Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston and Our Shared Crackers and Jell-O Heritage

Oh dear. Today my colleague Sandra Fish brought me up to speed on the ever-changing Tilt-A-Whirl of love in a universe that is light years away from New York and Chelsea Clinton. Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston Engagement: It’s Off Again. Maybe.

This story’s got everything you’ve come to expect of the family dramas surrounding our former governor of the great state of Alaska. Tabloid covers. Hints of a reality show. References to both the song “Jack and Diane” and Kathy Griffin. Not to mention the prospect of a downhome wedding. Chelsea may have been born in Little Rock, but she’s no more Arkansas than the Dalai Lama.

Now, I don’t know the Palins any more than I know the Clintons, so the chance of an invitation to the Palin-Johnston wedding landing in my lap was zero. Still, I might have whipped up some Sea Foam Salad in their honor. In a strange way, I consider the Palins my people.

My favorite O.J. Simpson joke had nothing to do with race. Unless you consider “white trash” a race. I proudly count myself as one, so it’s all right for me to tell this old chestnut:

Did you hear O.J. is moving to Arkansas? The DNA is all the same there. :::rimshot:::

My people, referred to as “white nomads” by high-falutin’ literary types, are mocked the world over with impunity. I won’t repeat what comedic genius Chris Rock said about my people in his landmark show “Bring the Pain” except to say: He was correct.

Which brings me to Bristol and Levi. Neither of those names rings a bell. Shouldn’t they? After all, I’m a fifth-generation Texan, and Texas is almost the same as Alaska — big, brash, trigger-happy and ready for secession at the mere whisper of insult to our manhood (or womanhood).

But come on. Bristol? Levi? Why not Sharlene and Darryl? Brandy and Skyler? (We do have a Briana, though, in the form of Levi’s ex-girlfriend.)

I detest conservative politicians as much as the next Libertarian Socialist, but I have to give them this: At least they don’t put on airs. If anything, they try to outdo each other on who can be the least pretentious.

A fond memory of my youth was falling asleep to the sounds of dominoes shuffling and adults talking about Barefoot Sanders. Who was this Barefoot Sanders? And why didn’t he have shoes? Little did I know then that in Texas calling someone Barefoot is like bestowing knighthood in England.

Speaking of England, I’ve never seen anyone on this side of the pond so obsessed with nuclear family units and bloodlines as my fellow white trashians. As one who grew up with her blood father, let me just say: It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I couldn’t wait for my bookish, pipe-smoking stepfather to enter the picture. I’m still waiting.

I do hope Bristol and Levi work things out. I want to see what ends up on the wedding table. My mother-in-law used to make Mock Apple Pie. The main ingredient is crackers.

My mom didn’t go in much for crackers or other processed food. But she did, on special occasions, serve a dish made from lime Jell-O, crushed pineapple, pecans, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Lots and lots of mayonnaise.

The Internet has a few recipes and pictures. The names of this concoction are all over the map, ranging from Sea Foam Salad to Green Goddess Salad. (The latter recipe included a small jar of pimentos. Yum.)

“I’m not sure if it has a real name,” wrote one person. “We always just called it the green stuff.”

Another poster wrote: “Mayonnaise and Jello? Good God, people. You are messing with ingredients in the wrong way here.” Came the reply: Laugh if you want, but this dish showed up at “nearly every church supper that I ever attended. It was very popular and the person that would bring it always went home with an empty dish. So don’t knock it until you have tried it.”

My dad certainly raved about it. Although some call this delicacy a salad, in our house it was dessert. Keep these recipes handy. I’ll bet the Palin-Johnston wedding is back on quicker than you can say “road kill.”

By the way, a gelatin mold is optional. You can use any old flat dish. Just unmold the slab and cut it into 3-inch squares. We don’t stand on ceremony when it comes to Green Stuff.

[originally published by Politics Daily in 2010]


About Quixotic Chick

I write. I take pictures. I survived cancer.
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