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A Dish Fit for a King
On Anniversary of Elvis' Death, a Recipe for BBQ Bologna

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Aug. 16, 2001 -- Elvis Presley may have been the king, but in his kitchen Mary Jenkins Langston was the queen.

Langston was the cook at Graceland, the rock and roll star's estate in Memphis, Tenn., for 14 years. She specialized in the kind of down-home cooking that Elvis loved -- especially the stuff that's really bad for you.

BBQ Bologna

stick of bologna (not the cut-up deli style, but from a whole roll)
cup vinegar
lemon juice
2 tablespoons red pepper
1 tablespoon salt

Punch holes in the bologna and place on a grill or in the oven. Mix the other ingredients, and constantly baste the roll while it cooks on low heat for about an hour. Then baste the roll with barbeque sauce, and cook for about another half hour, then serve.


Langston's recipe, culled from her Elvis memoir, Elvis: Memories Beyond Graceland Gates

How bad? A short list of his favorites includes butter-soaked grilled banana and peanut butter sandwiches, biscuits fried in butter and filled with sausage, t-bone steaks -- grilled in butter, naturally -- and meatballs wrapped in bacon.

Some wags contend that Langston was to blame for the disappearance of Elvis' famed pelvis at the end of his life. Langston, in her own defense, said before her death last year that Elvis paid the bills -- so whatever he wanted to eat, he got.

On this 24th anniversary of Elvis' death, NPR's Vertamae Grosvenor decided to sample one of "The King's" favorite dishes -- barbequed bologna.

The ancestor to boloney is mortadella, a sausage that originated in Bologna, Italy where the Guild of Sausage Makers was created in the 14th century. Mortadella was considered fit to be served at wedding feasts and dinners for important people. In other words, it was a sausage fit for a king.