Saturday, April 30, 2011


by Jo Robertson

I recently returned from a visit with my brother Fred and his wife Sylvia in North Carolina. Their lovely house looks out toward the Pasquotank River, a gorgeous view. During this visit Fred and I spent a lot of time working on his personal story.

You see, I didn’t know Fred existed until about five years ago. He and I have different mothers, but the same father. But that’s a blog for another day.

Today’s subject is Kentucky Border Bologna! During my North Carolina trip, I discovered this delicious meat product. I use this term because I don't know what they put in it, and I suspect I'm better off remaining ignorant!

To a southern-bred gal like me a fried bologna sandwich is like heaven. I eat the artery-clogging stuff like an addict. I don’t care. Just give me my next fix. If you're wondering what can possibly be so great about bologna, you haven't tasted the really good stuff.

When my brother Fred visits his hometown in Kentucky, he always buys several of these bologna rolls. Sylvia freezes them and they slice off the amount they want as they use it.

Kentucky Border Bologna is sharp and salty, tasty either warm or cold. We had it for breakfast and lunch, and I could've eaten it for dinner, but Sylvia made me go healthy. Party pooper.

However, she packed several sandwiches for my wait at the airport on my way home, and luckily, airport security did not considered Kentucky Border Bologna a homeland security violation. Silly people.

Kentucky Border Bologna is the best bologna I've EVAH tasted. I had no idea where it was manufactured, but I heard a rumor that it isn’t shipped anywhere outside Kentucky.

That alone was enough to intrigue me, so I made a few long-distance phone calls. The meat department manager at Ralph's Food Fair in Grayson, KY -- a very nice gentleman with a lovely southern accent -- assured me that they did indeed sell Kentucky Border Bologna. He even tracked down the writing on the wrapping -- Kp Packing.

A little internet detecting led me to the company, Kp Packing in Erlanger, KY, where another helpful woman told me the product is now called Kentucky Best Bologna, a mistake in naming, in my opinion. There's something wickedly catchy and illegal about Kentucky Border Bologna.

The picture is from their website. Seriously, Kp, you need to get a larger picture!

Unfortunately, they do not ship outside of their region, so we Californians cannot jump on the internet and order some of this delicious spicy meat.

Sigh. I think I'm going into withdrawal.

I suppose my arteries will thank the company, but my taste buds are crying for a huge helping of this salty delight.

So, right now I’m eating my plain old PB&J sandwich and watching the delightful Timothy Olyphant in the latest episode of “Justified.”

Right now that’s the closest I can get to Kentucky and their delicious border bologna.

I’m in the mood for sharing our decadent foods. So, what’s your wicked delight, food-wise? Find any recent recipes or tasty treasures to share?

Here’s a recipe Sylvia gave me, a “healthy” version of Key Lime Pie. We ate about three of them when I visited, which is good because the recipe makes three.

Sylvia’s Key Lime Pie

3 reduced-fat graham cracker crusts
16 oz light Cool Whip
12 oz frozen limeade (or lemonade)
2 cans fat-free condenses milk

Beat together, pour into shells and freeze until firm.

Okay, let's get down and share our favorite decadence!


Kim in Hawaii said...


Kim in Hawaii said...

As a native Floridian, I love Key Lime Pie! But I'll give your recipe a try!

Tomorrow is the Waikiki Spam Jam. Poi remains a popular
"traditional" dish but Spam is king as a modern snack!

My kids love Spam Mushabi!

jo robertson said...

Aloha, back at you, Kim! Congratulations on capturing the rooster from Catslady. Her kitties have been entertaining him today.

jo robertson said...

I wasn't much of a fan of Key Lime Pie, but Sylvia's recipe is light and delicious. I wasn't kidding, Kim, when I said the two of us ate three pies!

Ooooh, tell us about Waikiki Spam Jam. Is that, like, Spam, or like something to spread on your toast LOL?

If it's the canned Spam I'm thinking of, I used to slice it and fry it for my kids. They thought that was what "ham" tasted like for years. We were so poor.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jo-Mama,
Back in the day, everyone in our neighborhood called fried bologna "Okie steak." That's how poor we were!

I've never heard that Kentucky bologna was different from any other bologna. See the fascinating things you can learn in the Lair?

But I'll leave the bologna and Spam to you and Kim, just pass the Key Lime Pie! ;-)


Sheree said...

When I was a kid, my mother would fry up the bologna before putting it between slices of bread so I've always thought cold deli meats were icky.

