November 23, 2011

“What is this mac-and-cheese? Is it a black thing?"

Pat Robertson, getting up to speed on Thanksgiving and macaroni and cheese.

94 comments:

Shanna said...

That's funny!

I went to the linked 'mac and cheese' map on Slate and apparently the entire south (plus a few stray connected states) does mac and cheese with thanksgiving except for Arkansas!

My grandmother would say having mac and cheese with dressing would be too many starches!

Carnifex said...

My SO, first time she cooked a holiday meal for me, had something she called Banana Croquette. It was mad of peeled banana's rolled in mayonnaise, and dipped in peanuts. I was horrified. But gamely I took a bite...and spit it right back out. Don't think that didn't cause a stir!

Eventually I came to appreciate banana croquettes. I had better :-)

Eric said...

Carniflex, I'm having sympathy revulsion over here.

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carnifex said...

@ Eric

The first time I had her chili...wow!! We barely made it through that-lol I made her alter her recipe for that one though.

Actually its not as bad as it sounds (the banana thing)

Anga2010 said...

If Yankee Doodle invites you to his house for thanksgiving dinner, don't eat the mac and cheese. I really don't think YD knows what macaroni is.

Eric said...

This story reminds me the 2004 micro-scandal revolving around Teresa Heinz Kerry and Wendys chili.

Seven Machos said...

What percentage of your posts include the n-word, Julius? What's the over under on that? I'd say 35.

Freeman Hunt said...

Haha I love how sinister music plays after what is an innocuous clip.

That is funny, Shanna. As a fellow Arkansan, I've never heard of mac and cheese at holidays either.

phx said...

Thanks Dead Julius, for bringing the level of discourse here up a notch.

Andy R. said...

Yeah, this is the guy that Jesus has on speed dial.

Freeman Hunt said...

I must say, I big pan of mac and cheese with toasted breadcrumb topping sounds pretty fantastic right now. Might have to implement that tradition in the Hunt house.

Dead Julius said...

@Seven Machos-

What percentage of your posts include the n-word, Julius?

First time! And here I reference it as part of an accepted and documented "urban" phrase. Contrast that to, say, y'er conservative hero Rick Perry, who used N-head for... what?... a decade or two?

rsb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

The buffet table was set with unusual things. Collard greens and mustard greens, fried chicken, refrigerator rolls, cranberry ... slurp ... straight out of a tin, scalloped potatoes, along with regular TG things, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, frozen green beans in cream of mushroom soup ringed with Durkee onions. I asked, "What is the Frank's hot sauce for specifically?"

shrug

"Black people like hot sauce on everything."

ronalddewitt said...

In the Baltimore area sauerkraut has a traditional place on the Thanksgiving table.

Freeman Hunt said...

Look how many people knew all about the Southern/black Mac and cheese tradition. So cosmopolitan. Not like that fool Robertson.

Maguro said...

Mac and cheese is a black thang, you wouldn't understand.

RigelDog said...

I don't know if other regions or other groups also have this tradition, but around here black families do in fact have macaroni and cheese as a traditional Thanksgiving dish. Is this something of which one may not speak?

Christopher in MA said...

Yeah, that dumb ol' Rick Perry. Not at all a man of the world like Conscience of the Senate Robert "White Niggers" Byrd:

"Me, I wish never to fight beside a negro. Rather I should die a thusand times and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt. . ."

Tell me Julius, since you're all wee-wee'd up (in the words of your precious Little Black Jesus), how many years was ol' Bobby a Klan recruiter? A hell of a lot longer than Perry went fishing at Niggerhead, I'll bet. Fo shizzle, my nizzle!

Freeman Hunt said...

Rigel, if you talk about it, you can't get puffed up with self righteousness among all the right people.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is it a white thing to think disciplined incuriousity makes one not racist?

Dead Julius said...

@Christopher in MA-

...how many years was ol' Bobby a Klan recruiter? A hell of a lot longer than Perry went fishing at Niggerhead, I'll bet.

