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May 17, 2006

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Meg

"Spanklish" sounds so... racy.

euphrosynely

Hahahaha that last sentence cracked me up so much. I would have romanized 'cheers' into gunbae, and 'the best' into chwae-go-da, none of that Y business :)

But I find myself relating a lot to your childhood: I spoke Korean and Japanese at home, then when I went to Dutch school, I was the only Asian kid, and soon had to pick up a whole different language at the age of 4. The good thing was that I understood only to speak Asian languages in the house, and once out the door, it was Dutch.

What you have with bologna, I have that with prosciutto.

Leora

You're like the David Sedaris of the parenting blogosphere, MD. I loved this story!

Billy Bob

I had a similar situation when I was growing up. I was born in Kentucky but moved to California when I was 10. Nobody understood a thing that came out of my mouth.

dutch from sweet juniper

if you ever want to try something that will blow your minds, I've got a few kilos of olive loaf in the trunk of my car. just let me know.

Liberal Banana

I love bologna as well, and I assure myself that nothing as horrid as I'm imagining could really be in there because THIS IS AMERICA. We wouldn't allow hooves and intestines and brains to all be mushed together into a delicious treat, would we? WOULD WE??? Ohmygod, what the hell is it made of?!? Nevermind, I don't want to know.

Melissa

My mom was so against bologny. I didn't have it until first grade either, when some kid whose mom was cooler than mine gave her child and me a bologny sandwich to share on a play-date. I thinks it's funny that you would chose your friends on what they had in their fridge. Do you still do that??

Mega Mom

I just bypassed some bologna in the store today...haven't had it in years, but now I'm dying to give my kids (translation: gleefully eat myself) fried on white bread. Have you ever tried that crap? Just put it in a pan with some butta and watch it sizzle. Then stick it on some crappy bread. YUM!

Xdm

My mother was a nurse and nutritionist. A "fun" cereal in our house was shredded wheat because you could play with it. "Look kids! Twist it! Shred it! Or eat it in loaf form! It's shredded wheat!" All before the milk, of course. When I got to college and saw the cereal trough of Captain Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs and that stuff with the fruit marshmallows pimped by the leprechaun with the fake Irish accent, man, I grabbed one of those huge Jethro Bodean bowls and started pumping that handle....

Mama Nabi

Hm, I wonder if your mother and my mother were separated at birth?? I thought I had the only health-freak Korean mom! Too cute, Spanklish.

Amy

You know how your "bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R? Is there actually anyone else that makes bologna? Is there a second best bologna, or does Oscar have the patent?

Amanda

I loved this entry - it was very Sedaris-ish, but, you know, more Korean.

My mom was the same way - right down to the Bic Macs being okay. (Except I knew that other drinks existed since she herself had a major Tab addiction going on). And I do also remember hanging out with friends who I really didn't get along with all that well but who had awesome junk food. I would LOVE to give Alex some balogna, but my husband would FREAK OUT. Turns out maybe I married a mother figure.

Alison

my childhood was filled with fried bologna sandwiches courtesy of grandpa. he was the bomb and so were those sandwiches!

weigooksaram

Spanklish? Ha! Hilarious.

I think I actually understood that last sentence. Scary. That's what comes of flipping between Telemundo and Korean Dramas.

Jan

My 8 year old cousin-in-law has Vietnamese parents and a Cambodian nanny. The poor kid didn't speak until age 5 and then no one knew what the hell he was saying becasue he had created his own language....

Tisha

Ahhh! Just the thought of balogna brings back fond childhood memories for me. My mom was a health nut, too (Insisted on fresh, chunky pb and apricot jam on whole wheat bread that tasted like cardboard. My sandwich had absolutely no trade value. ;(). My dad was the one who introduced me to the illicit joy of a fried balogna sandwich with Ruffles potato chips. During the summer, while mom was at work and we were on summer vacation, he'd buy a big bag of Ruffles chips, some white bread, and a package of balogna, and fry up the entire package (couldn't have a package of balogna sitting around in the fridge as evidence). We'd all grab our favorite book/magazine (I had to share my dad with my older brother. ;() and snarf down the sandwiches and chips while reading at the table (another thing my mom absolutely forbade). We'd also help my dad hide the evidence of all things unhealthy. :) There was one time when mom came home and sniffed liked she smelled something suspicious, so we were careful to make sure the fans were all blowing during future fried balogna sessions. Such good memories!

I don't let my DD have processed meats yet, but I'm not totally against them ( I loooove Spam!!!). I just want to hold off on them for a little while to see if I can instill some healthy eating habits in her first. I figure that she's going to get into junk food soon enough, why start her now?

Deanna

My Ojichan had us eating Spam sandwiches at his house when he watched us during my childhood summers. I think he got hooked on them in camp. We LOVED the stuff and couldn't understand what the big deal was about it!