As for decadent desserts, I make tapioca pudding with a mixture of coconut milk and heavy cream instead of milk. The product is way creamier. I also put cocoa powder in it to make it chocolate tapioca. Yum!

June M. said...

I am from Kentucky! So I do know about KY Border Bologna, but I am not so crazy about bologna. I prefer deli turkey or chicken, LOL! But occasionally, I do like the KY border with BBQ chips! Great together.

Sorry that you can't get it shipped to you. You would think they would do this to sell more, don't you think?

jo robertson said...

Hi, Aunty Cindy! Thanks for stopping by. Yep, that's Okie steak, for sure.

The flavor is just sharper and saltier in the KY Border. I don't think they're too worried about being heart-healthy LOL.

Does anyone know what they put in bologna anyway? I know if there are little round white spots in it that it's LARD, OMG! American bologna by law has to be ground very fine, so that's why you can't see the lumps of fat.

jo robertson said...

AC, you should try this Key Lime Pie. It's fairly healthy.

jo robertson said...

Sheree said, "When I was a kid, my mother would fry up the bologna before putting it between slices of bread so I've always thought cold deli meats were icky."

Yes! Exactly. And I always liked the bologna a bit scorched, warm on the fresh bread with a dab of mayo. Yum.

jo robertson said...

Hi, June M.! You're from KY??? What region? My dad's family all come from Rush, my mother too, although they left there years ago when my dad joined the army. But we'd visit my grandparents in Rush every summer.

The deli chicken or turkey is much better for you, and truthfully, that's what I eat most of the time. I'm truly glad they DON'T ship out of region!

Susan Sey said...

Hey, Jo! We used to fry up bologna for an after school snack! I loved the way it curled up & made a cup for the grease. :-)

As for decadent recipes we love, I have a corn casserole that only comes out on Christmas & other high holidays. It involves a box of corn bread mix (Jiffy, of course), a can each of creamed corn & kernel corn, a stick of butter & a cup of sour cream. That's it. Bake it & eat it & have the defib paddles charged.

My husband calls it Heart Attack Corn Casserole. We adore it but eat it sparingly as we don't actually want our arteries to give up.

Lexi said...

You flung a craving on me! Had to have fried bologna (balony here in Alabama) for breakfast with grits and eggs. Not the Kentucky variety, but it was yummy all the same.

Louisa Cornell said...

Aloha, Kim! The GR heard about the Waikiki Spam Jam. Make him behave!

Now you have done it! Now I have to go to town and buy some b'lony. I LOVE fried bologna - alone or in a sandwich.

My favorite decadence is French silk pie. It was the signature dessert in the dining hall when I was an undergrad. It probably still is. They only served it every few months, but when the word got out it was on the menu EVERYONE showed up for dinner. I was lucky. I worked in the dining hall (scholarship girl) and I always got first pick of the slices of pie. And if there was pie left over the cooks let me sneak it back to my dorm room.

I have the recipe here somewhere. I need to find it. I know it takes half a pound of BUTTER (not margerine) some sugar and some chocolate.

My other favorite indulgence is my Mom's mac and cheese. She makes it from scratch and uses three different cheeses and tops it with bread crumbs browned in butter. Might as well just inject it into my arteries!

jo robertson said...

Hey, Susan! Thanks for stopping by. I've tried your Corn Casserole recipe and can vouch that it's super delicious. But save for special occasions!

jo robertson said...

LOL, Lexi. Since I wrote this post, I've been craving a fried bologna sandwich too. I'm almost tempted to go to the deli and buy another brand!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Louisa! Do you know what Waikiki Spam Jam is? Inquiring minds want to know.

We also want to know the recipe for French Silk Pie, so find it, girl!

And why, oh why, is everything delicious loaded with butter!!??

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm afraid the Key Lime Pie from The Blonde Giraffe in Key West spoiled me for all others. :-( It is FANTASTIC with meringue about 5 inches high on top. YUM!!!!!

OOOO! Louisa that French Silk pie sounds decadent. Baker's Square restaurant (a chain, don't know if it is nationwide) makes a French Silk that literally melts in your mouth.

You'd never guess I'm NOT that much of a pie eater. Honestly, I prefer cobbler!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I think you are onto something about the butter... Put in enough and it is bound to taste good! ;-)

craving a warm yeasty roll loaded with butter

Louisa Cornell said...

Here it is, Jo!

Judson College French Silk Pie


2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked


In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale yellow and very fluffy. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each egg.

Pour filling into baked pie shell. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Kaelee said...

