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Cornelius Cooks

A Pennsylvania Dutch treat for a chilly February day

Carolyn Oliver is well known to anyone who likes to eat in Cornelius

Carolyn Oliver is well known to anyone who likes to eat in Cornelius. She’s the friendliest and happiest waitress on the west side of town. The Pennsylvania native has worked at Big Bite’z for 11 years, having moved here from Chambersburg 20 years ago.

She’s served the likes of Michael Waltrip, whose business is just down the street on Liverpool, Assistant Redskins Coach Don Breaux, Falcons-Packers-Patriots linebacker Ron Acks and the movie star everybody says lives here, Matthew McConaughey. “I’m 99 percent sure it was him,” Carolyn says with the same good-natured enthusiasm that keeps local business owners and government officials coming back to Big Bite’z.

Not to mention the food, of course. Big Bite’z owner John Zaravelis provides homemade cole slaw by the gallon on the third Saturday of every July for 600-plus picnic-goers at Big Day at the Lake.

But Carolyn learned to cook from her mom. It was “basically your home-style cooking, back in the day when everything was meat, potatoes and a vegetable.” Hearty Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and baking has brought car loads and bus loads of tourists to the Lancaster County area for more than a century.

“Up home everybody eats Hog Maw,” Carolyn says. In fact, every trip back home means a sausage and hog stomach run to a local meat provisioner. (Here in Cornelius, Food Lion stocks hog maw (the lining of a pig stomach); it can be special ordered from Ferrucci’s.)

The Oliver family loves it. Husband Jeff is a long-time Cornelius firefighter who works full time for Penske Racing. Their three daughters (Diane, Leanne and Landon) are grown; so far the Olivers have two grandsons, Evan, 13, and Billy, 8, who love to play laser tag with their grandmother.

“I simply love to play…as a matter of fact I just had my 60th birthday and that’s what Evan got me for my birthday.”

Carolyn also loves to decorate. She’s still working on taking down the 15 Christmas trees she put up this year.  “At Christmas we love to entertain. I turn this house into a Christmas wonderland. I did 15 Christmas trees in the house this year. I cut back, usually it’s 22.”

Hannah the rescue dog rounds out the Oliver family’s home in Wellesley Village.


  • 3 lbs. of potatoes
  • 2 lbs. loose pork sausage
  • 1 cup finely shredded cabbage


  • Peel and dice potatoes into cubes, adding sausage and shredded cabbage
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fold into a cleaned and trimmed stomach from a pig, stuffing it full
  • With a needle and thread, sew the stomach shut
  • Bake 4 hours at 350 degrees
  • Remove from the oven and cut into thick slices