Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Better Than Jerky?: Gillan's Liver Bologna

This bologna, from Depression Era Recipes, actually has a first name.
Gillan's Liver Bologna

3 lbs. liver
8 lbs. potatoes, sliced
1/4 slab bacon
1/4 c. salt
2 1/2 c. graham flour
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 1/4 c. white flour

Make bags out of flour sacks. This recipe will fit into four 6 x 12" bags. Grind liver and potatoes, using a medium blade. Cut bacon into little pieces. Mix meats, potatoes and other ingredients in a very large bowl. When evenly combined, pack mixture into damp bags. Tie shut. Boil bags in water to cover, for two hours. Remove from water and cool. Store in refrigerator. To use, cut bag off meat, slice meat and serve.

This may have been one of the first take-along "mountain foods." Some deer hunters would take this out in the woods with them for food, as it was a complete meal - better than beef jerky!
Okay, it's true: Gillan might be a last name. And I am skeptical of anything that claims to be better than jerky of any sort.

At the same time, I appreciate the idea of homemakers also being sausage makers. I've never done more than a loose patty sausage on my own, but my dad's deer and elk hunting always yielded lots of summer sausage.

...God, I miss that summer sausage. Sliced, or cut into chunks, served with Tillamook medium cheddar and saltines. Maybe, just maybe, some Beaver brand mustard. We'd go through a whole sleeve of crackers in a blink. I ate the casing about 50% of the time.

The bologna of my childhood had both a first and last name. It was commercial, it was mass produced, it was... bologna. After my college graduation, my mom, aunt, and I hit the roads of the mid-Atlantic, and found ourselves at Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna. Such delicious yumminess! So much more interesting than that mass-produced blandness! We sampled with joy, and bought a bunch for later. 20 minutes down the road, we all discovered that, sadly, Lebanon bologna triggers migraines in our family. (It really is sad -- that stuff is damned tasty.)

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