Father’s Day, food, and that Hillary rumor

Saturday, June 19th, 2010 · 56 Comments »

Open thread, but here are the three things I’m thinking about (because I’m not not not not thinking about the giant hole in the world):

1. Father’s Day.
I’m going to make a lemon trifle thing I dreamed up, sort of a lemon version of banana pudding. But with lemon pudding instead of vanilla, and no bananas. (This will make perfect sense to you if you know what banana pudding is; otherwise it will probably be incomprehensible.) Question: has anybody ever made the Jell-O lemon pie filling with milk?

2. Continuing the food theme, this is interesting:

No peanut butter? No corn chips? Or have Europeans discovered the joy of corn-based snack products for themselves?

By the way, I think the most typically American food is corn. It’s indigenous, obviously, and still forms a huge part of our diet. Southern cuisine was built on cornbread and still is. All the colonies relied on corn, and the country still lives off corn snacks and animals fed with corn.

Corn. It’s American.

3. That Hillary rumour. The one about her and the Talking Donkey switching places in 2012. Thoughts? Here’s Sally Quinn on MSNBC:

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56 Responses to “Father’s Day, food, and that Hillary rumor”

  1. iforgotmyname says:

    your lemon trifle thing idea sounds very tasty. and yes the American food section was conspicuously lacking corn-based foods but maybe all of the high-fructose corn syrup counts? I’m just glad marshmallow fluff was represented.

  2. monchichipox says:

    I don’t think she’ll do it. She’s been pretty clear that she isn’t running for anything again. Plus I still get the feeling that she just plain old doesn’t like Obama.

  3. tinfoil hattie says:

    Huh. So my suspicions about “American” food are well-founded: we don’t have any. Whenever there’s a “heritage night” at one of my kids’ schools, I don’t know what kind of food to make. PB&J? Mac & Cheese? Midwestern “hot dish”?

    As for Clinton: f- Sally Quinn, who had nothing good to say about the Clintons when Bill was in office. Of course Hillary Clinton would be a great VP – HELL, MANY OF US KNEW SHE WOULD BE A GREAT PRESIDENT. It just now occurs to Quinn how qualified Hillary Clinton is?

  4. flyswatter says:

    Hillary 2012 for president.

  5. flyswatter says:

    Corn. It’s American.

    Unfortunately, I believe it’s also Genetically Modified.

  6. Sameol says:

    I think she’d take it. They’d have a hell of a nerve expecting her to save them after the way they treated her, but what else is new. I doubt she has it in her to stand by and watch the Democratic Party go down in flames.

  7. Briar says:

    Honestly, I can’t see it. I can’t see the Talking Donkey (gosh, is that appropriate, especially when he tries to talk like a trumpeting stallion and starts spewing vulgarisms in the process) giving way. Nor all his millions of minions. The male pride thing will get going again: no way will that man make way for a woman.

  8. Nessum says:

    Since the (s)election there’s periodically(!) been offerings of “consolation prizes” for Hillary Clinton. Half hearted remorse for having relentlessly beaten her up verbally and otherwise?

    Remember the “She could be a great Governor of N.Y. (instead)”, or the “We could put her on the Surpreme Court (instead)” ? And now “Let’s make her Obama’s VP in 2012 (instead).”

    Anything, anything but President.

    And … as if it’s for them to decide!

  9. Violet Socks says:

    Huh. So my suspicions about “American” food are well-founded: we don’t have any.

    Speak for yourself! As a southerner, I am heir to a mighty cuisine. Actually the South has a few different cuisines, but mine is the Appalachia/Upper South Carolina kind. Which means cornbread, grits, biscuits, fried okra, rice, collard greens, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe at every meal in summer, country style steak and gravy, fried chicken, pork chops, etc.

  10. tinfoil hattie says:

    Hmmm, you’re right. I unfortunately grew up a northerner. My parents never made any of the foods you mention. HOW DEPRIVED I WAS

  11. misspeach says:

    Clam chowda, boiled lobster, scrod, quahogs, yankee pot roast, baked beans, anadama bread, scali, raspberry lime rickeys. New England mom’s favorites, but dad was southern, and he cooked, too. Mmm, grits on a cold morning.

  12. lambert strether says:

    See King Corn. Right now, the most typical American food is not corn, but High Fructose Corn Syrup, derived from corn.

  13. Nell says:

    Speaking of New England traditions, it wasn’t Saturday night at our house without franks, baked beans, and Boston brown bread, a cornmeal, rye flour, and molasses concoction steamed in a can. It dates back to the original Boston Puritan settlers who had limited wheat and no ovens.

