Lunch Meats of Our Youth

(K. Laurence) #21

When I was a kid (70’s-80’s) I remember a John Morrell garlic bologna (8-10 slices) in a red package that Mom would always buy to make sandwiches when we had to work the fields. I haven’t see it in forever. The other thing I miss is salami or bacon cheese. It was cheddar cheese with bits of salami or bacon through the brick of cheese. A slice of this went really well the garlic bologna on white bread. Drat-now I’m hungry.


I don’t remember the cheese but I have the thick sliced garlic bologna in my refrigerator at this moment.


I’m intrigued by what turning on the lights means. I must say I don’t understand.


I’m just curious! What fields? When?


I’m probably not the best to explain, but this might help.

Electricity on Shabbat

Basically, my first gen Carribean American mom got paid to turn things off and on , in Brooklyn, as a child.

Not claiming to understand, but it was a big part of NYC culture for my mom, and so for me.

Outer boroughs!

“To understand America, Brooklyn is a very good place to begin”

I remember my mom teaching at Erasmus.

“In Brooklyn in the 1950s, people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds thought of themselves as quite different, though all felt thoroughly and completely American. The public schools instilled patriotism and a common national identity. If the older generation of that era were alive today they would marvel at the fact that the Irish, the Italians, the Eastern European Jews, the Germans, the Scandinavians and others are now described in the U.S. Census as simply “white.” They have been busy marrying one another and blurring the lines of division. And now Brooklyn is home to a new wave of immigrants from the Caribbean, Latin America, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, China and Korea. The American story is never finished.”

(j) #26

strong textI have eaten pickle loaf and olive loaf in recent times .Purchased at supermarket deli .

(Jimmy ) #27

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a newlywed, I discovered Old Fashioned Loaf. I went on a sandwich tear with that for a time. I haven’t had the desire to return to it in decades.


Kudos to your mom!
The persons who helps observant Jewish people is referred to in Yiddish as a “Shabbos Goy”
Before the automation we enjoy today, things like lights, stoves, candles, could not be “turned on” during the sabbath.
Today even refrigerators have a “Sabbath Mode”, elevators are programed to stop at each floor so you do not have to press the buttons and of course most of your oven/stove has start and stop timers.
I am sure your mom got to know many in her community providing such a service, she sounds like a real mensch!


Thanks. I was a suburban baby boomer and that’s totally outside my experiences as a tot.
I love watching the texture these threads acquire with folks’ memories mixed in.

(kim) #30

I grew up in Philadelphia and the only one of these I know of is olive loaf. Can’t say I’ve ever experienced it, but I know it’s available because a few years ago a pregnant co-worker craved a bagel sandwich with olive loaf for a few weeks straight.

Parents, uncles and cousins did enjoy a good liverwurst on rye . . . with onions and spicy mustard. Always a Guinness to wash it down. But it didn’t come in a tube; it was sliced (thick) at the deli.

As a kid, I was a genoa salami or lebanon bologna kid. Rye bread was optimal, but a kaiser roll would do in a pinch. Yellow mustard. Crush the Herrs or Wise potato chips onto it at the last minute.

Parents were lunchmeat snobs . . . it had to be fresh sliced at the deli, never packaged :laughing: I continue that tradition and admit that, as an adult, I still indulge in those sandwiches a few times a year.


Oops! Re-read the OP, and see what “lunch meat” is.
I sort of remember ham salad, but probably home made, and I try to make it every time I’m follish enough to buy a ham for one person (ham is not on husband’s short list ).


My father would never look at Spam…yes the stuff everyone loves to hate…Why because he loved a ham & swiss on rye with mustard, but because his outfit in WW2 was pined down for a few days, and all they had was Spam, he said it was cold and damp during those days, and therefore swore it off for the rest of his life!

(K. Laurence) #33

I am very envious of you right now. After I did my orginal post I called my mom in TX visiting relatives and she going to the grocery store in San Antonio to try and find to ship to me in the Bay Area. I’m having a huge craving for garlic bologna on white bread.


Whatever you remember is wonderful. As I said, I grew up in a Beaver Cleaver life so I love these stories.
In looking back at life, I’ve come to realize several in my family were butchers and grocers, and the lady I married indeed had
Butcher ancestors who came from Brooklyn to Des Moines and then switched to being clothiers when they arrived in Omaha.
I suppose it must be in my blood.

(K. Laurence) #35

I grew up on a ranch with a small dairy (grade A milking Holsteins) in South Dakota. In order to feed all the livestock in the winter Daddy had to bale lots of hay. We could get at least 2 “cuttings” of hay per alfalfa field, sometimes it was 3 cuttings if the weather cooperated. As the youngest daughter I was the one transporting all of those big round hay bales back to the farmstead with the tractor and a hay loader. This was a VERY slow job, 1 field could take 3 days so no stopping for lunch. I could hold a sandwich and still drive the tractor. By the way I started this “job” at 13.

(Jimmy ) #36

Your family dynamic is inspiring. Thank you for posting.


Dorothy Parker’s quote applies here: “Eternity is a ham and two people.” (Or in your case, one person…)


For sure . I am envious …what kind of sandwich were you holding…

(Miss_belle) #39

Lunch meats of my youth?

Capicola, salami, roast beef, olive loaf and pickle and pimento loaf. Always from the deli. The last two have gone downhill in the last ten years or so, so I don’t buy any more.

My favorite sandwiches were canned corned beef mixed with mayo. Tried CCB several years ago and it was absolute c**p. Second was bologna salad (ground by hand with one of those grinders you used to clip to the counter.) with mayo, s & p and finely chopped hot peppers on a Kaiser roll. Yum.

Also, when I was a teenager my mother said that some people at the deli counter ordered their meat “shaved” because they thought they were getting more meat for their money. She always had hers medium sliced. Later on in life I could see her point but it’s really just a matter of personal preference.:blush:

(K. Laurence) #40

It would depend on hot it was, over 80F (26C) Mom would refuse to turn on the oven and it was store bought white bread, spread with homemade butter, a slice of garlic or beef bologna and slice of Swiss with Grandpa’s horseradish mustard. If Mom could bake, homemade bread spread with applebutter, a slice of ham and cheddar. Either kind was packed in a small cooler with a bottle of really cold buttermilk from the previous day butter making.