It’s 8 o’clock in the morning, and I’m craving a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread…mmmmm… What is wrong with me?!? Everyone knows it’s not really good for you…especially those with high cholesterol levels, who will remain nameless. Don’t even tell me what it’s actually made out of because I don’t want to know.
When I was a little girl, bologna (I’ve always been baffled as to why is it pronounced with an “e” at the end when it’s spelled with an “a.”) and cheese was my lunchtime mainstay. I’d open my little red lunch box, which resembled a miniature barn because I was crazy about horses, to find my perfectly wrapped bologna and cheese sandwich lovingly made by my Mom with a small bag of potato chips and a peanut butter Tastykake for dessert. Life doesn’t get any better than that! This went on for most of grade school, although my Mom would try to get me to eat other things. Peanut butter and jelly got too soggy, and I was a picky kid so nothing else would do. If it wasn’t bologna and cheese, I just wouldn’t eat it. “You’re going to start looking like a bologna,” Mom would say. Then I’d spend a good amount of time trying to picture in my mind how that would change how I looked. I was a gullible kid. She also told me I had to eat the crusts of the bread because it would make my hair curly. I once had a fight with a classmate in second grade because she told me that wasn’t true. How dare her challenge what my Mom said. And why was curly hair so important anyway? This, however, didn’t stop me from my addiction. On weekends when I wasn’t in school she would fry it up in a pan and melt the cheese, (I’m drooling right now), put it between two pieces of Wonder bread (don’t you wonder how I’m still alive) with a squeeze or two of Heinz ketchup, and I was in heaven.
Growing up, Loeffler’s bologna, made in Trenton, was the only kind my Mom would buy. There was nothing like it. The others were all “junk” in her words. (As opposed to the junk they put in the other bologna?!) Recently, however, I’ve discover Thumann’s bologna since Loeffler’s isn’t readily available where I live. It’s almost as good, sliced very thinly, and a plus is that it is skinless, whereas Loeffler’s has the thick skin you have to peel off. Didn’t know I was such a bologna connoisseur, did you? I know this is more than you ever wanted or needed to know about bologna.
Well, its lunchtime somewhere in the world, so excuse me while I fry up some bologna with lots of American cheese in a large dollop of butter, put it on a slab of white bread and devour it as my blood thickens. Hopefully, it won’t come to a screeching halt. But if I do keel over, at least I’ll have a smile on my face…and a touch of ketchup on the corner of my mouth.