Cookbooks: Eastbound and Down's Final Episode, The (New) White Trash Cookbook Tribute + A Memorable Sandwich Recipe

How fitting, in a marshmallow salad sort of way, that 25 years after Ernest M. Mickler first published White Trash Cooking, the final season of HBO's Eastbound and Down has wrapped up.

If you've missed "the best f--king show on HBO," as MTV's James Montgomery neatly summed up in Kenny Powers-appropriate lingo, you can still shell out those HBO subscription dollars and watch back episodes. Or you could go with the $19.99, cheap white trash spiral-bound alternative: the recently released 25th-anniversary edition of Mickler's cookbook.

Although Mickler died shortly after the first edition was published, we have a feeling the cookbook author would have been an Eastbound and Down fan.

He sounds like just the sort of guy who would be thrilled to have Danny McBride, who plays the show's hilarious washed-up baseball player Kenny Powers, sit down with him at the dinner table (in a plastic lawn chair, of course). You know, to share a meal of "Mock-Cooter" stew, and before or after dinner, it doesn't really matter, a bowl of "Fannie's Five Cup Salad" (1 cup each of marshmallows, shredded coconut, canned mandarin oranges, canned fruit cocktail, sour cream). Maybe a ridiculously over-the-top "Kenny Mother Effing Powers" burger (photo below) for dessert.

The "Kenny Mother Effing Powers" Burger served at the Gallows in Boston
The "Kenny Mother Effing Powers" Burger served at the Gallows in Boston

Actually, the cookbook's connection to the TV show has more evaporated milk resonance than those "pick me up" recipes ("Pour a small bag of Tom's peanuts into a cold Pepsi. Eat and drink at the same time!") and useful nuggets of advice from cookbook characters like Kaye Kay suggest (the more hoppin' John you eat on New Year's Day, the more good luck you'll have). Both have been deemed terribly offensive by the masses.

This news wire article by Jim Hillibish is a great summary of the controversy the cookbook stirred the past few decades; the L.A. Times' Martin Miller reminds diehard fans that the TV show's combination of insult and entertainment has given it a relatively small, if loyal, following.

In other words, as this "white trash" recipe suggests, both epitomize (sandwich) sarcasm at its finest.

Another Kiss Me Not Sandwich

From: White Trash Cooking by Ernest M. Mickler (Ten Speed Press).

Makes: 1 sandwich

2 slices of bread (whole wheat)

Peanut butter

Sliced Bermuda onion

1. Spread on the peanut butter and place on the slices of onion. Put them together and eat. You'll need a drink with this.

Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page. Find more from the author @eathistory +


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