desired, use a kitchen shears to cut the crusts off regular slices of white bread. For fun, add your favorite food coloring to the egg mixture before dipping your treasure "MAPS".

Turkey SPAM® Lasagna

1 (10-ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 SPAM® Oven Roasted Turkey (12-ounce) can thinly sliced
1 (10-ounce) container reduced fat prepared alfredo sauce
1 cup mushrooms chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 (12-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook lasagna noodles as package directs. In large skillet, over medium high, in oil, sauté onion and garlic 2 minutes. Add alfredo sauce, mushrooms and Italian seasoning; heat until warmed through. In small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Spread 1/3 of sauce mixture on bottom of 9x13-inch pan. Top with 1/3 each noodles, cheese mixture, and meat. Repeat layers, ending with sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley before serving.

Broiled Honeycomb Tripe

To prepare this Broiled Honeycomb Tripe Recipe, first brush over both sides of the tripe with melted butter or bacon fat, then pat on a board on which sifted bread crumbs have been spread, first on one side then on the other; set into a hot well-oiled broiler and cook over a bed of coals or under a gas flame from four to eight minutes. Under the gas flame turn but once. Over the coals turn every thirty seconds. Spread with Maitre d' Hotel butter. If the tripe be fresh, a teaspoonful of lemon juice should be gradually beaten into the butter.

Another Broiled Honeycomb Tripe Recipe

To prepare this Broiled Honeycomb Tripe Recipe, first brush over both sides of the tripe with melted butter or bacon fat, then pat on a board on which sifted bread crumbs have been spread, first on one side then on the other; set into a hot well-oiled broiler and cook over a bed of coals or under a gas flame from four to eight minutes. Under the gas flame turn but once. Over the coals turn every thirty seconds. Spread with Maitre d' Hotel butter. If the tripe be fresh, a teaspoonful of lemon juice should be gradually beaten into the butter.

Yet Another Broiled Honeycomb Tripe Recipe

To prepare this Broiled Honeycomb Tripe Recipe, first brush over both sides of the tripe with melted butter or bacon fat, then pat on a board on which sifted bread crumbs have been spread, first on one side then on the other; set into a hot well-oiled broiler and cook over a bed of coals or under a gas flame from four to eight minutes. Under the gas flame turn but once. Over the coals turn every thirty seconds. Spread with Maitre d' Hotel butter. If the tripe be fresh, a teaspoonful of lemon juice should be gradually beaten into the butter.

Tripe With Potatoes and Parsley

1 1/2 quarts water
2 1/2 pounds honeycomb tripe, cut in strips
2 onions, peeled, sliced
6 potatoes, peeled, sliced
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
seasonings to taste

To prepare this Tripe With Potatoes And Parsley Recipe, first put in a kettle together the water, tripe, onions, butter and seasonings. Cover. Let boil slowly for about 1 1/4 hours. Add the potatoes and the parsley. Cover again and let cook for about 20 minutes. Then serve.

Yam-Pineapple Casserole

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple in syrup
1 SPAM® Classic (12-ounce) can
1 (17-ounce) can yams drained
2 tablespoons pancake syrup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup syrup. Spread pineapple over bottom of lightly-greased, 1-quart baking dish. Cut SPAM® into 4 slices; overlap slices on top of pineapple. Place yams around SPAM®. In small saucepan, heat reserved pineapple syrup, pancake syrup, butter and cloves until butter is melted. Spoon 1/3 sauce over casserole. Bake in 375°F oven 30 minutes, basting with remaining sauce after 10 and 20 minutes

Zesty SPAM® Caesar Salad

1/2 cup prepared Caesar salad dressing
1 SPAM® Classic (12-ounce) can cut into 2-inch strips
1 garlic clove crushed
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
seasoned bread cubes

In large skillet, heat dressing. Stir in SPAM® and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Place lettuce in large bowl. Spoon SPAM® mixture over lettuce; toss gently. Top with Parmesan cheese and bread cubes.

