The food of my childhood, the food of Southern poor white trash

I am having a hard time with all the visceral disgust being aimed at the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, because so much of it seems to be just hate aimed at Southern poor people.  I suppose I understand that the behavior of a family from the rural south  is much different than the behavior of most of the viewers, but I don’t really understand what’s so offensive about it.

The show, if you’re unfamiliar, follows a little girl, who calls herself Honey Boo Boo Child, and her family as they go to pageants (they are Toddlers & Tiaras alums), coupon, and go to things like the redneck olympics.  They are from rural Georgia and are not the typical people who get their own reality programming — the mother is 33 with 4 daughters and a granddaughter (with 3 thumbs) and she weighs 309 pounds; she is unapologetic about all of this.

Today someone on Facebook, who I am very good friends with and like very much, posted:

Flipping channels caused me to land on this damned Honey Boo Boo thing, so out of curiosity I decided hey, why not see what happens in five minutes? In five minutes the little girl says “it’s been a while since I done had roadkill in my belly.” So I guess they’re using ground beef to make “sketti.” The sauce, though. The sauce? The sauce is butter and ketchup melted together in the microwave. “It’s an old family recipe.” No shit? Butter and ketchup? Margarine. Margarine and ketchup. An old family recipe? Grandma passed that down, did she? DON’T TELL NO ONE THE SECRET! Then they throw the noodles against the kitchen cabinets to see if they stick, and scream at everyone to let them know it’s done. This family is an abomination. Oh, and some of the kids are eating out of margarine tubs. People watch this? And like it? I hate this country so fucking much sometimes.

I can understand thinking the show is “rednecksploitation”, but I am really surprised at the amount of vitriol that is aimed at that family — and I find it genuinely upsetting.  I know that’s silly, it’s a TV show, but it feels personal and like I should be ashamed of how I was raised and who I was as a kid.  I totally ate that way growing up.  I haven’t had this particular recipe, which is known as “depression spaghetti”, but I definitely ate out of old food containers and threw noodles on the cabinet to see if they were done.

I wasn’t poor, but I grew around people who were poor or had been raised poor, and they eat some things that not-poor people find weird.  I didn’t learn that until I was older.  So, I’ve come up with a list of things that I ate as a kid or people I knew ate, I’m curious which ones are weird.  Y’all eat any of this?  Y’all eat anything weird too?

  • Mayonnaise sandwiches
  • Ketchup sandwiches
  • Stale cornbread in milk
  • Saltines in milk
  • Hot dog and baked bean casserole
  • Tomato sandwiches
  • Cows tongue
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches
  • Mayonnaise and banana sandwiches
  • Peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches
  • Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches
  • Tuna noodle casserole
  • Vienna sausages wrapped in American cheese
  • American cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches
  • American cheese garlic toast
  • Hot dog meat sloppy joes
  • Saltines in thousand island dressing
  • Canned fruit with Cool Whip
  • Coke with salted peanuts (yes, peanuts in the coke)
  • Mashed potatoes with ketchup
  • Eggs with ketchup
  • Peanut butter and pimiento cheese sandwiches
  • Pimiento cheese and tomato pie

EDIT: I’m adding more as I remember them

The food of my childhood, the food of Southern poor white trash

I get email: ALL White People

I have a great aunt who likes to send me e-mails and I got one today that I felt I had to share. Not because it’s good, but because I am sure many of you don’t have the un-privilege of being related to southern “poor white trash“. And so I present to you this e-mail which left me dumbstruck. It’s important to remember that the woman who sent this to me does not think that this is a racist e-mail. All original ridiculous font choices preserved.

Old White People And young white people ALL white people!


“Those who hide from current political reality will soon wonder where their American Liberty has gone.” DPM
HISPANIC LEADERS SPEAK OUT ——– “ALL You  white people, It is your duty to die.” 

Augustin Cebada
, Brown Berets; “Go back to Boston ! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten  rats. You oldwhite people. It is your duty to die. Through love of having children, we are going to take over.

Richard Alatorre
, Los Angeles City Council. “They’re afraid we’re going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They’re right. We will take them over . . . We are here to stay.”

, the national newspaper of Mexico , “The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot.”

Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez
, University of Texas ; “We have an aging white America . They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population . . . I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it.”

Art Torres
, Chairman of the California Democratic Party, “Remember 187–proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens–was the last gasp of white America in California .”

Gloria Molina
, Los Angeles County Supervisor, “We are politicizing every single one of these new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country . . … I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, “I’m going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back.”

Mario Obledo
, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton, ” California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.”

Jose Pescador Osuna
, Mexican Consul General, “We are practicing ‘La Reconquista’ in California ..”

Professor Fernando Guerra
, Loyola Marymount University ; “We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos . . . ”

When I was young, I remember hearing about the immigrants that came through Ellis Island .. They wanted to learn English. They wanted to breathe free. They wanted to become Americans. Now too many immigrants come here with demands. They demand to be taught in their own language. They demand special privileges–affirmative action. They demand ethnic studies that glorify their culture.

Send copies of this letter to at least two other people, 100 would be even better. Help us get the word out.

emember when you vote this year that we need someone in the White House who will balance the budget and control illegal immigration. If we make all illegals, legal, then we have lost our country forever. Liberalism will have won and you will have a one party system forever. Redistribution of wealth will be the law. It is called socialism. Our country is heading in the wrong direction and we are doing it to ourselves without serious protest

… but I like the immigrant version better. I am completely unable to grasp this. What are they afraid of?

I get email: ALL White People