My father loves bologna... and it is one of the few meats that the Munchkin will eat, though she has gotten better as she's gotten older (and acquired a few more molars).

landismom

I have nothing witty to say. I just wanted you to know that I laughed out loud several times while reading this.

enygma

I think I had the same awakening at my school lunch table when I noticed all the other kids eating their turkey sandwiches with chips! and drinking soda! while I ate my pbj, ate fruit, and drank milk. It was kind of sad. Actually, after eating pbj for two straight years in jr. high I really can't stand the stuff anymore.

Samantha

Holy crap that was funny.

My grandma introduced me to fried bologna sandwiches with pickles. My mouth just started watering when I wrote that. Sadly, I don't get bologna that much anymore--we're trying to eat healthy but I think I may have a clandestine sandwich while the hubby is away. . . .

Brent

For me and my brother, the forbidden fruit was Fanta. We tried it at a friend's house once and we were immediately hooked. We begged our mom to buy some for us but she always denied our requests. It got to the pathetic point where the two of us would actually spend our hard-earned allowance on Fresca. Now, I drink it by the case.

nonlineargirl

For the ultimate in bologna, you've got to go to Pella, Iowa - to the International Veld Meat Market for the hot bologna sandwich. On our cross-country ride, my man and I made a special trip to this pseudo-dutch town just to have this treat!

margalit

My family not only kept Kosher, but my father raised black angus cattle and had them slaughtered for us to eat. So when I was a kid, we ate a lot of steak. I mean, steak, steak, hamburger, steak, steak, and a roast. Way to much red meat, but we had it, so we ate it. I was SHOCKED to find out that other people ate things out of the freezer like Stauffers Mac and Cheese. I had no clue that those existed as a kid.

All the food in our house growing up was real food, delievered to our home. We didn't eat packaged food at all, which was highly unusual in the 50's and 60's when I was a kid. No canned stuff. Just fresh fruits, veggies, etc. Even our desserts were always home baked.

But I had this friend, Cheryl, and her mom couldn't cook anything and they ate only packaged food. Once, they served me (kosher) salami on white bread with mustard. I was clueless as to what this was, but it tasted great. When I went home I told my mom that Cheryl's mom had made me a circle sandwich because I had forgotten the word Salami. My mother was so confused she called Cheryl's mom to find out what I had eaten. Now, our family lore includes eating circle sandwiches and my kids still call Salami circles. Man, I haven't thought about that in years.

honglien123

I will start out with what everyone who types their first message here seems to start out with...I've been lurking for awhile but finally decided to come out an say that I love your blog. I just discovered it from the Rice Daddies blog and I've been reading through your archives. Dude, wait till the preschool years and till you have Peanut II. I can't wait to read about your experiences and compare them with mine. I can relate to a lot of what you're talking about since I have a girl (4) and a boy (1).

Anyway, just wanted to comment that I love bologna too but I haven't bought or had it in years. I grew up REALLY poor amongst poor people and bologna just happened to be one of those foods that is really cheap. For some reason I equate bologna with my ghetto guns outside the window days (ah, yes, life was much simpler then...) Thus, I've moved on to kielbasa which I think have similar versitility. Sliced kielbasa stir fried with ketchup serverd over rice. Kielbasa stir fried with sugar snap peas and that Lee Kum Kee black bean sauce also great with rice. Chopped kielbasa fried rice with frozen peas and carrots thrown in. The possibilities are endless! You should try it.

sweatpantsmom

I was like your mom when my girls were little. Their first 'solid' food? My own concoction of brown rice, tofu and sesame seeds mashed to a pulp in my Cuisinart. As they got older I still tried to wield my mighty 'health' hand but you can only do so much at other people's houses, damnit. I'd see their eyes widen when they realized that other people didn't dilute their juice, and there really was another kind of bread than whole wheat, one that was soft and fluffy as clouds.

Now, I've thrown up my hands. Cheetos, McNuggets, nachos - anything is okay in moderation. But I still dilute my juice.

misfithausfrau

The charm of bologna quickly dissipated as a kid when we ate it for breakfast (with eggs), lunch (on white with yellow mustard) and dinner (fried). Nothing screams that you are poor when that is the only meat you eat for stetches of time. The ironic things was that was the only "unhealthy" food we had in the house. After my father became ill, my mother turned into "Healthy Mom." She made whole wheat carob chip cookies, thinking we would be fooled, and had a huge garden and orchard that kept us fed. Turns out that my father LOVED bologna and didn't want to give it up while on his heart healthy diet. I haven't touched the stuff since I left home at 18.

William

Metrodad, that was a very funny story.

Introduce the Peanut to Labanon Bologna and the Dagwood Sandwich.

Queen of Ass

Holy cow! I only ever knew some spanish, but not Bologna in spanish. I'm not sure that would ever work.

A. Tsai

This was a GREAT post, MD. Really enjoyed getting this little glimpse into your childhood. There aren't many Asian-American people who write like you do. As a fellow AA, I just want to say that I really enjoy hearing these stories. Keep up the great work.

CroutonBoy

I've never heard of any meat being referred to as "creamy," but that sums it up pretty well.