Who is ol' Bobby?

paul a'barge said...

The lady who won the Mac'n'Cheese Throw Down against Bobby Flay on the Food Network?

Yep.

Black.

Seven Machos said...

I bet when Pat Roobertson dances, the overbite is enough to bowl him over forwards.

Eric said...

Is it a white thing to think disciplined incuriousity makes one not racist?

Heh.

Shanna said...

Might have to implement that tradition in the Hunt house.

Too many starches (tm grandmother)!

Look how many people knew all about the Southern/black Mac and cheese tradition.

Maybe they are run DMC fans (rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese)? Although that was a christmas song, not thanksgiving. And they are from NY.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I'll second the notion of the dramatic analysis of a rather innocuous clip.

The statute of limitations passed once there was no immediate outrage from the hostess.

His question was a teaser in a friendly way. Nothing more than that.

Shanna said...

Is it a white thing to think disciplined incuriousity makes one not racist?

Maybe white people who don't actually know any black people are under the impression that they get horribly offended at any question about tradition.

The Crack Emcee said...

He probably got confused, after multiple screenings of "The Mack," or all those nights he was "mackin' up some ho" for Jesus.

And everybody and they momma knows "cheese" is cash money.

Maybe not during the holidays but, throughout the rest of the year, I can easily picture me and Patty Boy AKA "Pat-T" running in the same circles,...

Freeman Hunt said...

Who does broccoli rice and corn pudding? These are must-haves with my in-laws, but I'd never heard of them as holiday dishes before I got married. Than again, I hadn't heard of those dishes at all before I got married. They're good though, so I'm not complaining.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oops. Then again. I'm typing on a touchscreen. "Typing."

Shanna said...

Who does broccoli rice and corn pudding?

My aunt is bringing some sort of corn pudding tomorrow, which will be the first time we've had it.

Apparently lots of people do broccoli rice casserole since two of my coworkers mentioned it and my ex sister in law insisted on it one year.

The Crack Emcee said...

Three things:

1) Until now, I didn't say the word nigger (restrained myself, don'tcha know,...)

2) Who gives a shit about ANYONE eating mac 'n' cheese as part of the Thanksgiving meal?

3) Yes, it's been a part of every T-Day dinner I've ever known,...but not the out-of-a-box kind - straight from scratch.

Bob_R said...

I don't see what the big thing is here. I mean, I've known for years that mac' and cheese was a southern soul food staple, but I think I found out that it was a Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago. The traditions that we all know about are those of the people who control the media. Most of us have no idea of the live of people outside of the blue state media monopoly. What do Mormons eat for thanksgiving? What do upers eat? What do people in New Orleans eat? I have no idea. I suppose that Pat Robertson is supposed to have a comprehensive knowledge of this. He doesn't know about much else.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"What do upers eat?"

Pasties.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Freeman

Corn pudding has always been a staple of Thanksgiving dinners I have shared. Don't mistake it for creamed corn, its not the same thing...corn pudding is baked and has a thicker body than creamed corn.

raf said...

Never new Mac'n'cheese had any ethnic or regional connotation. It was a staple in Northwest Indiana way back when. Also in school cafeterias -- I don't think you can get more generic than that.

MadisonMan said...

I made baked mac and cheese on Monday. It was fabulous, as always. You really can't go wrong with it. I don't put breadcrumbs on top, just more cheese (mozz and parmesan) so it gets a nice brown crispy cheese top. Yum.

Not on Thanksgiving though. Turkey, sweet potato casserole (with pecans on top), baked carrots and parsnips, and cornbread. Pumpkin pie for desert.

Freeman Hunt said...

The issue was Mac and cheese at Thanksgiving, not Mac and cheese in general.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is what my Thanksgiving requires: Turkey, stuffing with a lot of sage, mashed potatoes, gravy, two kinds of cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. I like other things to be there too, but if those things are not there, it is not Thanksgiving.

Seven Machos said...