Zippy SPAM® & Pesto Biscuits

1 SPAM® Lite (12-ounce) can luncheon meat chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tomato chopped
1 small onion chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
3 (10-ounce) packages refrigerated flaky biscuits

Preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl, combine SPAM® Lite, cheese, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, and pesto. Place biscuits into greased muffin cups, pressing gently to fit cups. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into each cup. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Tripe With Vegetables

3 pounds honeycomb tripe, cut in pieces
6 carrots, peeled, quartered
6 onions, peeled, quartered
6 tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 quarts water
seasonings to taste

To prepare this Tripe with Vegetables Recipe, wash the tripe until water is clear. Put all ingredients together in a large kettle. Cover. Cook slowly for about two hours. Then serve.

Lyonnaise Tripe

To prepare this Lyonnaise Tripe Recipe, first clean and boil a fresh honeycomb tripe, then cut into strips about two and a half inches long and half an inch wide sufficient to make two cups. Put in a pan in the oven for a few minutes to draw out the water, then drain. Melt a tablespoon of butter, add a teaspoon of finely chopped onion, cook to a delicate brown and add the tripe, a teaspoon of finely minced parsley, a teaspoon of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer five minutes and serve plain or on toast (note: dad always called any meat served on toast "Shit on a Shingle").

Moroccan Tripe

1 kilo honeycomb tripe, prepared by butcher (about 3 whole tripes) cut into strips about 3cm by 8cm, boiled until tender and drained.

Selection of cheap root vegetables (eg, two large carrots, 2 parsnips, 2 turnips, 2 swedes, half a small pumpkin) chopped into bite-size pieces
2 medium onions (Spanish preferably)
chopped 2 large red capsicums (roughly cut up about 4cm square)
2 cans of chick peas, or equivalent dried, soaked and cooked (al-dente)
1 bunch coriander, chopped (roots washed & chopped separately)
half-cup tomato paste
teaspoon cumin seeds
chopped hot red chili (or more to taste)
several cloves of garlic, chopped, to taste
salt and pepper to taste (level teaspoon of cracked pepper recommended)
quart or half-liter good stock (chicken, veal or, best of all, lamb)
olive oil
teaspoon harissa, to taste
half-teaspoon saffron or turmeric (for color)

Heat cous-couserie or large stew-pot on medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly sauté first capsicum, then onion. Add stock (sufficient to half-fill pot). Add coriander roots, cumin, salt & pepper, garlic, saffron/turmeric, chili. Bring to boil (more stock can be added as required). Add tripe and root vegetables in order of hardness (first carrot, then parsnip, swede, turnip & finally pumpkin) and simmer, aiming to finish up all equally "al-dente" when vegetables half-cooked, add chick peas, harissa and enough tomato paste to "half-thicken" stew (it will thicken further of its own accord). When almost done, add coriander leaves and prepare cous-cous.

Soak one packet (or more) cous-cous in about half-liter of hot water (enough water to just cover cous-cous before absorption) with salt and a little oil added for about 20 minutes (must end up damp but dry).

With fork, rake damp cous-cous onto serving platter (sultanas, flaked almond, saffron and other embellishments can be added to taste). Drizzle olive oil onto cous-cousserve in three elements: pot of tripe/vegetable stew; platter of cous-cous; small bowl of harissa.

Curried Pocket Sandwiches

1 SPAM® Classic (12-ounce) can cubed
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chutney
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 pita bread rounds cut in half
Toppings: chopped peanuts toasted coconut alfalfa sprouts

In bowl, combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Spoon mixture into pita bread halves. Serve with desired toppings.

Mondongo Elegante

1 lb tripe, thoroughly washed
2 pigs' trotters, thoroughly washed
1 qt water
1 large onion
1 bay leaf
1 sprig parsley
2 cloves garlic
8 peppercorns

2 tbsp olive oil
4 ozs clarified seminal fluid
8 ozs fresh tomato puree
1/4 lb uncooked ham
1 glass white wine
1 tab capers
3 ozs pimento-stuffed olives

Place the tripe, pig's feet, water, onion, bay leaf, parsley and garlic, peppercorns and salt in a heavy pan and simmer until tender. Cool and reserve broth. Remove the meat from the trotters and chop coarsely with the tripe. Set aside. Wilt the onions in oil and seminal fluid and add the tomato sauce and cook for 5 mins. Add 2 cups broth, ham, tripe, trotter meat and wine. Adjust seasoning and simmer a few minutes longer. Add capers and olives before serving.

