The Past, Coming Around

Several years ago, my son moved to California. He’s scheduled for some business training in Connecticut next week so he booked a Friday night flight and surprised us by appearing here at his childhood home on Saturday for a short visit.


Ever since my cadre of food experiment volunteers shared their insights on 5 o’clock biscuits, I’ve been thinking that these would be good delivery vehicles for the New Jersey classic  of pork roll egg and cheese. PRE&C is something unheard of in California so whenever he comes back for a visit, this is one of the classic east coast foods my son looks for, along with edible bagels and decent pizza.

A recipe from 1960 prepared in 2010 and displayed on a 1970 tablecloth

I’ve been taking it easy on you as far as Mad Men is concerned, even though I could have told you two weeks ago that Pete and Trudy’s set of  Stangl Amber Glo collection is now overflowing their china cabinet. But this is worthy of note: in last night’s episode I knew what was coming as soon as they mentioned a dinner date at Benihana. And here it is –  “the most famous and most popular, certainly the most iconic of all the twenty or so different styles of Benihana Tiki Mugs”– the Laughing Bhudda.

(l.) from the personal collection of Suzette; (r.) on the set of Mad Men

I bought it on eBay to replace the too generous and very much regretted impulse that caused me to give my original away many years ago.  A few months ago, I sent this one to my son in California and I do not regret it at all.

28 thoughts on “The Past, Coming Around”

    1. Oh I didn’t know you were doing Mad Men. I’m usually so busy reading what everyone else has to say that I don’t post about it myself.

      I am very disappointed that the vast sea of cultural clue experts have not said a single word about the significance of the closing music for this episode. I am way ahead of them.

  1. I have never heard of pork roll. I wonder if I can find it around here.
    In related news, I did ask the bag boy at the local mom-n-pop grocery store where I’d find the kimchi, and he directed me to the aisle with the condoms and KY.

    1. Before I moved to NC (from New Jersey), I sent my parents a Taylor Pork Roll for Christmas. Froze it solid and shipped it Fed-Ex, clearly marked “Open Immediately – do not wait for Christmas”.

      I’ve since seen it in the grocery store in NC, but they want a small fortune for it. Comes out to like $14.99 a pound, but you can only buy it in 6 oz. packages (which wouldn’t be enough for just me, if you want to know the truth).

      1. Oh they didn’t have the kimchi either. He just thought that, by the sound of it, it was in the *ahem* marital aids section. That’s what he called it… the marital aids section.

  2. I’ve seen pork roll in the stores, but never bought it. Is it like Spam,? which I’ve never bought either. With food prices on the rise, maybe this old dog needs a few new tricks..
    Love the tablecloth.!
    LeeAnn, I was going to ask you why a store would sell Kentucky, {KY} then did a forehead slap..
    My mom and pop store sells bongs and hookahs, in addition to sex aids..They sell this next to the Drumstick ice cream cones case, so I can hardly miss them when I go in for my personal ‘fix’…

    1. No not like SPAM at all. It’s like very salty, sweet baloney and it must be cut into thick, notched slices to be right. I have taken great liberty in dicing it up for these biscuits.

  3. Is that Taylor in the pic, as in “Taylor ham” Taylor? Mmmm.

    I like posts where you showcase more of the “Weird Shit Suzette Buys On eBay.” Heh.

      1. So expensive but so delish.

        Actually, our son will be stopping over on Friday night on his way back to California. We have already implemented a low-cost transport strategy that involves boxes of pork roll slices, the deep freeze, zip lock bags and his suitcase.

  4. Suzette, did the boy like your new method of delivery for the pork roll?

    It is rather like a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit here in Dixie. My husband loved fried bologna. Notice the past tense. May have had something to do with his untimely passing. I had to notch it to fry it or it curled up into a bowl. There are innumerable recipes to make using the bologna bowl. Ol Peggy might have one using green peas.

    1. As a kid growing up I remember the baloney (kid lingo) bowl well. Whenever my Mom made a big pot of beans, I would beg for the baloney bowl to hold mine.

      Have never seen or heard of a pork roll, till now.

  5. Being from NM, CA, and now FL, I have never heard of pork roll. I will watch for it as some grocery stores in Florida like to have products that are familiar to people from other regions. I have seen many of those Benihana containers at garage sales, but didn’t know what they were. Now I will know.

  6. Here in Arizona, where everyone is from somewhere else, they’re aren’t many regional products for sale.
    Very interesting product, your “pork roll”.

  7. I knew we were meant for each other as soon as you started posting about Vera.I hadn’t seen her stuff for ages but I really always liked it. I still have some old Vera placemats around here somewhere.

  8. I found the pork roll for a very reasonable price delivered at I can’t wait to try it.

    Do you use a slice of yellow American cheese of a slice of yellow cheddar?

    Is the egg scrambled, over, or sunny side up?

    Sorry for all the stupid questions, but I want this to be authentic.

  9. I have sent gifts to former NJ residents by ordering Pork Roll from they’re a little cheaper than the others and he sells fresh bagels that can be shipped with the pork roll. There’s nothing like a pork roll, egg and cheese on an everything bagel. You should order the 3lb version as it has the skin on it as the box doesn’t and the tastes are decidely different!


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