Bologna Papooses Were…Really Good?

Posted on Jun 3 2009 - 10:14am by RetroRuth

oscar-mayer001Happy Wednesday, everyone!  You know what this means. Hubs and I have eaten a meal I chose out of a mid-century cookbook, not for it’s promise of deliciousness, but for it’s weird and sometimes disgusting ingredients. We ate it, and we lived to tell about it.

Our meal this week came from this happy little book, 101 Ideas for a Quick and Easy Lunch with Oscar Mayer Sausage.  But looks can be deceiving.  Underneath this happy little cowboy is quite possibly the craziest cookbook ever unleashed on mankind. And all the recipes have the distinct honor of containing at least a half a pound of some kind of Oscar Mayer mystery sausage.  But why stop there? Some recipes have two or three kinds of sausage.


Now, I know I bent the rules a little by serving a lunch recipe for dinner, but this little fudge was made possible by this fantastic section of the book. oscar-mayer003a 18 insane lunches, brought to you by a cowboy who was driven crazy by sun and his thirst, and now all he can think about eating is sausage. And lots of it.

Why do I keep bringing up the cowboy?  Because the book has a slightly western theme, and by that I mean everything that isn’t a German or Norwegian dish has “Cowboy” in front of it. And some, like our poor recipe, have a racially insensitive name.

oscar-mayer002a Honestly, when I read this recipe for the first time, I laughed and laughed. And laughed.

What the?!?! What were they thinking?  Oh wait, I know. They were thinking, “Let’s sell some of this #%@*& bologna before it goes bad. Quick, think of something!”

And on that note, off we went.

The first thing I did, even though it wasn’t in the recipe, was brown the side of bologna that was going to be on the inside.  I don’t know why, but it just made me feel better.


The assembled ingredients. Ready to meet their doom.


Spreading horseradish on the bologna.  Wow, that is something I never thought I would type.  Anyway, as you can see this isn’t grated horseradish.  I realized, with much disgust and at the last minute, that our horseradish had gone bad, so I had to sub a horseradish mayo spread. I didn’t think it would really make that much of a difference.


Adding cheese to the bologna.  Now we’re in flavor country!


A scoop of macaroni enters the slaughter.

Now everything got difficult.  I was supposed to get the edges of the bologna wrapped up and skewered, but the macaroni refused to co-operate.  It slipped and slid and fell out everywhere.  I can’t even imagine tying them with string, like the recipe suggested. Sheer madness.

Anyway, it took a lot of toothpicks, but I finally got it.


Yum! Or something!


In the pan, swimming in tomato sauce.  God it’s so….wrong.  So very, very wrong.


Here we are, all plated up and hanging out with a gooey mess of macaroni and cheese, which I got out of another mid-century cookbook.

Hubs was excited throughout this procedure.  He had just come back from a run as I started cooking, and was starving.  “It smells really good!” was his first response to everything, which I was shocked about because I thought it smelled weird. But at the end we sat down and dug in.  Scarily enough, the most amazing thing happened.

It was…good. Really good. The best meal so far.  The macaroni inside the bologna had mixed with the horseradish mayo and made a kind of spicy mac and cheese.  The procedure to make it was really bizarre, but it tasted like hot dogs in kraft mac and cheese that your mom made when you were a kid, except better.

Hubs licked his plate, and then got up and prowled around the kitchen, yelling, “Are there anymore of those bologna sacks?” He ate the rest of the side mac and cheese and then the rest of my meal (I only ate one and a half.  I can only choke down so much bologna.) before declaring them the best Mid-Century Menu yet.

The verdict: Surprisingly Good

I am as shocked as all of you. I am not even all that into bologna. Hooray for one recipe rising above expectations!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. sablemable June 3, 2009 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I don’t know, Ruth, I cannot imagine horseradish, macaroni, cheese and bologna tasting good!

    I did like your idea to brown the bologna on one side first before “stuffing” it. Like my mother used to say, sometimes you have to doctor it (recipes) up!

    Can’t wait until next Wednesday, LOL! You are such a creative writer, Ruth!

  2. Tikimama June 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    You make me LAUGH! “Bologna sacks!” “A scoop of macaroni enters the slaughter”. The drama, the humor! Oh, how I love these posts!

    Come to think of it, “bologna sacks” is going to be my new swear word….

  3. Sara in AZ June 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I’m with Tikimama “Bologna sacks”, I LOVE it! I was very scared for you when I started reading this recipe. I thought there was no way possible you would get that macaroni to stay inside the bologna – but yea! for you. I could not picture how all this was going to come together, but I am so very glad you liked your bologna sacks!!! 🙂

  4. Mary-Frances Main June 3, 2009 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Wow, repulsed and yet interested – I think the kids would love this!

  5. tiddleywink June 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    As a kid growing up (not that long ago) in once-heavily-Native country, we were taught in school that a papoose was a cradleboard used for toting infants around, like an aboriginal Snugli. Looking it up just now, I see that it comes from the Algonquian word for “child.” At what point did it become a slur? It doesn’t come up often (read: ever) but I sure wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

    “Bologna sacks” is a helluva lot more fun to say anyway!

  6. kim June 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I just made these–they were REALLY GOOD! I’m not crazy about bologna, but I liked it in this recipe. Mac & cheese with tomatoes is one of my favorites, so this turned out to be a treat. I didn’t get the pouches fully closed, so I added more cheese 1/2 way through cooking. I will make this recipe again. 😀

    Thanks so much for posting!

    • RetroRuth June 21, 2009 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Kim! Thanks for the comment. Oh my goodness, that is awesome that you made these! Did you take a picture? I would love to see it if you did. Also, I told everyone that they were good, and look, Kim agrees!

  7. kim June 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Awww, I didn’t take a pic! I didn’t even think! It looked just like yours, but I used the little macs from Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese dinner because I didn’t have any other kind. The cheese got really stringy and was all over the lid, so I probably went overboard with it. I also used sliced stewed tomatoes (the spicy kind). This recipe is so unusual, I just had to try it. And it is very inexpensive to make. 😀

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