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Sometimes, we like to make Reuben sandwiches. But, out here in the Tennessee hills, one knows that it’s going to be a compromise. Usually you can find good sauerkraut…genuine real deal rye bread is probably a fantasy. You know though that the real star is corned beef.

So today, I stood in line at the Walmart “deli” counter a good ten minutes waiting to put in an order for a pound of thinly sliced corned beef…I was imagining in my mind the bubbling Swiss cheese, the Russian dressing…and then my turn finally came and the lady behind the counter informed me, “We haven’t had any corned beef or pastrami, for that matter, in two months”.

I’m not a deli expert or purist by any sense but, I’m pretty sure that a deli without corned beef or pastrami is not a deli.