I'm thinking about whipping together a Kraft single mac and cheese packet tomorrow, just for you people.

OldGrouchyCranky said...

What the F&$# is all this BS about you Southerners inventing mac & cheese. That's first and foremost a Yankee dish made famous so we could survive our harsh and cold winters. Of course, the best version was made by those who spread toasted oyster crackers topped by melted cheese over the dish.

MadisonMan said...

Oh yeah, stuffing. My Mom always made her grandmother's recipe; that stuffing included lots of onions and apples and sage. Yum.

We switched to sweet potatoes from mashed white potatoes a couple years ago. Highly recommended.

The Crack Emcee said...

MadisonMan,

Turkey, sweet potato casserole (with pecans on top),...

Pecans on top?!? Oh, you people are INSANE,....

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, the 4 pillars of Thanksgiving food.

Whatever else you add is up to you.

Eat, drink, be merry, be thankful, be generous.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

MadisonMan

There does seem to be a split over the spud of choice, whether white or sweet...

Shanna said...

parsnips

I had thanksgiving with an aunt who is originally from boston a few years ago and that was the first time I had parsnips. Yum!

I am currently baking the mini sweet potato pies for our thanksgiving! This is the first opportunity I've gotten to use those cool leaf cutout pie crust things I got at williams sonoma last year.

Freeman Hunt said...

We usually have both white and sweet.

Michael Haz said...

In Wisconsin a law requires that it be called 'Cheese and Mac'. We have our priorities right, at least on this one thing.

It will be on my Thanksgiving table next year. I appreciate the idea. Thanks.

ricpic said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Is it a white thing to think disciplined incuriosity makes one not racist?

Very well put. I'd say it's a white coward thing. Dead Julius and his ilk want to SHUT US UP. That's the point of their totally predictable knee jerk attack on anyone who doesn't toe the whites must grovel to blacks line. What did Robertson do? He was innocently ignorant of a black custom and asked about it. And that evoked an attack. There can be no kowtowing to leftist thugs any longer. Not if we want to keep our country.

Michael Haz said...

A PhD historian friend believes the first Thanksgiving meal was most likely lobster, maize, root vegetables and greens.

Lobsters were so omnipresent in Plymouth Rock that they were considered a pest. Easy to catch, easy to cook. No plucking.

MadisonMan said...

I think that interview is pretty funny, btw. Talk about culture clash.

Jane said...

Odd -

This came through in the family e-mail today here in Northern Virginia (so and so is bringing mac and cheese - for the children).

I was incredulous.

In northern Pennsylvania, which was culturally NH/CT, nothing was sweet or cheesy at Thanksgiving. Here, everything has sugar or canned soup added to it.

In PA -- scalloped corn, scalloped white potatoes, a plate with pickles and olives and celery, stuffing, turkey, cranberries.

Freeman Hunt said...

plate with pickles and olives and celery

And here I always thought my dad was just being weird with that.

heyboom said...

@don't tread

Did you know that there is a very good pasty shop right here in Southern California? In the city of Los Alamitos, believe it or not. I ate many a pasty when I was stationed in the U.P. for four years and was pleasantly surprised to find them here.

The Crack Emcee said...

Don't Tread 2012,

Eat, drink, be merry, be thankful, be generous.

Damn. Always tellin' motherfuckers what to do,...

Revenant said...

It IS a black thing, isn't it?

At least, all the people I've ever known who consider mac and cheese to be a traditional Thanksgiving side dish are black. Could just be a coincidence, I guess.

The Crack Emcee said...

ricpic,

What did Robertson do? He was innocently ignorant of a black custom and asked about it. And that evoked an attack.

Yeah, sure, "innocent,"....

The Crack Emcee said...

Revenant,

It IS a black thing, isn't it?

They wouldn't understand.

(Sorry, had to,...)

Michael Haz said...

My British grandmother always served a ring of green Jello that had shredded cabbage inside.

In the center of the ring was a bowl that contained half mayo and half cream. That goo was drizzled on the Jello after it was on one's plate.

