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A Thoroughly White Trash Thanksgiving


I mentioned in passing the other day that this year we were doing 3! Thanksgiving celebrations, and while I may have made it sound like I was irritated by it, I’m not. Not really. I’m happy that we split up the holidays once again, as it has made for a much less stressful holiday. It took a bit of Trial By Fire for Dave and I to realize that our families will probably never get along.

And, of course, the “not getting along” is far more insidious than screaming matches and pimp slapping, which made it that much harder for Dave and I to realize what the hell was going on. It was a showdown of passive-aggressive behavior and it made it incredibly stressful for both Dave and I to please our families WHILE successfully avoiding suicide by means of chocolate chip cookie. Not exactly the fun holiday we’d have liked.

So yesterday, we hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, and because they are hosting us today with the traditional turkey + stuffing gluttony Dave and I decided to mix things up. While I do, in fact, like turkey and stuffing, if I tried to cook it myself, I’d never be able to eat it again. I’m neurotic and have A Thing about raw meat.

Last year, while hosting both of our families, we decided to be all high-falutin’ and make us a damn side of beef and all sorts of pretentious side dishes. Horseradish twice baked potatoes, bourbon pecan pie, all the good shit. And when I served it all up, all fancy-style on my Haviland china, my eldest son began to weep.

He has massive food issues, as you probably know, and obnoxious to cook for is a given and a way of life for me.

Well, it was exactly the wrong thing for him to do at that moment. We’d prepared, and cleaned, and prepared, and spent a veritable fortune on the beef, and to have him openly weep over this enraged me. I’m surprised that my skull cap didn’t pop off from the fire raging within and spew grey matter all over the side of my freshly dusted china cabinet.

Sure, I’m accustomed to this behavior, but I’d deliberately chosen dishes that he would and did like, given the opportunity to try it. But, of course, the minute I began to harp on Ben in my most controlled yet fury-filled voice, both families finally united. To yell at me for yelling at my son on Thanksgiving.

Which was now exactly the wrong thing for THEM to do at this moment. The food issues + Ben go back for ages, and if they all had their way about it, Ben would still be eating his White Stuff Only diet. The Daver and I have spent many hours with a weeping Ben to make him try such disgusting kid food as “hot dogs” and “pizza.” We’re not exactly insisting on foie gras and prosciutto here.

But whatever, they all jump down my throat, and the fire of a thousand suns burns within my belly for the next year. What, me have issues?

So this year, in approximately July when the winter holiday schwag begins to hit the store shelves, I informed Dave that I will not be doing any heavy duty hosting this year and he immediately agreed. But on Thanksgiving, living in a suburb, there’s very little open for us to shamelessly order takeout from, so I decided that I’d cook. And I’ll cook things that are both easy and that my children will eat.

Hence, White Trash Thanksgiving was born.

The menu?

BBQ meatballs
Hawaiian meatballs
Mac -n- Cheese


Cupcakes with canned frosting for dessert.

(the mac and cheese, I must divulge, was fancy ass, and I did make it from scratch. It was so incredibly rich that it made an audible THWUMP! when it hit our stomachs. We all ate approximately 2 tablespoons before we could eat no more. But hey, it was a TASTY two tablespoons)

I bought generic ingredients whenever possible, and was sad that I hadn’t thought to make a jello mold salad (complete with the most generic fruit cocktail suspended creepily inside) OR a ranch, iceberg and baco-bits salad, as that would have added a new and extra-special dimension of trashiness. Perhaps next year I will also serve generic Kool-Aid in wax-covered cups. The red flavor. And we will eat of Chinette.

My parents, my snobby, NPR-listening to parents, loved it. As did my children and my husband.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new tradition. Any thoroughly white trash suggestions for next year?