Tripe Stew With Dumplings

3 lbs tripe
1 bottle dry white wine
2 carrots
2 green peppers
1 large onion
3 sticks celery
1 teas peppercorns
1 teas salt
3 cups strong chicken stock
4 1/2 tbsp corn flour
3 cups prepared biscuit (dumpling) dough

Rinse the tripe and cut into 7cm squares. Marinade for 24 hours in a glass or enamel vessel. With the wine, pepper and salt and the vegetables prepared and cut into slivers. Pour into a large casserole, cover and bake in an oven preheated to 250 for 2˝ hours.

Meanwhile, mix the corn flour into some of the cold stock. Heat the remainder and thicken with the corn flour. Add to the casserole and continue cooking a further 2 hours. Increase the oven heat to hot (400 deg F). Make the dough into about 12 balls and place on top of the tripe in a single layer. Cover and cook for 10 mins. Uncover and allow the dumplings to brown a little. Turn carefully to allow them to brown on the other side.

Dry Tripe Curry

1 lb (454 grams)tripe well washed and cut into fingers (lamb tripe for Hindus)
1 tsp. Ghee
1 sliced onion
2 fresh chilies seeded and sliced
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp. Curry paste
1 tab freshly scraped coconut
salt and lemon juice to taste

Simmer the tripe until tender. Drain. Sauté the onion, chilies and ginger. Add the curry paste then coconut. Mix well and add tripe. Cook gently until gravy is absorbed. If necessary add more coconut to achieve the right degree of dryness. Add salt and lemon juice to season.

Tripes a la mode de Caen

6 lbs. tripe, cut into 2-inch squares
1 calf's foot, boned and cut into pieces
2 lbs. marrow bone
1 cup apple brandy
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups beef broth
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
10 shallots minced
1/2 cup celery leaves
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300°

1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
2. Place in a marmite, deep casserole or Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Then wrap the casserole completely in foil.
3. Cook for 12 hours. Remove bones before serving.

This recipe serves 12-14 people.

Injera and Doro Wat

From the Ethiopian Highlands - Amhara People

Injera (must be prepared 2 to 3 days ahead of use)
1 1/2 lbs. teff (grain found at health food stores)
1 qt. of water

Doro Wat
2-3 lbs. cut-up frying chicken, marinated in juice of one lime
1/2 cup clarified spiced butter (see below)
3 lbs. red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of dry red wine
1/2 cup of berbere sauce (see below)
9 oz. tomato paste (optional)
1/2 cup or more of water
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
4 hard-boiled eggs
Fresh ground black pepper


Mix the teff and water and let stand at room temperature in a covered glass or ceramic bowl for three days. When the mixture bubbles, it should smell a bit sour, and have the consistency of pancake batter. Mix in about 1 tsp. of salt. This should stop the fermentation. You must immediately cook the teff. Oil the bottom of a large, heavy-bottom frying pan (cast-iron is best). Heat the pan at a medium-high temperature, when a few drops of water sizzle away quickly, it is hot enough to begin. Then pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan. Cook until holes form on the face of the injera and the edges lift from the pan. Do not turn over. Remove and let cool.

Prepare the Doro Wat
Before you begin cooking, marinate the chicken for about an hour in the juice of one lime. Poke the chicken to ensure that the liquid will be absorbed. After the chicken has marinated, place 2 tbsps. of spiced butter in a heavy- bottomed pan at medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook until tender. The onions should be translucent, but not brown. Add the remaining butter, Berbere sauce, wine, garlic, ginger, and cayenne.