Weird. Pretty tasty, though.

Shanna said...

Weird. Pretty tasty, though.

That sounds really gross to me! But then, my grandmother used to serve a half canned pear, with a blob of mayo and some cheese as a dessert (not on thanksgiving, though).

rcocean said...

Never knew Mac & Cheese was a Thanksgiving tradition for Black folks.

Guess Pat R. and I have at least one thing in common.

rcocean said...

I thought Mid-westerners had Mac and Cheese about once a week.

rcocean said...

Love how all the Limousine Liberals who wouldn't be caught dead eating "Mac & Cheese" are all atwitter over Pat's remark.

Liberals you see are so down for the struggle -they now love Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese.

madAsHell said...

Mac and Cheese...food for children.

rcocean said...

In my household "Sweet Potatoes" were the real treat on Thanksgiving.
Don't think we ever had them any other time. That and homemade mincemeat pie.

Never could figure out what was "mincemeat" - but it sure was good. The store pies are awful by comparison.

edwardroyce said...

"It was mad of peeled banana's rolled in mayonnaise, and dipped in peanuts."

O. M. G. O.o

Ralph L said...

We had rice (white of course), no potatoes. My SIL's family has mashed potatoes and mashed turnips.

I remember banana & mayo sandwiches growing up, and I still fix PB & banana sandwiches, but never tried all three together.

I haven't had corn pudding or spoon bread since my grandmother stopped cooking 25 years ago.

Freeman Hunt said...

What is all this mayo? Is it an old people thing?

Freeman Hunt said...

If someone served me cabbage jello and mayo sauce, I'd think it was a joke!

Alex said...

Mac & Cheese aka "butt cheese"

AllenS said...

I love me some mac-and-cheese, but the thought of it wedged somewhere inbetween the turkey, stuffing, squash and cranberries is unthinkable.

There's a place and a time.

Freeman Hunt said...

What about turkey, stuffing, and potatoes would make anyone want to eat an olive or a pickle?

In fact, add olives or pickles to that list and you have one of those "one of these things is not like the others" puzzles for children.

Ralph L said...

What is all this mayo?
It's a dessert topping
AND a floor wax.

Shanna said...

I don't get the olives/pickles thing either, but we do do deviled eggs sometimes. But mainly because we just like any excuse for deviled eggs...

Ralph L said...

Pickles are supposed to increase the appetite.

Mom pulled out the watermelon rind pickle once a year at Christmas.

Kurt said...

I learned about the "mac and cheese" thing mainly as a result of the movie What's Cooking? which is the story of four different ethnic families in LA celebrating Thanksgiving: there's an Asian family, a black family, a Hispanic family, and a Jewish family. It's directed by Gurinder Chadha, who is most famous for Bend it Like Beckham. In the film, Alfre Woodard's character has a gourmet Thanksgiving planned, but then her mother-in-law shows up and makes a scene about there being no mac and cheese on the menu and fixes hers.

ampersand said...

Dibs on the snood.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kurt said...

Freeman Hunt says: "If someone served me cabbage jello and mayo sauce, I'd think it was a joke!"

That comment made me think of Susan Stamberg's cranberry relish, which contains none of those ingredients, but is probably about as appealing. If I remember correctly, the ingredients include: cranberries, an onion, sugar, horseradish, and sour cream. I tried making it one year, and most people wouldn't touch it. I was left with leftovers, which I tossed after I tried a few more bites over the next day or two, but eventually felt like I could smell the onion and horseradish seeping out of my pores.

cubanbob said...

I like mac and cheese. Especially with a sharp cheddar cheese. I never knew it was a black thing. Live and learn and when it comes to food God bless diversity.

Pat Robertson likes fancy food as well. Heck I saw him chowing down at a restaurant (expensive and with a few nice bottles of wine) at the Venetian hotel in Vegas a couple years ago. He may be old and senile but he likes expensive food.

