Monday, March 18, 2013

How Many Crackers to Eat a Stick of Bologna?

You know you live in a small town when the grocery store bagger bids you goodbye with, “You’re gonna’ do some mighty fine eatin’ this week.”

I don’t recall ever having such a comment regarding my food purchases. I suppose I should feel flattered.

Let's see. Pork chops, carrots, potatoes, eggs, butter, frozen pie crust, fruit, yogurt, bread, cookies. Certainly nothing fancy.

He’s a very elderly gentleman who’s recently been hired at the local grocery store as a bagger --  a kindly seeming old gentleman who perhaps took the job to have something to do.

The comment brought to mind the little country store where my parents shopped when I was a kid. The owner’s wife, who manned the cash register, would comment to my mother, “you must be looking for company,” whenever mother purchased anything “special,” anything beyond the basics.

She also was known to comment, “what are you going to make with this?”, as she rang up a particular item. She would then proceed to ask my mother how she made the recipe, right there on the spot.

Mrs. X, as I shall call her, was what shall I say, somewhat naive. My uncle once decided to play a trick of sorts on her. He entered the store, picked up a stick of bologna (remember when people used to buy it that way?) and took it to the cash register. In all seriousness, he asked Mrs. X if she knew how many crackers it would take to eat the stick of bologna.

Upon which she called out to her husband who was in another part of the store, and in a very loud and shrill voice, “X, HOW MANY CRACKERS WILL IT TAKE TO EAT UP A STICK OF BOLOGNA.”

Naturally, the other customers found this very amusing and laughter was heard throughout the store.

X came running to the front of the store and tried to explain to his wife that it was just a joke. Mrs. X was a good natured soul and just laughed it off.
Such was life back then.

Not everyone was as glamorous in pin curls as was Marilyn Monroe!
(When I think of Mrs. X I still see her behind that cash register on Saturday afternoon, her red hair pin pin curled to her head with bobby pins. Sometimes she covered her head with a scarf; sometimes not).

And by the way, it used to be that bologna and crackers were the snack of choice -- often the only snack people ate -- at least in this part of the country.

Life was lived at a slower pace and people were friendlier and more familiar in those days, at least in small towns.

I wonder what we would do if we received such questions at the grocery store checkout in this day and age.

On the subject of today’s grocery purchases, I found these:

Have you tried them? Highly recommended; very good. Perfect with a cup of tea.

This morning I took the following photo of the Bradford Pear Tree, which is among the first trees to flower each season. They are quite beautiful when in flower, but it is a “problem tree” in many other respects; I posted about the tree previously; read the post here.

The photos aren't very good; it was a cloudy day.

In the middle of the afternoon we got a hailstorm, of all things.

This photo taken out my back door. What looks like a mist is in fact hail falling fast and furiously!

Ice pellets quickly covered the deck.

 And when the hail storm was over, these are many of the Bradford Tree blossoms lying on the ground.

That was a big part of my day. How was yours?


  1. since I'm a creature of habits I frequent the same fabric and notions store for years now and it's always so nice to be greeted by the store keeper in a more personal manner. We always have a little chat, she knows my taste and will show me a bolt of fabric she thinks I might like and is usually right and she will inquire about my current projects or what I did with fabric I bought the last time etc. so I'm totally suportive of small communities or small local stores where people form bonds and are almost friends rather than customers

    1. There's certainly something to be said for doing business from places that know and appreciate you. You are quite lucky to have such a nice place to buy your fabric and notions.

  2. I love the crackers and bologna story. Remember how many times it would be told and everyone would get a big laugh every time hope our cousins read this and recall it!
    The pear tree is SO pretty and big! Hope the hail didn't damage anything else, good thing all little tender leaves weren't out. Your grocery list does sound like you will be eating good!

    1. I hope so too! We didn't see any hail damage, other than the pretty white blossoms that got knocked from the trees. True, lucky it wasn't leaves!

  3. i love fig newton cookies, so i'll look for these newton thins. it does look like it'd go perfect with tea.

    you are so right about the bradford pear. beautiful tree. a lot of them got planted around here and then the ice came and broke many of them in half. i wish they had planted native dogwoods and redbud trees instead.

    1. Three of those cookies have only 150 calories, I can almost feel good about eating them! Dogwoods and redbuds are a much nicer choice than the Bradford. People really went overboard planting them, beginning about 20 years ago.

  4. I don´t know if we have those cookies over here, but I´d hesitate to buy a package, as I´d eat it all.
    The hailstorm looks spooky, can´t imagine anything blooming yet, as we are in the midst of snow.
    Spent my day reading a book, which was discussed at the literature club, so missed blogging.

    1. These cookies are new on the market and come in several flavors. I can limit myself to two but now my HB has discovered how good they are so they won't last long.

      Hailstorms are weird. You think the roof of the house is caving in. It scared the dogs and they began to bark.

      You must tell us what book you read; reading can be so much better than blogging sometimes!

  5. Your grey photos look like the countryside here,cold,bleak,grey.Snow is still forecast,always when Easter is near it seems to turn cold,I was just reading yesterday's
    post temp.70 that is Summer here!

    Like Mette if I have a pack of biscuits I would scoff the lot,so no biscuits/cakes in the house.Ida

    1. We are to get very cold weather later this week; in fact, snow flurries are predicted Friday night. Yuk. Always happens. Warm days, things bloom out and then we get hit with more cold weather.

      I get a hankering occasionally for a little something sweet and almost go into "fits" if I can't have something sweet.

  6. Loved the bologna and crackers recall! How fun it would be to revisit that period in time when old folks would sit around the pot belly stove in back of the grocery and "solve the world problems". I remember them well at Mama/Daddy's store. Bolts of Dan River material along the wall; penny candy in a big Tom's jar; little Nu Grape "cokes" in a nubbly bottle. Great memories!

  7. Fun to think about the ways stores used to be, and that bologna story is pretty cute. I have a package of those Newton cookies in the Cherry Vanilla flavor right now, but my favorite is the Cranberry Citrus Oat.


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