A New Summer Holiday Tradition?

By Stephen D. Bowling

JULY 1970- While perusing old copies of The Jackson Times, I noticed that the newspaper’s editors included occasional information about the ways local residents could save money and suggestions for surviving difficult economic times. The suggestions ranged from ways to be more effective farmers to how to preserve food for later use. There are tips for saving grease and how to reuse old clothing. All of their suggestions certainly helped those who followed them, but one seems to stand out and can be useful even in our difficult times as we try to stretch our dollars.

An A&P advertisement from The Jackson Times on July 9, 1970, page 12 lists the prices for hamburger and other meats.

One of the most interesting suggestions came from the summer of 1970 when The Jackson Times lamented the high price of hamburger and other meats. The advertisements in the paper that summer touted their low prices but the average consumer in Breathitt County complained about the increases. Hamburger prices that summer rose to 59 cents per pound and a 12-pack of hot dogs was 50 cents

In an effort to help the local families, The Jackson Times ran the following recipe as a money-saving alternative to the high-priced meat:

Barbeque Bologna Roll

2 pounds unsliced (2½ inch) bologna
1/3 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup minced onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup The Uncola (7-Up)
8 hamburger buns

Score bologna.  Cover with water and simmer for 25 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from water.  Combine mustard, onions, brown sugar, and The Uncola.

Place bologna on grill.  Baste generously, turning often until glazed and lightly browned- about 20-30 minutes.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Serve on buns using three slices of bologna for each sandwich.  

Makes 8 sandwiches.

No reviews of the suggested barbeque meal were recorded in the weeks following the publication of the recipe that was undoubtedly sponsored by the Howdy Corporation which owned 7 Up. No Breathitt County resident will admit to trying the recipe from 1970. “How did it taste?” and “Did anyone try it?” might be two of those unanswered questions that will remain elusive in our past. Based on this ad from Jett’s IGA the same week, chicken may have been a cheaper alternative.

7 Up was known as “The Uncola” for much of the 1970s and 1980s.
The Jackson Times in July 1970 suggested a new way to prepare a meal that was cheaper than the traditional summer hamburgers and steaks. They also provided a recipe for a drink to sip while you watched your food on the grill.

Families today are facing tough challenges to make wise food choices that are within the budget. The recent downturn in economic conditions has added a layer of difficulty to that challenge. The one bright spot in the newspaper in 1970 was that the price of potted meat at all stores had dropped, and four cans could be purchased for $1.00.

The Jett’s IGA Foodliner advertisement from July 9, 1970 ran in The Jackson Times on page 9.

With the summer holidays upon us, this recipe may be a great alternative to the traditional meal. If only we could go back to those 1970 prices. We may not have many choices left. Sadly, bologna prices have also risen.

Are you willing to try the Barbeque Bologna Roll? If you are, please take a picture and let us know how it goes. Sorry, I do not know the current price of Pepto-Bismol.

© 2022 Stephen D. Bowling


About sdbowling

Director of the Breathitt County Public Library and Heritage Center in Jackson, Kentucky.
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