I didn't have fried bologna until I got married. I love it with a processed cheese slice melted on it on lightly buttered toast. I figure I may as well go whole hog on the fat while I'm at it. Now I'm wanting some as well.

In our part of Canada bologna is called CPR (one of our railways) round steak.

I ate quite a bit of spam as a kid but the salt content is too high for me now. Trying very hard to keep from taking high blood pressure meds.

Beth Andrews said...

Jo, I'm not much for bologna and have never had a fried bologna sandwich. Which was probably why when my husband and I were dating and he asked me to make him one, I just slapped the bologna between two slices of bread and cooked it like a grilled cheese *g*

One of my new favorite wicked delights is cheesy grits made with cream, butter and cheddar cheese. Yum!

Susan, we love that corn casserole recipe, too. Also loved creamed spinach but I only make them for special occasions :-)

jo robertson said...

OMG, Cindy, I had to see if they have a website. They do!! I'm sure their Key Lime Pie is not as "healthy" as Sylvia's, but check it out at

It looks to die for!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Cindy, I didn't know you preferred cobbler. So do I! Sometimes when I get a craving for it, I make a bisquick shortcake like mix, put a can of sliced peaches in a baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and top with the mix. Yummy!

jo robertson said...

I used to make delicious homemade rolls (at least my kids thought so LOL), but I only do them on special occasions now. Too time intensive.

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Louisa, I swear we get the best recipes from our Banditas.

Where is Judson College?

jo robertson said...

LOL, Beth, you're the smart one of the group. We'd all be better off avoiding balogna!

You have to fry the bologna. I don't like cold bologna, but actually grilled sounds pretty good, Beth.

Can you share your grits recipe. Anything with cheese is great!

Pissenlit said...

Oh my, that sounds good! *drool* I love bologna sandwiches but what's even better are bacon sandwiches!

Okay, here's the recipe I use when I'm in the mood for something tasty but oh so very not healthy.

Congo Squares

Sift together:
2 1/3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Melt 2/3 cup butter (or margarine or shortening). Stir in 1 lb brown sugar(2 cups) and cool slightly(Only enough so the eggs don’t cook when you add them to the mix. The cooler it is, the stiffer the mixture).

Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.
Add flour mixture, 1 cup nuts(optional) and 1 package chocolate chips.

Pour into large greased pan. The mix may be very thick but will spread a bit as it cooks.

Bake 350°F 25-30 minutes.

Note: Best to do all the mixing in the saucepan so make sure it's large enough for all the ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo!

Kentucky Border Bologna sounds illicit, but it sounds delicious.

Yum. Fried bologna sandwiches on white bread and mayo. I used to slit the middle of the bologna slice so it wouldn't pucker up in the pan.

Now that I'm older with a more discriminating palate (heh) I'll treat myself to a lower fat fried bologna sandwich with Duke's mayo that I have to order from their site because I can't get it in CA.

I'm not a big sweets fan, but I love appetizers, which can be full of calories...brie en croute, puff pastry cups with mushrooms, cheese puffs, tiny blts...anything with cheese!

Have a great weekend!

Helen said...

Well done Kim have fun with him

That bologna sounds very nice indeed as well as the pie. I don't think we have bologna here in Australia and that is something I have never done is fryed up cold meats LOl but I gotta say it sounds like a good idea I will have to have a good look at the deli next time I am there to see if there is something similar.

Have Fun

jo robertson said...

Hi, Helen! Please do that. Check out your deli and see if they have bologna. Maybe it's strictly American, but I think they serve a kind of meat product like this in Europe, maybe with more lard in it?

Let us know! I'm curious.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Pissenlit, nothing better than a great BLT on toast with all the proper trimmings!

Love the sound of those Congo Squares. I think anything with brown sugar in it tastes good LOL.

Thanks for sharing.

jo robertson said...

JenniferTanner said, "Yum. Fried bologna sandwiches on white bread and mayo. I used to slit the middle of the bologna slice so it wouldn't pucker up in the pan."

EXACTLY!! You've got that down pat! Just the way I loved to eat them as a girl.

Tell us more about this Duke's Mayo, Jennifer.

Anonymous said...


We have a friend from Birmingham who was nice enough to bring us a couple jars of Duke's mayo when he was out for a visit. It's a bit tangier than Best Foods or Hellman's but not sweet like Miracle Whip. I know everyone has their favorites!

It's perfect for potato salad and sandwiches...i.e. bologna or summer beefsteak tomato.