    It is still made by the Burnham and Morrill (B&M) company out of Portland, Maine whose brand of baked beans is still the most popular here in New England (none of that tomato-y Campbell’s crap for us!).

  14. Miranda says:

    As a North Carolinian, our native food is barbecue, and the type changes depending on the region. I, naturally, favor the eastern version…shredded pork with vinegar, not that tomato-based pretender. ::delicate shudder::

  15. Toonces says:

    3. I can at least fantasize about Hillary becoming a puppet-master VP like Cheney was, fixing the country somewhat, then running in 2016.

    2. I don’t want to contemplate a life without peanut butter. (I also recommend King Corn — apparently the carbon(?) we’re made of is mostly corn-based in America)

    1. You could make a lemon curd and fold whipped cream into it if you’re looking for something fussy.

  16. Violet Socks says:

    The lemon trifle is already made and in the refrigerator cooling. I did two different kinds of lemon pudding, one clear and one with milk. Layered those with vanilla wafers, the same way you make banana pudding, and covered the whole with meringue. It’s very yummy looking.

  17. Violet Socks says:

    Regarding the Hillary rumor, I think that if Hillary wanted to do it, it would work.

  18. EHF says:

    If Obama wants her to do it, she will. Otherwise she’ll be painted as a racist. Of course, the first step in this process will be when Biden starts complaining of ill health, maybe from too many ice cream cones.

  19. hennie1 says:

    That lemon trifle sounds great. I love anything lemon. Lemon drops are my Absolut favorite. I made a chocolate honey bun cake for daddy-o. Thank you Betty Crocker dot com.

    I have a friend in Gretna that grows his own corn. That’s the only way to eat it, right off the cob. And fritos.

    Talking donkey, LOL. That’s a nice way of calling him a jack ass. Hillary has said she’s a one term SOS. I can’t see her jumping in to save B0′s ass. And I don’t think I would vote for that ticket. Sally is putting it out there for some one, she hates the Clintons. I’m ready for Sally Quinn to STFU, it would be a better world if she did.

  20. Sophie says:

    I think the two of them switching jobs is a dumb idea. He has too many verbal gaffs to go international and she’s too smart and hard-working to play second fiddle to Mr. Do-nothing.

    Hillary: Hold out for President. You have the votes. More without B0.

  21. Sophie says:

    On the food: corn, blueberries, several varieties of beans, sunflower seeds, pumpkins (and seeds) and other squash varieties, tomatoes, peppers, black walnuts, cranberries, pecans, turkey, chestnuts, hickory nuts, maple syrup, avacados, sweet potatoes, deer, and bison are indigenous to the America’s. As you might imagine, the list is shorter if you limit it to North America.

  22. LabRat says:

    Jane and Michael Stern’s books make for an excellent look into the many faces of “American” food- rest assured, no matter where you are from, there was a local food tradition, whether you were consciously aware of it or not. I never realized the dirty rice dressing my mother made every holiday was an incredibly regional central Louisiana thing until I was an adult… I just thought it was one of those things everybody made for holiday spreads.

    Since moving to New Mexico I’ve become acutely aware that there are actually four “Mexican” food traditions in the US- California-Mex, New-Mex, and Tex-Mex- plus a generic “Mex” that bears superficial resemblance to any of them and has roughly the same relationship to the rest as Chef Boyardee has to Italian food. Meanwhile, Mexico itself is as internally varied in terms of regional food traditions as the US itself is. I wanted to scream at Anthony Bourdain when he put down almost all the “Mexican” food made in America as “inauthentic”- he was giving neither culture much credit.

    Fortunately for my peace of mind, Violet has already answered the critical “But what about the nilla wafers?” question.

  23. Violet Socks says:

    Wouldn’t be nanner puddin’ without the vanilla wafers. I hope this turns out well. I do another variation with blueberries, strawberries, and shortcakes (homemade) layered with vanilla custard and meringue on top. That one is fabulous.

    Re food: it kind of saddens me that corn now makes people think of corn syrup and fast food and all this modern garbage. Or maybe I should say I’m sad that that’s what it’s turned into. Corn is a wonderful plant. A miracle of plant breeding. It’s been feeding the people on this continent for thousands of years. Where I live, I’m surrounded by corn fields that have been here for centuries. Grits was an Indian food that the colonists took over. Generations of my family grew up on cornbread and grits and corn on the cob. My grandfather planted corn every year as long as he was able.

  24. Violet Socks says:

    LabRat, tell me about the dirty rice dressing. What’s in it?