43 Comments to

“A Thoroughly White Trash Thanksgiving”

  1. On November 28th, 2008 at 1:10 pm Sandy Says:

    Here’s an idea – I used Hefty brand Styrofoam Partitioned Plates this year! They are sturdy and partitioned so that the food doesn’t touch each other (3 out of 5 of my husband’s relatives have severe food touching phobias). Then you just throw them away. And they’re white – which then creates an extra literal “white trash” effect. Voila!

  2. On November 28th, 2008 at 1:32 pm kalakly Says:

    Dude, mini weenies wrapped in wonder bread and for extra special, mini weenies, wrapped in american ‘cheese food’ then wrapped in wonder bread…mmmmm can you poke em with those fancy toothpicks that have the colored cellophane frill at the end too?

  3. On November 28th, 2008 at 2:26 pm Karen Says:

    Hey traditions are awesome. You don’t need fancy food and china. You need happy kids and togetherness.

    So as for next year….maybe rent a double wide in a trailer park for weekend for your holiday celebrations???

  4. On November 28th, 2008 at 2:41 pm Don Mills Diva Says:

    Could you possible add some type of casserole involving tuna fish and crushed potato chips?

    That would really add something to the celebration.

  5. On November 28th, 2008 at 1:45 pm Badass Geek Says:

    Mmm… Those wax-covered cups sure are tasty.

  6. On November 28th, 2008 at 2:45 pm Dora Says:

    Sound’s great! My suggestion, fudge made from the recipe on the Fluff jar. It really is “never fail.”

    Please post the mac and cheese recipe.

  7. On November 28th, 2008 at 3:22 pm Betts Says:

    We dipped our toes in the white thrash Thanksgiving, too. The family that was supposed to bring potatoes and squash to our “do” called in sick on the morning of. We substituted Kraft macaroni and cheese instead. The kiddos were thrilled.

  8. On November 28th, 2008 at 2:26 pm chicory Says:

    kalakly stole my idea!

    hot wings

    and pabst blue ribbon beer

  9. On November 28th, 2008 at 3:37 pm The Mommy Says:

    I think you’re missing the obvious (unless you just forgot to mention it). WAS there a keg in the living room? Because I grew up white trash – and it ain’t a holiday without one!

  10. On November 28th, 2008 at 3:01 pm Chibi Jeebs Says:

    Tater Tots & chicken nuggets! And make sure everyone is barefoot.

  11. On November 28th, 2008 at 4:08 pm Lynn Says:

    You’ll need a dog next year for cleanup when either food is accidentally dropped or intentionally slung and drips from the panelling walls.

    Hounds look nice on the porch.

    Great post!

  12. On November 28th, 2008 at 4:40 pm Madame Yu See Says:

    You left out the green bean/mushroom soup/canned fried onion caserole!
    I admire the macaroni from scratch dish – my children still think all macaroni & cheese comes in a box labeled ‘Kraft.’

  13. On November 28th, 2008 at 4:54 pm shay Says:

    I haven’t been by for awhile so first of all….LOVE LOVE LOVE the new diggs! WHEW, classy!

    Anything Velveeta or Cheese whiz speaks of white trash for me but eating it all with the TV blaring out something like car racing or wrestling would really set the mood don’t you think?!
    Meatloaf also seems white trash to me but it could just be because the only time I ever had it (High falutin’ CBC listening, vegetarian parents over here) was at my white trash best friend’s house.
    Happy American Thanksgiving to you! We had ours last month and we also celebrate separately:) I’m all for lowering the tension!

  14. On November 28th, 2008 at 5:14 pm Emily R Says:

    for the record, there is nothing on that list Z would eat. You think you have food issues…?!

  15. On November 28th, 2008 at 5:20 pm queen-size funny bone Says:

    smores over a candle.

  16. On November 28th, 2008 at 5:32 pm Kyddryn Says:

    White trash cookies – sandwich peanut butter between two Ritz crackers, coat in white chocolate, and holy hell, that’s good stuff. You can sprinkle ’em with colored sugar to make them festive. Whee.