Blend this mixture well and bring to low simmer. Slowly add the raw marinated chicken pieces and the water. If you prefer a red tomato-flavored sauce, add the tomato paste now. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes. You may need to add additional water to avoid scorching. To ensure chicken has cooked thoroughly, cut into the breast. If it appears pink, cook until it is completely white. Finally, just a few minutes before serving, add the cooked eggs but make sure you allow enough time for them to warm through. Add ground black pepper to taste.

Spiced Butter
To make spiced butter you will need to clarify 1 lb. of butter with the following spices: 2 tsps. ginger, 3/4 tsp. tumeric, a pinch of cardamon seed, a pinch of nutmeg 1 clove, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 1 tbsp. dried onion, 2 tsps. garlic powder.

Berbere Sauce
This sauce should be available in most gourmet stores. It is a piquant combination of wine, cumin, clove, cardamon, tumeric, allspice, fenigreek, ginger, chili and garlic.

Tripe Soup

2 pounds honeycomb tripe
8 lamb's feet
garlic to taste
coarse salt
3 eggs
2 lemons (juice only)
pepper to taste
olive oil

Clean, scrape, and wash the tripe and feet. Scald in boiling water; cool. Cut the tripe into small pieces, place in a large pot with the feet, cover with plenty of water; bring to a boil, skimming off the froth as it rises. Lower the heat. Add the garlic, and cook at a slow boil for 1 to 2 hrs., adding a little coarse salt just before the meat is tender. Remove the pot from the heat; strain the broth and reserve. Remove and discard the bones from the feet; cut the meat into 3 or 4 pcs.; return to the broth.

Prepare the avgolemono as follows: Beat the eggs very well. Slowly add the lemon juice to them, beating all the while. Add a little hot broth from the pot, stirring constantly, then pour the mixture back into the soup. Add pepper just before serving.

NOTE: This soup, very light in color, can be served not only hot but cold. For the latter, let it jell, then cut into squares or diamonds for serving. When it is served hot, some people prefer it mixed with oil and vinegar, instead in avgolemono.

Meatballs with Orlando Cream Sauce

The Sisters in the kitchen get raves when they serve these satisfying meatballs with mashed potatoes. The savory cream sauce gives a tasty new twist to meatballs and always makes a memorable meal.

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds regular ground beef (30% fat)
1/2 pound ground pork sausage
1/4 pound ground chorizo
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cream Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can (14 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1 1/3 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

In a bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Add beef, sausage and chorizo and mix well. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in flour, shaking off excess. Place 1 inch apart on greased 15-inch x 10-inch baking pans. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn meatballs; bake 12 - 15 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink. Meanwhile, for sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add soup and cream; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Transfer meatballs and cooking juices to a serving dish. Top with sauce; sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 6 servings.

Enjoy the richness of this meal, especially with mashed potatoes and a glass of a hearty burgundy.

Maple-Mustard Stuffed Cornish Game Hen

We receive many gifts of food in our kitchens and, in particular, I would like to share with you a recipe which we utilize upon receiving freshly harvested cornish game hens from the surrounding fields. In times of shortage, pigeons will suffice.

2 Cornish game hens
3/4 pound cat sick (may substitute ground country sausage)
1 cup grade-A medium amber maple syrup
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
8 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons thyme (dried and crumbled)
2 teaspoons sage
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, Dijon mustard, thyme and sage into a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until butter melts. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Wash and pat dry hens. Stuff cavity of hens with cat sick or ground sausage (half of each is also tasty). Tie hen legs. Place hens in a nonmetal dish. Pour most of the maple syrup-mustard glaze over the hens, reserving remaining amount for serving. Cover marinating hens and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place hens in baking pan and brush them with glaze from marinade dish. Pour remaining glaze into bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top of hens. Roast uncovered for about 60 minutes, brushing hens every 20 minutes with glaze from bottom of dish. Bake until juices from the hens runs clear.

Serves 2. Suggested side dishes are potato salad, cranberry-walnut compote and Champagne.

Orleone's Pigs in a Blanket

This is a good dish for the middle of the week doldrums as it lifts the spirits and tastes mighty good, too.

