Patti Barnett Terrell: My Family’s Christmas Meatloaf

Christmas makes me think of meatloaf.  Okay, so my family is weird. But my Aunt Edna could make the best meatloaf ever and she made at least 10 lbs worth every Christmas.

You see, my maternal grandmother outlived 4 husbands–so my mom has 6 biological brothers and sisters and more “halves and steps” than I can count. When I was young and holiday time rolled around there were a lot of people who gathered to celebrate.  There was never a shortage good tidings or food or other kids to play with.  There was usually a little family drama thrown in to boot.  It was fun and loud and boisterous and we loved it.  We got to see cousins we had not seen since the prior Christmas and we ate and played and laughed until our tummies hurt.

Along with the meatloaf, we had traditional Christmas food like turkey and dressing (that’s what you folks up north call stuffing; only we don’t stuff our birds).  Mammaw always cooked a huge skillet of corn, either Mom or Aunt Jessie made the dressing, and everyone chipped in with desserts and vegetables.  My sister and I love raw dressing.  Don’t even start on me about not eating raw eggs because I eat a few bites of raw dressing every Thanksgiving and Christmas to this very day.   In fact we love it so much that no matter who made the dressing, they always kept us some in the refrigerator.  We thought we had them trained; looking back, I think it was just love.

Mom also made her famous “nanner puddin’ ‘out no nanners” which translated in English means “banana pudding without any bananas”.  My sister, Karen, gave it the “family name” years ago and it stuck.

Sadly, my Aunt Edna passed away in 1977 at the young age of 47.  I was in college at the time and I can still remember the anguish I felt when Mom called to tell me. She was the one Aunt that always lived close to us and was really my second Mom. I was her favorite until my snotty nosed little cousin, Genny Ann, came along, but that’s another story. (I love you Gen!).  She died in September and I clearly remember the first Christmas without her.  We gathered at Aunt Jessie’s that year.  When I walked in the kitchen Aunt Jessie hugged me and called me over to the corner to show me something.  With tears in her eyes, she slowly lifted the cover of a huge pan.  It was meatloaf…Aunt Edna’s recipe.

Christmas is quiet now. Our family is not so large and my mom only has one brother left.  We see him and his family often but not usually at Christmas. Our holiday celebrations are small and generally don’t involve a lot of cooking.  But if you ask me my favorite Christmas food — I still pick meatloaf.

Patti Barnett Terrell

Patti Barnett Terrell has conservative roots that grow deep in the heart of East Texas. In 1977 she earned a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patti is retired from her position as the civilian director of a large Army Information Technology organization. Patti and her husband, Larry, had the honor of working for former Governor Mike Huckabee in his reelection campaigns by photographing fundraisers. They were also honored to meet the late, great actor and political activist Charlton Heston when he was campaigning for the Governor. For a recent birthday, Larry gave Patti a dinner with Lt. Col. Allen West. The ensuing PolitiChicks article she wrote was picked up by Lt. Col. West's web site as well as several other conservative sites and viewed by thousands. Patti is active in her local area by working elections and attending meet and greet political events. She is a huge advocate of the 2nd amendment, is rarely unarmed, and has strong opinions re gun control laws. Patti and Larry live in Texarkana, TX. They both believe in traveling as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can, but Texas will always be home.

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