It's Time to Take Out the Trash!
The other week, my friend Kel came to me for a favor.... Seems a friend of
hers wanted to throw a White Trash Party. And knowing my penchant for foof,
theme parties, kitsch, and ways with cheeeeze, she turned to me for advice.
I've had and attended several themed parties along these lines. There was the Plastic Velveeta Ultralounge, more of an all-encompassing kitsch/tacky party,
which I threw to celebrate getting my B.A. The Ultralounge incorporated 40s-60s lounge music,
swingin' bachelor pad touches, themed food and clothes and decor. There were some
truly White Trash touches -- like the glass grapes, ashtray collection, and cork
lamps I dug out of Gramma's storage shed -- but it was leaning overall more towards 1940s than full-out White Trash.
The actual White Trash party, though....
Okay, let's break it down!
Food makes the party. For a White Trash party, you need the essentials: squirt cheese, Ritz crackers, canned bean dip and Spam. Then round it out with a few casseroles (the ever-popular tuna-noodle with potato chips crushed on top,
or some monstrosity I found in an old cookbook that is basically frozen tater tots baked with cream of mushroom soup),
deviled eggs (especially if the eggs are torn/misshapen), at least one Jello-mold (with fruit/colored marshmallows inside), generic soda, wine-in-a-box and cheap beer. Desserts can be some kind of Nilla Wafer/Cool Whip concoction, cakes with cold cereal decor, Rice Krispies treats, or, my favorite, the Ritz Cracker Mock Apple Pie.
(Grape Nuts pudding might be a little difficult to serve at a party... save that for a special dinner for two.) Serve everything on
mismatched paper plates and plastic trays, natch. Garnish with half-used
condiments straight from the fridge. Flimsy plastic tablecloths are a lurvely touch.
Some White Trash Party recipes:
Gramma's Hors D'ourves Porcupine (She's been making this for at least 50 years....)
Ingredients: 1 whole grapefruit, packaged sliced (square!) ham (and other assorted lunch meats and/or Spam), packaged bologna, Vienna sausages (the canned kind with all that fatty goop in there), two kinds of cheese, toothpicks.
Directions: Cover the grapefruit with a layer of tin foil. You will now have a silver ball. Place it on a tray. Cut the cheeses and Spam into cubes. Cut the Vienna sausages into threes, round pieces. Roll each slice of lunch meat and slice into three or four roll-up bits. Attempt the same with the bologna, but since it'll be in round slices, it won't look the same. This is good. This is White Trashy. Spear all the bits with toothpicks, and stick them into the grapefruit. Place the porcupined grapefruit on a tray or plate, and surround with leftover bits of toothpicked stuff, plus Ritz crackers. Nice, huh?
Tuna-noodle Casserole, circa 1965
Ingredients: 1 12oz can tuna. 2 cups cooked egg noodles. 1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup. 1 cup canned peas&carrots. 3/4 cup milk. 1/4 cup (or less) pimento-in-a-jar.
Directions: Slop it all together. Top with crushed potato chips, cracker crumbs, bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes. My mom used to put sliced American cheese on, too. Bake at 350 for about 25-35 minutes, until brown and bubbly.
Nummy Nummy Mac & Cheese Casserole
Directions: Make thick white sauce from (Watkins or any other) cream soup base according to package directions. Stir in 8 oz. shredded Velveeta. Add to 9 oz. prepared macaroni and simmer over low heat for 5
min. or pour into casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake @ 350 degrees for 30
min. (You can add ham cubes for an especially nice touch!)
Ritz Mock Apple Pie
According to the Ritz Cracker web site, "The classic pie, featuring Ritz crackers baked in a golden crust, is perfect for the holidays." (HOWL!)
Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of one lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside.
2. Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel; cool.
3. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
4. Bake at 425F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.
I opened a thread at Gwen's Trailer Trash Wife page specifically for Party and Food suggestions, so
At my White Trash themed parties, I went hog-wild on decor, because my Gramma still has a bunch of
Very Important Stuff in the storage shed. Out came the turquoise table and vinyl
chairs from the 50s, the crochet crafts, the bowl of fake fruit, my Ugly Afghan Collection, and, of course, LOTS of ashtrays. Also good: old lawn chairs/mismatched chairs, throw pillows, any kind of stitched anything (samplers, pillows, etc)... especially with special messages on them ("Children are gifts from
God"), old family pictures (Aunt Sylvia circa 1955 with the pointy glasses and beehive is good), teddy bear stuff, ceramic knick-knacks,
fake flowers, plastic napkin holders, garage-sale things.... It's limitless.
You can go the obvious C(o)untry music route, but can mix in some special hokey stuff, too. You can even get away with some Lounge-ier music, but be careful you don't tip your hand! Nostalgia, kitsch, and funky stuff is too knowing for a
White Trash party... no Typical Disco, only small amounts of Tom Jones, no Grease! soundtrack or Esquivel.... Opt for some older Barry Manilow and John Denver, late Elvis, a little War
(Lowrider is always good), maybe even some early Doobie Brothers or ELO. But especially, Midwestern American Penis Boy stuff
works best: John Cougar Mellancamp, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult. And personally, I think Eminem, Kid Rock, Britney and Christina Aquavelva also count for White Trash. It just all depends on the party atmosphere you want to create....
This is a good link for music (and costume) inspiration:
And speaking of costumes....
At the Plastic Velveeta Ultralounge, we all went the Hawaiian Shirt route, but for the White Trash party, oh, I looked GOOD! Stretch pants,
flip-flops, glittery t-shirt... face makeup about 4 shades too dark so I had Brown Makeup Ring... liquid eyeliner and frosted eyeshadow. Big hair all sticky with hairspray. Huge
glitzy bead earrings. Costumes can be the most inspired aspect of a White Trash
party.... Mullet hairdos are excellent. Muumuus/caftans/housecoats are as well.
Old grease-stained jeans. Tank tops with dirty bras showing. Moustaches (on men
AND women). Ten-year-old Lycra exercise shorts. Baseball hats. Bandanas. Old
Pussy Rock outfits. Cowboy hats and/or big belt buckles. Acid washed anything.
Anything with sparklies, tie-dye, appliqué or iron-ons. Complimentary perfume
or cologne. A trip to the local thrift stores is a must... unless, like me, you still had that fugly sparkly-kitten-sweatshirt that your Dumb Dad gave you stashed at the back of your closet....
You can have "Name That Tune!" contests... I prepared a tape with snippets of 12 songs, and everyone had to guess. You can have White Trash Trivia! with questions like "1 can tuna, one can cream of mushroom soup, crushed potato chips... what do you get?"
You can award prizes for best costume/outfit, most authentic domestic violence re-enactment, best mullet head, best
sausage-eating or beer drinking, best application for the Marry Tom Arnold web page... gosh, where do you draw the line?
Harley t-shirts. Secondhand paperback romance novels. Videotaped episodes of COPS!
Roseanne's biography. Jerry Springer's biography. Ann Rule true crime paperbacks. Copies of tabloids. Cans of Spam. Dukes of Hazzard t-shirts. Christina Agulara posters. Wife-beater tank tops. "I Love My Truck" and pissing Calvin stickers. Big belt buckles. ANYTHING relating to WWF. Sweat- and t-shirts with cute
appliqués. Cartons of cigarettes. Wal-Mart gift certificates. Packages of fake press-on nails and purple nail polish. Go to the local 99cent store and stock up!
What do you think would make for a phenomenal White Trash
party? Have you ever had one? Write to Dwanollah
and tell her all about it, and you might find yourself featured here on