Monthly Archives: February 2015

Smoked Neck

For years my Great Grandmother whom we called GG short for Great Grandmother did all of the cooking and shopping for her immediate family whom consisted of GG Bert our Great Grandfather as well as our Grandmother Honey V. One of GG’s specialties was smoked neck. We would go to her house in the Logan section of Philadelphia when my sister and I were little, about 50 years ago. Just saying that makes me feel old. After GG Bert’s passing, GG and Honey V moved from Philadelphia to rural Sicklerville, New Jersey to a ranch house. This move happened when I was about 12 years old. At the time my family lived in Levittown, NJ which the town voted to change the name to Willingboro mainly because mail was constantly being mixed up with Levittown, NY. This predates zip codes. After moving to Sicklerville, GG and Honey V needed to find new places to buy their food and other supplies. Both had lived in Philadelphia all of their lives and were use to the convenience of stores within walking distance. Suddenly, they had to drive everywhere. GG never learned to drive, so she relied on Honey V to get what she needed. So she wrote up a list of groceries for Honey V to purchase, and off she went for the groceries. She traveled from store to store and not one of the supermarkets had smoked neck. They suggested that she go to a butcher. As luck would have it, there was a local butcher who carried a large selection of not only traditional cuts but specialty cuts as well. She took a number and waited her turn. She was slender and fashion conscious in her leopard printed pant suit with matching jacket. She always caused heads to turn in admiration. She must have been quite an unusual sight to the rural local folk when she walked in. When her turn came, she asked the butcher behind the meat case for a smoked neck. She said that the butcher said, “Lady there is no such thing!” So she showed him the list that GG had written out. The butcher had numerous kinds of cuts that were smoked but no smoked neck. Honey V told them that she would be back after she found out what it was? Well, the crux of this whole story is GG was raised in the Victorian era, and ladies did not say the word butt as it wasn’t proper. So since GG would always do the shopping herself in Philadelphia at the same butcher Every time she would just point to the cut. Then she would ask the butcher to write Smoked Neck on the wrapper. I remember that story like it was yesterday. Honey V was so amused by the whole thing!