    White trash bean dip – one can of baked beans, some chopped onion, some molasses, heat until bubbly, use ridged chips to scoop up and devour. Yeehaw.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who has more, but will spare you)

  17. On November 28th, 2008 at 5:51 pm swirl girl Says:

    Go all the way with Triscuit, cheeze whiz and little pimento stuffed green olive slices garnishes as an appetizer. Swanson frozen turkey dinner for the main course , and Rice Crispie Treats for dessert!

  18. On November 28th, 2008 at 7:09 pm birdpress Says:

    Inside-out chicken cordon bleu? (Wrap chicken nuggets in spam.)

    Glad you had an easy Thanksgiving! I felt pain when I read what your family did to you over the Ben thing. It’s the kind of thing I’d imagine my family doing to me if I had a kid.

  19. On November 28th, 2008 at 6:38 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    All great suggestions there. Anything that makes life more fun and easier is what it’s all about.
    I used Chinet this year. AND paper napkins AND (shame of shames) plastic cutlery.
    I never do that. But this year, I said, “Girl, who you tryin’ to impress?”
    The answer was, “Nobody.”
    And you know what? Nobody cared.

  20. On November 28th, 2008 at 8:00 pm Gail Says:

    Are you calling my Hawaiian Meatballs recipe WHITE TRASH???!!??

    Why I oughtta…

    …change the name of the recipe. 🙂

    Glad it went over well.

  21. On November 28th, 2008 at 9:07 pm honeywine Says:

    White trash? Can everyone get mullets? lol

  22. On November 28th, 2008 at 9:17 pm Kymberli Says:

    PB&J sammiches cut into stupid shapes with cookie cutters. Flavor-Aid in a punchbowl with big scoops of rainbow sherbet floating in it. Mini Spam burgers. Fish sticks arranged artfully on a platter around a pool of tarter sauce. If you wanna be fancy, garnish it with parsley.

    I left something for you on my blog, my White friend.

  23. On November 28th, 2008 at 8:25 pm quietgirl? Says:

    Why does your kid weep at food? Is he just being difficult or does his stomach hurt. Tummy things tend to run in families. Not to jinx you, just saying health is a spectrum and it’s much better to be preventative than to have to deal with shit down the road! SORRY to be all in your shit though. I am soooo not giving you parenting advice.
    Personally, I cannot fathom how you tolerate multiple children EVERY day without tearing out all your hair. As much as I do want to have them, if I had any now I’d beat them criminally. I think I just want the baby part, then when they turn 8 or so I’ll win the lotto and get a flat to myself in Paris.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  24. On November 28th, 2008 at 10:58 pm kristen Says:

    mmmm…. can I have some mac and cheese??? I have never made it for my kids, they hate it. lil’ buggers!
    my fave white trash meal is tomato soup from a can and grilled cheese. yummy!

  25. On November 28th, 2008 at 10:14 pm magpie Says:

    I think that there is never anything wrong with homemade macaroni and cheese. Ever.

  26. On November 29th, 2008 at 12:13 am heather Says:

    Girl, you want white trash? You should’ve filled our vacant seats at the in-laws’ place this year. Dinner is not complete without crumbled cheezits over broccoli goo with some sort of jello pretzel concoction. If it comes in a box and/or a can and can be coated with bread or cheese — they are all over that shit. Everyone sits around moaning from bellyaches rather than sleeping off tryptophan comas.

    Your plan sounds most excellent. We always visit the in-laws after dinner, because their dinner has been moved to coincide with my family’s dinner. I think I may copy your plan next year for my folks (with my own white-breader).

  27. On November 29th, 2008 at 4:49 am Kelley Says:

    My absolute favourite Christmas was the year we ordered a chicken and roast vegetables from the local chicken shop and we spent the day in our pj’s.

    Sometimes the whole baked dinner and visiting and best behaivour thing needs to take a backseat to just relaxing and enjoying your family.

  28. On November 29th, 2008 at 7:37 am Betty M Says:

    Loving the new look.

