Dec 13, 2006

On Fried Bologna and Nostalgic Moments

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(Toledo, OH) While rummaging through my refrigerator today in search of something to eat for lunch, the idea came upon me to fry some slices of bologna.

I learned the art of baloney-frying from my sister, who perfected her technique in the summer of 1974 (I think). Our mom, in her infinite wisdom, taught us to feed oursleves for breakfast and lunch, and I walked in the house one afternoon to smell the delicious aroma of singed lunchmeat wafting through the air.

I was instantly hooked. I had never imagined that bologna could be eaten in a manner other than cold, slapped between two slices of Wonder bread with a heavy slathering of mustard.

The way I'd always made it.

My sister fried the meat, then put it on toatsed bread with a light basting of mayonnaise. I had never tasted anything so good.

She also knew that you have to be ready wih a fork to pop the "baloney bubble" that rose; the high fat and water content of balogna causes the circumference to shrink as it is heated, driving the center upward.

In the photo you can see that I forgot this advice, and had to create PacMan-like shapes by slicing through the unattended bubble.

It has been years since I last made myself a fried bologna sandwich, but I ate one today and thought about the summer of 1974, when my pesky little sister - for a few minutes, at least - suddenly became a genius.

Ah, heck - she is still a genius, and she can run mental circles around me. It just took me a few more years to realize her brilliance.

My dogs are hovering nearby, hoping for a share in the culinary delight that is fried bologna, but I am savoring every bite. Sorry, canine friends.

13 comments:

John Spalding said...

mmm...after the bologna is done melt your favorite individually wrapped piece of cheese on top for about 30 seconds!

Mark said...

Weird Al's "My Bologna" comes to mind...:)

Thanks for the kudos on the interview, Mike. If only I could find it on the Collegian website! I'm in Illinois and cannot find a paper copy.

Anonymous said...

When money was tight, my mom would feed all 10 of us on fried bologna "cupcakes." After the bologna cup has formed from frying, put a spoonful of warm pork and beans in the center. Actually, quite tasty.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

Mayonnaise?

Yuk!

I've always had them with ketchup, but wouldn't dream of one now without mustard.

Before doing that though, I would rather fry up a mess of onions and slice in similarly cut and slit pieces of ring baloney.

Fried crispy on the outside with the onions starting to take on a little black, it is a pan full of joy!

Anonymous said...

"A pan full of joy!" -- I love it.

Lisa Renee said...

I prefer mine with ketchup too, and we still eat them here or baked beans with cut up pieces of hot dogs in them or as anonymous described the "cupcake" version of using fried bologna instead of hotdogs.

:-)

microdot said...

sorry about the multiple post yesterday, blogger was acting very strangely!
Fried Bologna was my first culinary speciality. I was 9, and in a dysfunctional family...sometimes lunch was where you found it. I have two sisters who only now are learning to cook, God save their poor families, so it was a matter of survival. I still get the traditional long distance panicked phone call on Thanksgiving to explain one more time (this has been going on for 35 years) how to make gravy!
I thought I was quite the chef, frying bologna pre smeared with mustard...the speciality of the house!

Mel said...

And for my next dish... SCRAPPLE!

*shiver* This post just vividly reminded me of after-schools at Granny's.

Wendy Hoke said...

Amazing how my mom could make this sound like a delicacy when in fact it was a "poor man's meal." Thanks for the memory. I, too, preferred mine on toasted white bread with just a tinge of mayo.

Do said...

Yummmmmmmm - fried bologna! I like it on toast with mayo and a slice of cheese. Sometimes a nice slice of tomato in the middle works well, too!

If you want a great treat for watching a movie, try microwaving hard salami slices on a paper towel. They get nice and crispy and taste wonderful!

And, Lisa, the beans and hotdogs are called Beanie Weenie in my house. And poor man's meal or not, it is always a hit.

Maggie Thurber said...

My mom didn't like the use of the stove when we were home alone, but was okay with the oven. So we made gooey balogna...mayo on one piece of bread with cheese on top, mustard on the other piece with balogna on top...under the broiler until the balogna curved up and the cheese bubbled...slapped together and eaten...

Thanks for the wonderful memories of childhood - when even the simplest of things was the whole world.

Celia said...
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Celia said...
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