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Aug 7, 2002 06:10 PM

"White Trash"-themed barbecue: your suggestions?

  • c

We're throwing out 3rd annual "white trash"-themed barbecue -- over SIXTY guests.

Some people consider "white trash" a perjorative. Obviously it's a harsh terminology, but we mean it playfully since many of our guests (and one of the hosts) identify themselves as white trash.

The way we mean the term, it describes Americans who don't identify with any ethnicity per se and who grew up within no cultural tradition beyond TV; not necessarily northern or southern, not necessarily rural, suburban or urban.

Here's where the chowhound challenge begins: I have asked my "evite" guests to propose their best examples of white trash food. I then hunt down ways to prepare the foods they list -- prepare it REALLY WELL.

For example, many guests in their ignorance consider "BBQ" to be the exemplar of white trash foods. Most just don't know real barbecue, so I set myself to educating them, preparing the best Carolina-style vinegar-based barbecue I can manage. "Cooked low and slow," etc. My best efforts turned out pretty well; many guests swore to me they had no idea barbecue could be so fine.

Other stuff I provide, in the best form I can manage: hot dogs, burgers, condiments, lemonade, jam cake, pork rinds, Buffalo wings, corn on the cob, pb&j sandwiches, black walnut cake, Jell-o shots, hash browns, fries with cheese and/or gravy, and mountain oysters. Plus rappie pie; technically Nova Scotian, but doesn't it SEEM white trash?

Only chowhounds can understand what I'm asking: what belongs on a white trash barbecue menu, and how can I do it up PROUD?

Let's try to keep this topic un-flame-y. Possible? It's a challenge.

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  1. Nothing beats the classic Elvis sandwich--peanut butter, banana and bacon deepfried in butter. Actually, that's how I first heard it, but more reliable sources tend to leave out the bacon. And needless to say, it must be on white bread.

    If you really want to impress us, though, get your hands on some real, authentic moonshine.

    1. Hey, Clams, What you need is a copy of Ernie Mickler's White Trash Cookbook. He was the master.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Pat Hammond
        Jackie Avery

        That cookbook is remarkable. Really wonderful. My favorite recipe is for Resurrection Cake... It has a cup of Jack Daniels poured over the top, and is strong enough to resurrect the dead. It always livens up a party! Oh, and delicious too.

        1. re: Jackie Avery

          My two favorite recipes in there are for:

          "Baloney Roll-ups"

          1 package Winn-Dixie baloney
          1 jar French's mustard
          1 carton orange juice

          Roll slice of baloney, dip in jar of mustard; eat.
          Tastes best if eaten in front of open refrigerator.
          Follow with orange juice drank straight from the carton.

          and, "Jelly Jar Shake-ups"

          1 almost-empty jar of jelly

          Pour milk into jelly jar. Shake the hell out of it.
          The kids love it.

        2. re: Pat Hammond
          Jackie Avery

          That cookbook is remarkable. Really wonderful. My favorite recipe is for Resurrection Cake... It has a cup of Jack Daniels poured over the top, and is strong enough to resurrect the dead. It always livens up a party! Oh, and delicious too.

          1. re: Jackie Avery

            Jackie, I went to high school with a whole bunch of Micklers. I'm pretty sure Ernie was just a year behind me. I think he'd be amused and complimented by most of this thread. He died way too young. My first *real* boyfriend dumped me for a beautiful Mickler girl!

          2. re: Pat Hammond

            My momma just gave me this cookbook for my birthday. Do you think the recipes will still work in a Dehrillon copper fry pan I just bought? ;)

            1. re: Tater

              Only if you bought it at the Dollar Store.

          3. d
            David "Zeb" Cook

            How's this for a start?
            Pig-in-a-blanket (for the kids. sure)
            White Wonder Bread (served in the bag)
            Dill slices (cheaper the better)
            Onions & cucumbers in vinegar and sugar
            Sliced tomatoes
            Corn on the cob
            Dr. Pepper
            A cake with big white fluffy frosting
            A pot of stewed cocktail weenies
            Jello salad (the kind with marshmallows)
            Waldorf salad

            5 Replies
            1. re: David "Zeb" Cook

              Ooo, cukes in vinegar and sugar! I loved that as a kid. I'll do it! Best part (and it shares this with the pb & banana sandwiches): I bet my vegetarian guests will love it.

              (No butter on the PB & B's)

              1. re: Clams247
                David "Zeb" Cook

                Yeah, my grandmother always had them on the table. Plus she always had cottage cheese out too. Simple pleasures of childhood.

                David "Zeb" Cook

              2. re: David "Zeb" Cook

                Hey, I serve coleslaw, sliced tomataes, corn on the cob, cucumber salad with vinegar, sugar,and sour cream, and ribs every summer. I know now that I am truly white trash (despite my Ph.D.)because, in addition to the above I also usually include "copper pennies" : carrots, onion, and green pepper chunks in a sweet and sour sauce. Yikes. And I grew up in New York state...

                You can take the girl out of the country...

                1. re: Liz

                  I agree, Zeb has certainly lived a sheltered life if he thinks coleslaw, corn on the cob and watermelon are trashy.

                  For God's sake, Martha Stewart shows that stuff in her summer picnic layouts (along with the pashminas tied to the folding chairs).

                2. re: David "Zeb" Cook

                  Onions & cucumbers in vinegar and sugar, and sliced beets too - I always assumed that was a Danish thing. A winter salad for the non-tomato months.

                3. -Greenie Beanie Casserole with those Durkee onion ring things on top (imagine a version made with fresh beans, a flavored bechamel instead of canned soup, and topped with homemade onion straws)

                  -Ambrosia salad and/or jello mold (marshmallows NOT optional)

                  -Try making homemade versions of commercial baked products (imagine a delectable sponge cake finger filled with real vanilla flavored cream, a very chocolatey cream filled mini chocolate cake dipped in chocolate, etc.)

                  1. Please consider "Watergate Salad," a dish I was introduced to at pot-lucks at work. I clearly remember the woman who brought the version I tasted saying that it only had three ingredients: Cool-Whip and undiluted Jello pistachio pudding mix were two of them, but I couldn't remember the third. A Google search yielded a recipe with more than three ingredients, but it's about as "trailer trashy" as a recipe can get.