  25. monchichipox says:

    Violet you are making me miss Southern cuisine. Again, back in my girlish days when I was looking the world over and enjoying good things I lived in Alabama for a few years. It was the only place I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce but oh the food was good.

    I’d take some bamboo under the fingernails for some fried okra right now. Or fried pickles. Yes fried pickles. Some barbecue. MMMM MMMMM. Fired chicken, mashed potatoes. REAL butter slathered on everything. I actually got a little belly when I lived there. Of course down there they thought it looked good on me. My Eastern sisters would have just called me fatty.

  26. monchichipox says:

    And now that you’ve reopened the wounds of the last election I thought I’d post the clip that best showed why I liked Hillary and why I couldn’t stand him. This little 30 second clip speaks volumes.


  27. LabRat says:

    Dirty rice dressing is, as I found out when I later got the recipe from her, a concoction involving chicken livers, rice cooked in the stock from the cooked livers, hot sausage, onions, garlic, and a lot of spices and seasonings. (And green peppers in her version, though I omit them since I have an aversion to sweet peppers.) Everything is made the day before and then reheated so that the flavors have time to blend and meld. It’s a pretty assertive taste, but it goes quite well with holiday poultry like turkey, duck, and goose. We actually had the latter two more often at the holiday table than the former- probably a relic effect of my grandfather, who was an avid bird hunter.

    I do have the full recipe if it’s not just a matter of culinary curiosity.

  28. Grace says:

    From an immigrant’s perspective, before coming to the U.S. I ‘d grown up with the idea that typical American foods were hotdogs, hamburgers,lots of Ketchup, and aple pie. Corn? I never thought so until now. Always learning something new.

    About Hillary and Biden, I am tired about all those Obama’s sycophants who are now crawling from under the hall of shame and pretending that everything is okay, like nothing happened, and “let’s make up,” eh? like 3 year-old kids who want mommy Hillary to give unconditional love to bratty talking-donkey, who just didn’t mean it, oh…mommy, please…please??

    Now, something may be cooking because Hillary’s husband has lately been doing a lot of political lifting for some candidates. Why would he be doing that if it wasn’t going to be some political pay-off down the line for his wife and the Clinton’s brand?

  29. Violet Socks says:

    Grace, where are you from?

    I think a food map of the U.S. would be interesting. I have a rough idea of what the various regional cuisines are, but the only one I know well is my own.

    Southern cooking is wonderful. American Indian, African, and European ingredients and techniques all combined to make a brilliant cuisine.

    I think it’s possible that, aside from the southwest culture area, the southeast can lay claim to having preserved the most Indian elements. Corn, obviously, from hominy grits to cornbread to johnny cakes to corn on the cob, and all the stuff made with cornmeal. Barbecue is an Indian technique, which they taught the Spanish (who supplied the pigs). Southerners today eat green beans and squash and sweet potatoes exactly the way the tribes did centuries ago. (I’ve read that even the way we cook our green beans — to death, with a little meat or fat for flavoring — is the way the Indians did it.)

  30. tinfoil hattie says:

    Well. Reading all these posts makes it clear to me that my upbringing, food-wise, was BORING!

    Thanks for all the ideas I’m going to steal for the next “heritage night.”

    I guess that as a native West Virginian, I could always cook up some ramps.

  31. Grace says:

    Violet, I am a direct descendant of those “predators” Spanish conquistadors for many generations; born and raised in Argentina by Spanish immigrant parents.

    The typical argentinian food is also steak barbecue (which I am not crazy about and eat only when I visit). I guess, like you said, it has to do with the dealings between the indigenous tribes and the Spanish pigs or cows, in this case.

  32. Sandra S. says:

    I hate this Hillary rumor. IMHO, they’re only bringing it up as a cynical distraction from the oil spill and as a preemptive strike. Yes, her popularity is high now, which is why they’re making her high profile again: to attract criticism. I think Obama’s handlers think she’s beginning to be a credible threat for 2012 and they want to get her into a position that neutralizes her.

    The second she’s back in the spotlight, the hypercritical double-standards will start back up and she’ll get slimed. And if she doesn’t, then they have the option of saying publicly that they want her. Which if she accepts means she’s upstaged again and needs to stay all nice and loyal and uncritical, and if she refuses, she looks like she doesn’t support the party or care about the American people. It’s a vicious Catch-22.

    Also, note how all of this gets phrased and what points get hit. “She’s four years younger than Biden” who will be too old to be President in 2016. Which means Hillary will be “too old” for a second term, or more likely, since she’s a woman she’s already too old. “She’s exhausted by being Secretary of State” and this in no way makes her look unfit for the goddamn Presidency (despite the fact that I really do think that the SoS position may legitimately be a more tiring position). This is all subtle double-talk to look like praise and actually be the beginning of a new campaign against her.