Now tomorrow we are going to have two types of turkey, one marinated with garlic and sour orange along with white rice, black beans, yucca with mojo, corn tamales and fried sweet plantains and a traditional American turkey with stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce with pumpkin pie, pecan pie, carrot cake and a flan.

This of course will be washed down with both kinds of wine, red and white (did I make a racial faux pas?) and beer. And if you are on the right side of the ground and have food to eat, a place to live and friends and family that you love and care for it is indeed a great day to be thankful.

Kurt said...

You can watch the trailer for What's Cooking? here. Notice it includes a shot of the mac and cheese being prepared.

814659a2-986c-11e0-98c3-000bcdca4d7a said...

First, I would stipulate that Pat Robertson is a huge jackass- based on all the nonsense in his past.

But… this Mac 'n' Cheese thing I find innocent. In fact, it seems that Robertson was trying to reach out in a pop-culture context to his African-American guest.

Certainly, the phrase "Black thing" has long since entered the pop vernacular. (cf. "You wouldn't understand…) I think that ol' Pat was trying to be hip. Look at the way he said it; who he's talking to, etc. You can argue that it was a good or bad idea, but to post the video at rightwingwatch.org, alongside the rubric, "Speak out against intolerance," is pure demagogy.

So- what are the rules for conservatives using a black cultural reference? Simple- the rules are whatever your opponents decide -- to make you look the worst. Something that would be hip- a laugh line on Jimmy Fallon, becomes racism -- if it scores points against the opposition.

Cynical & divisive- an excellent fit for Campaign 2012.

Steve Koch said...

Mac and cheese rather than stuffing sounds like an improvement. MadMan's suggestion of adding more cheese to the mac and cheese and baking is another improvement. Sprinkling pecans on the mac and cheese crust sounds like another improvement.

DaveW said...

I just can't make mac and cheese go with turkey and dressing in my mind. There's a clash there, and with the mashed potatoes we're getting into the range of having so much starch there could be a spontaneous explosion.

My family always had a broccoli and rice casserole. I like the idea of green bean casserole but can't get it to come out the way I wish.

To me mac and cheese is comfort food sort of like chicken soup.

AllenS said...

A Thanksgiving Day meal is supposed to resemble the original meal of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, squash and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip on top of it. Adding any other cultural crap to the meal is heresy.

Class factotum said...

Mac and cheese is a vegetable and as such is allowable any place vegetables are served.

Of course it's a vegetable! When you get the veggie plate at The Cupboard in Memphis, one of your options is mac and cheese.

I'm not making mac and cheese until tomorrow. Today, it's ropa vieja (made with llama) and Fritos. I don't really like turkey.

Baronger said...

Good thing he hasn't found out about Italian families and Lasagna, for at Thanksgiving.

Personally I find it fascinating to look at other peoples traditions. We are supposed to be a melting pot. TG, just shows us how we are melting together. Besides, I am unaware of an official menu that's been handed down from on high.

Though we really should encourage more venison. Though in my family that's traditionally eating at xmass, which can't get here fast enough.

Freeman Hunt said...

Making Fannie Farmer's mac and cheese right now.

Freeman Hunt said...

Holy cow. I'm a believer.

jr565 said...

Once you get into food, the whole point of charging racism becomes exceedingly silly.
I for one have never had man and cheese for thanksgiving, so might wonder if it were a southern or black tradition. But even if it were a black thing, so what? Why would that be the least bit offensive to ask, or to reveal.

It would be like getting outraged if someone asked whether spaghetti was an Italian thing, or potatoes were an Irish thing.

showbiz111 said...

I can't understand it Paula Deen has mac and cheese to die for. Kraft has mac and cheese with mostly white people selling it on TV. It's a cheap and delicious dish, perhaps the patrician Robertson never had to deign to eat such "peasant" food. But it is surely not a "black thing". Perhaps Robertson should have asked What Would Jesus Have Eaten on Thanksgiving before posing this question?

Freeman Hunt said...

I had to dig up this old thread to figure out what macaroni and cheese I made last year.