1 package (1/4) ounce active dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2/3 cup warm whole milk (not skim - 110 to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons lard, melted
2 teaspoons salt
3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
10 pork hot dogs
5 slices process American cheese

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in milk and water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, lard, salt, remaining sugar and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Cut a 1/4-inch deep lengthwise slit in each hot dog. Cut cheese into two strips each; place one strip in the slit of each hot dog. Punch dough down; divide into 10 portions, Roll each into a 5-inch x 2 1/2 inch rectangle and wrap around prepared hot dogs; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets; let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 5 servings (2 each)

Sister Lynette's Special Fried Corn

8 ears tender corn
3/4 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup lard
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Cut corn close to outer edge, then scrape the ear to remove all the milk. Add corn to bacon drippings and lard which has been heated in a heavy skillet. Add milk, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir often as corn burns easily. Cook approximately 20-30 minutes, adding butter during the last few minutes of cooking.

Yield: 4 servings

Qed has oft been criticized for not eating enough vegetables - so we include this tasty, but simple and delicious dish to prove otherwise. We are reminded of Sister Lynette's comment "Corn is God's greatest gift to mankind." Sister Lynette died of cardio-vascular disease in 1987, but we recall her love in spirit every time we enjoy this recipe.

Sister Lynette's Cheese Loaf

4 cups medium sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated 60 day aged swiss cheese
1 cup thick cream
1 1/2 cups whole mayonnaise
Red pepper to taste
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Strawberry preserves

Grate and cream the cheeses. Add cream, mayonnaise, pepper, and mix well. Add chopped pecans. Mold with hands into desired shape and refrigerate. When ready to serve pour strawberry preserves over the cheese loaf.

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Another of Sister Lynette's culinary delights, for which she is sorely missed. She was the wizard of the kitchen and this recipe eminates from her youth in Macon, Georgia, where her earthly remains rest today. This recipe may be used as a side dish along with potted meats, or as a zesty dessert on the hottest of summer days.

Sister Lynette's Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 cups plain white corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup lard

Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. Cut tomatoes in 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip each slice in corn meal and lay aside on waxed paper. Heat bacon drippings and lard. Fry tomato slices until golden brown. Serve hot.

Some people prefer *green* tomatoes, others prefer slightly pink tomatoes.

Yield: 4 servings

Selma's Venison Tenderloin Sandwiches

2 large onions, sliced
2 cans (4 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained (do not use fresh)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup lard - softened
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
8 venison tenderloin steaks (4 ounces each), about 3/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 hard rolls, split

In a skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms in butter, lard and Worcester shire sauce until onions are tender. Flatten steaks to 1/2 inch thick; add to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until meat is done as desired, about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and salt. Place two steaks on each roll; top with onions and mushrooms.

Yield: 4 servings.

Since The Pit® is in a rural area, the cooks in the kitchen are fortunate to receive an ample supply of fresh venison from local hunters and, of course, the results of the many road-kills in the local area. We suggest a hearty domestic champagne to accompany these delicious sandwiches which are light on the palate. A hearty pot of beans also goes well with these scrumptious little delectables.

Add more sodium nitrate to your diet and it'll fix you right up. Them farts'll be burnin' blue as your love!

Bon Appétit!

Regarding the above recipes and their nutritional value: What court would convict me?

It wasn't me that prepared these tasty treats. It wasn't me that loaded 'em up on a fork. It wasn't me that shoveled them down the squeal hole of unsuspecting gluttons. It wasn't me that masticated them. It wasn't me that choked 'em down with a swig of beer. And, finally, it wasn't me that larded down all the fat, cholesterol, sodium and preservatives and added 'em to an ever expanding gut.

At the end of the day YOU turn it to poo, so who's to know what YOU ate.

Thanks for the shame.

Kraft has to call Velveeta® a "cheese product" and Hormel has to call Spam® a "meat product" .. so what are we to call the fat American butt? Maybe the "product" is corporate food production waste by-product ingenuity to exploit that innate human need to consume "nutrition" for survival of the fittest?

This has been a public service helping Pudgy Americans to Vegetarianism

It's all good!