  33. Sandra S. says:

    Ignore this comment. Trying to figure out if my comments are being moderated or if there’s some kind of critical failure somewhere. My longish Hillary comment just disappeared.

  34. LabRat says:

    Hattie: food whose emphasis was anything but flavor was, in its own bizarre way, an American food tradition in itself, at least for awhile. Perfection Salad is a fascinating look at how the American outlook toward “scientific”, convenience food was formed- and how American women, including immigrants, were suborned into fundamentally altering America’s cooking culture.

  35. Patti says:

    Violet, do you work for Monsanto? Just teasing. If you can get organic corn, then great, otherwise beware that most corn is genetically modified (by Monsanto). See Food Inc.

    It’s also bad news for those with IBS and/or IBD (Colitis/Crohns) since it’s partly indigestible. Sooooo, I don’t eat it anymore, but I do love/miss cornbread.

  36. nina says:

    I think it’s possible that, aside from the southwest culture area, the southeast can lay claim to having preserved the most Indian elements.

    Violet, you’re showing your regional bias. Indian food does not equal corn–certainly not in this part of the country (Pacific Northwest coastal regions). It means salmon (often smoked), clams, oysters, blackberries, blueberries etc. which we eat in abundance here still. I deny your claim that the southeast and -west have preserved more native cuisine than we have.

    And this thread is making me very hungry.

  37. Violet Socks says:

    Oh goody, we can have a food fight!

    Yes, I know that Indian doesn’t equal corn everywhere. In California the staple was acorns. I think up your way the starch was quamash.

    But here’s the thing: are people in the PNW still eating quamash bulbs baked in giant underground pits? Are people in California still living off of acorn soup?

    It’s one thing to eat the local flora and fauna, such as salmon, blueberries, etc. It’s another to continue to cultivate the same crops and even prepare them the same way.

    However, I’m totally arguing this for fun and could be totally wrong.

    The lemon meringue pudding was a triumph, by the way.

  38. Violet Socks says:

    Sandra S., your comment #32 was in the Akismet spam filter. Don’t know why; it’s been weirdly aggressive lately. Another regular commenter also got sucked into the Akismet vortex the other day.

  39. Sandra S. says:

    It’s all part of the conspiracy against Hillary. Even the machines are in on it…

  40. sam says:

    The wannabe permaculture gardener I am compels me to say that blueberries are not native to the West. I tried to be a conscious gardener and planted Cascade-native huckleberries at Portland’s low elevation. Alas, a few months ago I gave up on the dream of acceptable yields from those beleaguered shrubs and planted non-native blueberries.

    I can’t do foodie talk but I’ve got a botanist’s desire for plants.

  41. kendallJ says:

    They are pushing this VP meme because Obama’s poll numbers are in the toilet and if Hillary is coopted into being his running-mate, then she won’t be running against him in a primary. Besides as asshole Quinn reveals, they need her to campaign for them. They want every ounce of blood!!! I have never heard of either party asking so much of any male politian, especially one that has been treated so badly by his own party. They will drain the last drop of life from Hillary if she lets them. I hope she doesn’t!!! I dream that she will primary his ass out of office. One can dream!!!!!

  42. nina says:

    In the spirit arguing for fun & a food fight, I will say that from what admittedly puny research I’ve done, the coastal tribes didn’t cultivate much of anything. They did cook their salmon on cedar planks over a fire, which we still do today. As for quamash, that’s east of the Cascades. I’m talking ’bout the tribes that actually lived where I am right now. It’s all about the seafood and seabird eggs and such.

  43. nina says:

    Also, thanks to Sam re the blueberries. I should have just left it at berries, of which there plenty of native coastal varieties.

  44. Violet Socks says:

    Oh, right on the quamash. And yeah, I think it’s true that the coastal tribes weren’t cultivators. That was one of the areas in the world where food was so abundant (salmon in this case) that people got rich off foraging. Rich in the anthropological sense: food surpluses, stable habitation, luxury to develop art and fancy social hierarchies.

  45. Violet Socks says:

    I did not know that people were still cooking salmon on cedar planks over fire. What can I say? In my world, salmon comes in cans. And my Dad makes the best salmon stew and fried salmon patties in the world. The salmon stew is made with canned salmon and evaporated milk. The salmon patties are made with canned salmon and crumbled up Cheez-its.

    Hillbilly cooking rules!