Like a lot of regional foods or products, I read about Duke's in a book. Piggly Wiggly stores, Krispy Kreme donuts, pierogis, po' boys, Cheerwine, coffee milk, chicory coffee, lobster rolls, red velvet cake (before it was popular)...etc..were all things I'd read about in books and longed to try. In Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins books, he hated succotash. I had no idea what that was. I remember looking it up in the dictionary. :) Even back then, I was geek. Long explanation...but here's the link to Duke's.


Louisa Cornell said...

Judson College is in Marion, Alabama. It is one of the few women's colleges that has not gone co'ed. The young men from the Military Academy across town used to attend some classes with us. I don't know if they still do. It is a Baptist college and some of the same people who founded Vassar founded Judson. The curriculum leans toward the liberal arts, or did when I attended. It also offers degrees in equestrian studies.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh YEAH! That's the one! But their website says they went out of business. WAH!!! They were THE BEST!

now in deep depression and off to find chocolate

Beth Andrews said...

Can you share your grits recipe. Anything with cheese is great!

Sure! It's from Ina Garten's Back to Basics cookbook (which is fabulous!)

Creamy Cheddar Grits
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
By Ina Garten

2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup fine quick-cooking grits (not instant)
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups aged sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (4 oz), plus additional for garnish
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions), plus additional for garnish
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 4 quart saucepan. Add salt, then slowly add the grits in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits thicken, about 5-7 minutes.

Add half-and-half and butter to the grits and stir. The mixture will seem thin but it will thicken as it cooks. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally for 45 minuts, until very smooth and creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Cheddar, scallions, and pepper. Season to taste and serve hot with a sprinkle of Cheddar and scallions to garnish.

jo robertson said...

Sounds delish, Beth! Thanks for sharing. I've never made grits. Can you believe that? I'll give this one a try.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Cindy! I didn't even read the message that The Blond Giraffe went out of business. I just drooled over the picture of the Key Lime Pie.

That's another tragedy caused by the gulf oil spill. So sad.

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the info on Judson College, Louisa. I wonder how long they can hold out not going coed? Interesting.

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the info on Duke's Mayo, Jen. I cut the Miracle Whip I use in my potato salad with a bit of sugar, so that makes sense to me.

I grew up on mayo and don't know why I started using Miracle Whip instead, but that's what we're used to now.

jo robertson said...

Kaelee said, " didn't have fried bologna until I got married. I love it with a processed cheese slice melted on it on lightly buttered toast."

Sounds yummy. Like Velveeta? I used to love open-faced toasted cheese sandwiches using Velveeta and I'd like it browned on top. Burned my tongue many a time on that cheese!

jo robertson said...

Since April is Strawberry Month (did ya'll know that) and I love strawberries, I thought I'd share a quick strawberry recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Pancake

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 TB butter
1 basket fresh strawberries, sliced
sugar to taste
2 TB orange juice
powdered sugar

Blend eggs, milk, 1/4 cup orange juice, flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt well. Melt butter in 9x13 pan. Pour batter over sizzling butter. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and brown. Pancake will fall when removed from oven.

Heat strawberries in a pan. Add sugar to sweeten. Stir in 2 TB orange juice and cook until thickened.

Sprinkle pancake with powdered sugar. Serve with warm strawberries.

jo robertson said...

Just had to make another recipe comment. I got this sauce for chicken from my sister. It's sweet and delicious:

Apricot Chicken

1/2 jar apricot preserves or jam
1/2 small bottle Russian salad dressing
1 pkg dried Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix

Mix together and pour over raw chicken breasts. Bake about 40-45 minutes until chicken is tender.

Thanks, Linda!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Meant to say what a pretty picture at the beginning of your blog. Is that from your brother's house? NICE!

And I will DEFINITELY try the marinade. Quick & easy, just the way I like things. ;-)


jo robertson said...

Thanks, AC! It is quick and easy, takes just minutes to whip it up.

No, Fred's house is a bit more modest, but he has that lovely view.

Pat Cochran said...

There have been a few fried bologna
sandwiches in my past. Even "bologna
pizzas" for the children.( A slice
of bologna with tiny cuts along the
edge to keep the fried slice flat,
served with catsup "sauce.") Have
not had these gems in many a year!
Now that Key Lime Pie sounds super
good! I've added the ingredients to
my shopping list.

Pat Cochran

jo robertson said...

Hi, Pat! Thanks for swinging by! That bologna pizza sounds like a good one for kids LOL.