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