Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Children of the Corn

I’m going to let my Stephen Kingeekiness out for a little airing.

Children of the Corn was one of my favorite stories as a kid.  It was in a collection of short stories by Stephen King called Night Shift.   The basic plot premise is a couple traveling across country from California and come across a town in rural Nebraska.  The town appears abandoned but they find that the children of the town have killed off all the adults out of misguided religious fervor.  A great story.   It was also made into a fairly decent movie; though I can’t say I recommend the sequels. 

As I kid, I was also a child of the corn but a little less violently so.  The summer of my 14th year I spent the summer with my father who lived in the midst of farm country.  So that I wouldn't spend all my time watching MTV and or generally just goofing off he arranged for me to have a part time job.  I can't say that it sucked to have a few bucks in my pockets.   I worked on a farm that raised hybrid corn.  My  job was deflowering corn stalks.  Seriously.   So what I did, with crews of other kids around my age, was to go row by row pulling the tassels from the corn stalks so that they wouldn’t cross pollinate.  That's it, that was my job.  That doesn't sound very violent does it?  

And yet there was some violence.  But probably not like what you might imagine.  You see, there was this boy I liked.  He was very cute with blue eyes and blond hair and a nice tushy.  I was a dorky teeny bopper girl who didn’t quite know how to act around members of the opposite sex or even how to express my interest appropriately.  So, one day after our lunch break I did something to him that I obviously hadn’t thought through or even thought about at all.    All I wanted to do was get his attention and I promise you that I did just that . . . quite effectively, in fact.  I grabbed a downed cornstalk and walked right up to him and whapped him right across the back with it.  Holy crow, I thought he was going to kick my ass!  In that one impulsive moment, I successfully ruined any chance of a summer romance with the blond haired blue eyed boy.  Cei la vie.

That was also the summer that I discovered my father’s stash of hardcore S&M porn. . . I didn't know that grown men liked to get punted in the hoo-hoos by leather clad chicks in steel toed stilettos.  Who knew . . .  needless to say I was traumatized.   But that’s a whole other story.

Anyhoo . . . one of my favorite lunches during that summer of corny violence was Lebanon bologna sammiches.  If you’re not familiar with Lebanon bologna, it's really quite different from any other lunch meat.  It's not like a traditional bologna and kind of like salami in consistency.  It doesn't taste like anything else I have ever had. 

Lebanon bologna is a European style cured and fermented sausage with a unique blend of spices.   It has a tangy, smoky flavor and a dark, rich color.  It is regional to Pennsylvania Dutch areas and named for the Lebanon Valley region.   It's hard to find outside of Pennsylvania.  When I find it in Connecticut I count myself lucky.  And when I see it in the deli I grab some.  It's good stuff.


Back then when I was packing my lunch it took nice squishy white bread and squirted a bit of yellow mustard and smeared on a bit of Miracle Whip.  I topped that with American cheese and Lebanon bologna and there it was . . . an awesome sammich.

These days my tastes have matured.  But I still love Lebanon bologna.  Though when I make sandwich with it now I use a hearty 12 grain bread, a spicy brown mustard, Swiss cheese and of course Lebanon bologna.  My childhood lunchtime favorite al growed up! 

Another yummy way to use Lebanon bologna is to spread it with cream cheese and roll it up.  You can add it to an antipasto platter or a salad or as a snack all on its own. 



  1. I'll admit I'm a lurker....but I had to say out loud that you are the first person I've "met" that loves Lebanon bologna as much as I do.....

    It's really hard to find sometimes, but when I do find it I buy pounds of it, LOL.....

  2. P.S. Sorry, I forgot to tell you it also is available in Chicago, parts of Colorado and in Nevada....so far...