  46. LabRat says:

    Speaking of pork and corn, this whole thread has given me a wicked fierce posole craving. Which would be unfortunate if I couldn’t just run up the hill and get some of the good stuff from a (very) local fast food chain…

    Now, the craving for fresh oysters on the half… now that is REALLY unfortunate.

  47. nina says:

    Violet, do not speak to me of salmon from a can ever again. That’s like coffee from a can. Those words must not be uttered; those concepts must not be thought of. You’d better get yourself on up here and I’ll fix you some fresh-off-the-boat salmon from these guys.

    In fact, since LabRat is craving oysters, I say we all have a big beach party here later this summer with fresh oysters and cedar-planked salmon.

  48. monchichipox says:

    As for Hillary. If they ask her I hope she tells them to(borrowing a phrase from my father)pack salt up their asses. I hope she retires and I’d like to see her sitting by her pool drinking pina colodas playing with a granddaughter.

  49. Sameol says:

    She won’t primary him ever. She’s already been punished more for running in an open primary than Kennedy was for challenging a sitting President.

  50. Sandra S. says:

    Hillary doesn’t lack courage. I think most of her decisions are motivated more by a sense of party loyalty and a sense of duty to serve than by anything else. If she sees Obama as destroying the party or as actively damaging the American people, I think she’d primary him and damn the consequences. I’m not saying she’s not smart, but self-preservation isn’t her primary motivation. It’s her pitching in to do what she can.

  51. Violet Socks says:

    My opinion:

    Hillary would never primary Obama. She’s too much a loyal Democrat, which I believe is not blind devotion but political realism.

    If she still wants to go down in history as the first woman president, then becoming Obama’s vice-president first is probably the easiest path.

    Consider: the right will always oppose Hillary, and there’s not much she can do about that but reach out to women (which she has already done very successfully). But what about the left? As we all learned two years ago, men (and a lot of women) on the left are just as threatened by the idea of a woman president as the folks on the right. If Hillary ran as Obama’s VP in 2012, that would defang the crazed misogynist Hillary haters in the Democratic party, since they would still be supporting Obama and Hillary would be in an appropriately submissive secondary role (in their eyes). Then, in 2016, Hillary would be an incumbent VP, the default choice to run for president on the Democratic ticket, and facing a Republican challenger eager to take back the White House. It would be psychologically much easier at that point for Democratic misogynists to support Hillary. To do otherwise they would have to vote Republican.

    On the other hand, I can also see Hillary being defeated since by that time the country will be ready to swing right again (if it hasn’t already).

  52. Sandra S. says:


    Although I totally see your point, the problem with this discussion is, it’s happening in a hypothetical world. By 2016 Hillary will be considered “too old” (especially when people think about her taking on a second term). Hell, she was practically painted that way in 2008. Old (read middle-aged) women are seen as older than old men.

    The VP route may be safer, but it takes longer, and that adds another obstacle. I think she’s better off primarying. And if Obama keeps up the level of “leadership” he’s been demonstrating, he’s going to see the entire party erode underneath him and his power base will be gone. I just hope he gets caught in something really egregious so that she can be outraged and primary him without looking power-hungry.

  53. Sandra S. says:

    Also, I think she knows that she can do a hell of a lot more good for those four years back in the senate than sitting quietly behind Obama and nodding.

  54. littleisis says:

    I agree with Sandra, Violet. I doubt Hillary even wants to run for President again, in fact I don’t think she even wanted to run all that much the first time, but she is motivated by a call to serve, and as you said she is loyal to the Democratic party out of political realism rather than blind devotion. JSOM argues that Obama is destroying the left, liberalism and the Democratic Party and I agree with him. If the Democratic party wants to be saved they would pressure Hillary to run for the top spot in 2012. It’s probably why BillBill (Hillary’s husband) is campaigning for them. She’ll need their support down the road, provided their constituents would rather hold their noses and keep them in office rather than vote for a right wing crazy.

  55. misspeach says:

    In recent history the VP slot has not been a good launch pad to the presidency unless the president is unable to complete his term. Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerry Ford became president through sucession. Nixon was unable to get elected president until 8 years had passed. Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Al Gore all tried and failed. Only George H.W. Bush moved up the ladder immediately after serving as VP through the elective process.

  56. ghost2 says:

    Sorry Violet. Sally and her friends want to continue fawning over BO, so they want someone else for their 2 minutes of hate, and Palin isn’t working out. In fact, Sarah is handing them their a** on a platter.

    VP’s are there to be caricatured and sneered at. VP doesn’t have any official function, which makes it perfect for Sally and friends to write endless psychobabble about anything Hillary does.

    Sally dreams of selling papers via a lovefest for O and a hatefest for Hil.