Bologna never charmed me that much--being raised by an Italian grandmother tends to skew your meat choices towards things with large chunks of peppers and fat in them--but it gloriously evokes fond memories of childhood nonetheless. Sitting on a dock, with a fishing rod in my hand, eating a bologna sandwich and singing....

Wait, that wasn't me. That was a commercial, wasn't it? Does that also mean I didn't have pet gorilla that threw luggage?

Velma

You just brought back that crashing unsteady feeling I used to get staying over at my friend Melanie's house in 3rd grade. Everything was so different and strange, from the decor (lots of white shag and crystal and silver) to the smell (can't remember, but totally different from my house.)

At some point I became aware that different people followed different dietary rules. So, thanks to my experience with Melanie's family, I was under the impression for a long time that having a glass dining room table where the dog sat under your place setting and looked hungrily up at you while you ate was a Jewish thing.

Pickle's Papa

I cant believe you forgot the Miracle Whip . . .

Mike

How come you didn't grow up with processed food and canned veggies/fruits?

My parents must have been raised on the "GI's throwing shit out the back of their trucks" diet plan as youths. Because it was spam, canned fruit cocktail, corned beef hash, etc when I was a kid.

Thankfully we are more well off an can get fresh veggies and meats and stuff now. However, my father has an affection for Vienna sausages that I don't quite understand.

OTRgirl

Ah, the health food Mom! I hated lunch in elementary school. Handmade bread sliced into thick slabs with thin smears of natural peanut butter and all fruit preserve. How I lusted after white bread with the grape jelly bleeding through it. (though never did like bologna. Sorry, MD)

Misfit, I hear ya! No one ever wanted to trade their Twinkie for an oatmeal carob chip cookie.

lori

funny, md. my mom was the junk food mom in our neighborhood. i guess, with 5 kids, she kept our kitchen stocked with whatever would get us to shut up. to this day, i have friends from the old neighborhood come up to me or one of siblings and say, "ya know. my mom never let me have twinkies. it was only when i came to your house that i discovered them."

you could also substitute ding dongs, potato chips, entenmanns and dr.pepper in the above sentence.

Motherhood Uncensored

I was a vegan/vege for years and I freaking LOVE processed meat.

I get the organic stuff now just so I can feel better about eating it.

IFLYG

Damn, MD - I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself...

Mom101

Oh, I'm SO about the processed meats. Even when I was a (brief) vegetarian, I would tell people that I'd eat bacon because it wasn't meat, it was nitrates. And hotdogs weren't meat, they were snouts and beaks. Mm, good stuff.

KevinCharnas

Reader's Digest ALWAYS in the house. I didn't know that there were other publications.
Bologna - absolutely.
Velvetta cheese - didn't know there were other cheeses.
And first day of first grade - I completely shit my pants.
There, I'm done.

Jason

I was gonna write a similar post about my fondness for head cheese.

Mega Mom

Bitch you just made me go out and buy my first bologna ever! I'll let you know how it goes...

Ian

Great post, MetroDad! Had me laughing the whole time.

Hillary Hyde

Bologna is our cross-cultural food ambassador and friend! I grew up in the midwest and dearly loved bologna. It is one of the few evil food habits I have passed on to my 6 year old son. In fact, we make bologna "lace" - taking a small, round cookie cutter to cut out even smaller, perfect round mini bologna slices. The bologna left around the holes that have been cut out are what I call bologna lace. Now THAT is an esoteric bologna delicacy. (True fact - I used to run the kitchen in a large natural foods grocery store - and am a culinary school graduate. Guess I ought to send this on to Post Secret, too.)

JustLinda

I have a kid who likes "little circle balogna" (from the Lunchables packages) but no other kind of balogna. How stupid is that? We cut her off on the lunchables. She needs to appreciate the real stuff.

I don't like the pre-packaged stuff... fresh from the deli, sliced to order. On fresh white bread (yeah, I said it... I LIKE WHITE BREAD and I don't care how unpopular that makes me!!!) Oh, I love me a good fresh balogna sandwich.

Of course, I'm quite fond of PB&J, too. With Fritos.

Velma

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Fritos.

Roger

First time commentor here, MD. I just wanted to say that I love your site and have just spent the last 2 hours reading all your archives. I'm a new father (6 months into the job) and I love reading your thoughts on fatherhood. Keep it up!

Kristen

HAHA!! This reminds me of my brother, who felt about hot dogs the way you did about bologna. He used to carry around "cold dogs" like lollipops.

He's a vegetarian now. And so am I. I have to wonder if those facts are related to our memories of his Cold Dog Days.

kittenpie

My house never had any of those things in it either, so every summer at my midwestern grandma's house was a heaven of Froot Loops.

mommyontheverge

Husband's favorite sandwich is fried bologne with fresh tomato on white bread. He's such a redneck and I love it.

jozet

OMG! I can't believe I've been parenting for 7 years and haven't introduced my kids to bologna yet!

I'm getting some Oscar Meyer tomorrow. I will SO be the best mommy in the world come lunch time.

They've eaten a good share of organic vegetables and soy products. Now, it's time to blow their minds.

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