When there was no foie gras, we ate barbecue. From a can.
How was it, you might ask? It's BBQ in a can--how do you think it was? Nasty as hell. It also had little bits of bone and hoof in it. We found a thumbtack in one can.
My white trash childhood menu started with two staples:
White (honky) bread
Ground beef by the metric fuckton. It took three of us to carry the massive meatlog to the car. You might think storage was a problem but it wasn't. We ate the whole tube in a week.
A lot of it went into hobo dinners. Ground beef, potatoes, onions, carrots. Dump it all in a big tin foil ball and broil like hell. Seems like the foil would be unnecessary unless you're a hobo cooking over an open fire, but hey, it was good so I didn't question it.
Potato sticks in a can = white trash french fries. I saw some in a south Georgia convenience store not too long ago and bought them to see if they were as horrible as I remember. Yep. There were even a couple of burned ones stashed in there, just like the old days. My sister always wanted the burned ones. There was something wrong with her.
"Fish" sticks. Sticks and cans--a big part of my youth. These were 0.5% fish, 95.5% coating. You had to drown them in ketchup to make them edible.
Gubmint muthafuckin cheese. We weren't quite po' enough to qualify--thank goodness, that would be gauche--but our neighbors the Hoods did, so we ate the hell out of some squalor cheese. It lasted forever. Look at this loaf--1954 and still good.
Vienna sausages. Pronounced "VYE-anna" where we lived. My sister loved these but I was never a huge fan. The mealy consistency and the gooey juice gave me pause. They were hard to get out of the can, too. I always thought hot dogs were where all the worst pig parts went, but the parts that weren't good enough for hot dogs went into Vienna sausages. They were like the last stop for pork sphincters and snouts. If you can't make it there, you can't make it anywhere.
Off-brand cola. How can you not buy something called "Dr. Chek"? What balls--they didn't even try to hide what they were doing. Winn-Dixie don't give a shit.
Pineapple sandwiches. A complicated recipe: canned pineapple rings and mayo on honky bread. The first time I saw fresh pineapple, I was like "What the hell is this?"
Hamburger Helper. Gag. I never liked this. When it was served for dinner, I ate my socks instead.
Country fried steak. My favorite. A bad piece of beef coated and fried for 4-5 hours and covered in white gravy to make it edible. I loved it, though. Even now it makes me think of my grandma. She spent her life huddled over a sizzling pan of Crisco--the old lardy kind, not this new crap.
More to come...