    British white trash don’t cook ever – take aways only out of the foil.

  29. On November 29th, 2008 at 11:55 am Stacey Says:

    This is a genius idea! I may have to do it myself next year.

    You left out the beer or the cheapest red wine from Wal-mart, served in plastic cups of course. And the canned green beans in the green bean casserole. You could add canned Candied Yams studded with an excess of mini marshmellows. Dave should go huntin’ and bring home a dead critter for the table, squirrel stew perhaps?

  30. On November 29th, 2008 at 11:56 am foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    What you need to do next year is slice up some hot dogs and mix it in with that mac and cheese. Hell, toss in a bag of frozen peas (if you want to get fancy. if not, canned will do) with that mix and then you can seriously call it a casserole!

  31. On November 29th, 2008 at 2:34 pm Anjali Says:

    We used paper products and bought about half the dishes ready-made. It was awesome.

  32. On November 29th, 2008 at 5:50 pm LAS Says:

    Wing dings and cheesy potatos – a family favorite from my dad’s side of the family.

  33. On November 29th, 2008 at 8:36 pm baseballmom Says:

    OMG, kyddryn-I love those ritz cookie things! How ’bout tater tot casserole (ground beef, mushroom soup with tater tots on top and baked), and maybe you guys could sit around and make tampon angels for Christmas decorations. Just sayin’. I have a ‘thing’ about raw turkey/poultry too-in fact Coach cooked the turkey over at my grandpa’s condo, which is next door to my mom’s condo, and is currently on the market because he passed away…so no one lives there. But there’s an oven! Know why? Because my mom didn’t want a mess in her oven! Also, the smell of turkey roasting gives me a headache-EVERY TIME. He ended up spilling grease in the oven and almost burnt the place down. Crayzee

  34. On November 30th, 2008 at 7:31 pm Holly Says:

    Sounds yummy.

  35. On November 30th, 2008 at 8:20 pm Sara Says:

    Canned spray cheese. Must have canned spray cheese.

    (This totally reminds me of collage and the $1 Christmas gifts!)

  36. On December 1st, 2008 at 3:23 am Heather P. Says:

    Honey, I’m Southern and everything we eat is perfect for your white trash holiday.
    Fried Bologna sandwiches!
    -must be served with Miracle Whip and white bread.
    Fried Spam!
    -fry it up
    -wrap with Kraft singles American Cheese
    -pierce with a toothpick and serve
    Vienna Weiners
    -pierce with toothpick and serve
    Beanie Weenies
    Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips
    Glad I could be of help!

  37. On December 1st, 2008 at 10:28 am Lola Says:

    Yeah, touching raw poultry makes me gag just about as much as watching someone else throw up. I’m instantly bent over with dry heaves if I even see it. Forget about touching it and smelling it cook. Thanksgiving is my nightmare!

    I think all that was missing was some good old Schlitz for the folks.

  38. On December 2nd, 2008 at 7:47 am Candid Engineer Says:

    Wow! That’s quite a Thanksgiving menu. What I would give for some homemade mac and cheese at my Thanksgiving…

  39. On December 2nd, 2008 at 8:38 pm mumma boo Says:

    Don’t forget the wine in a box and ketchup. Lots of ketchup. On everything.

  40. On December 2nd, 2008 at 10:48 pm PajamaChick Says:

    Ramen noodles??
    They are a big deal down here in the jails. You can somehow even make Pizza out of them.
    Personally I love them – not the pizza kind.
    I work with someone who had there Thanksgiving in a bar. It was the same bar where her parents met, got married, and have both been arrested at multiple times.

    It would be better if you have your Christmas lights from last year all lit up!

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  43. On October 27th, 2016 at 7:33 pm MamaBall Says:

    Box wine in red solo cups, beer cans on the table, everyone in shorts or jeans, and queso dip made from a brick of Velveeta and jarred salsa. Love all the suggestions from everyone!

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