Recently someone posted something on Facebook about Uncle Poodle and Honey Boo Boo. Although generally pretty up-to-date on current events, I admit I had no idea what a Honey Boo Boo or an Uncle Poodle was. So I Googled it. If you are as clueless I was, here is the skinny and low down on who they are.
Honey Boo Boo is the nickname for a seven year old central Georgia girl named Alana, who made regular appearances on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. Apparently she and her family were amusing enough that TLC offered them their own reality show, called “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. Uncle Poodle is her gay, redneck uncle who she says “has a little fruit in his tank”, and teaches her some of her dance moves. Did you catch that? Gay. Redneck. That may be the first time those two lifestyles have ever openly resided in the same sentence.
Anyway, after reading about it, I managed to catch an episode the exact same night.
Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, if that wasn’t the most colloquial slice of rural southern USA since Deliverance brought us dueling banjos. I was completely disgusted with the show, but probably not for the reason TLC thought I would be.
I must preface by saying I generally detest reality TV. I do like to watch “Hoarders”, because it makes me feel like a domestic goddess. I also like to watch “Strange Addiction”, because watching people compulsively eat things like nail polish, toilet paper, and Comet cleanser makes it more acceptable that my 14 year old will only eat chicken tenders and pizza.
But mostly, I detest reality TV. It is at best boring. Are there really that many people watching what sort of junk is to be found in abandoned storage units? And at its worst, it is all kinds of trashy and degenerate (Jersey Shore). And along the spectrum, we have totally UNREAL reality, such as Repo Men, which is scripted, bad acting, AND stupid. STOO-PID.
Toddlers and Tiaras captured the attention of people fascinated by these children, dressed up and paraded around like toy poodles. It certainly caught my attention. There is something deeply disturbing about these kids, some as young as three, being outfitted in provocative outfits, with fake hair, fake nails, fake front teeth (bumpers), and glamour make-up befitting a super model. Aren’t little girls cute enough on their own? When is it the right message to a child that in order to be beautiful, you have to totally change everything about yourself? But I digress.
So, enter Honey Boo Boo. Alana is a sassy, pudgy little fireball of a seven year old, wise beyond her years, and full of energy, opinions, and Chicken Mc Nuggets. Her mother June, and father Sugar Bear (Uncle Poodle’s brother), didn’t graduate from high school, have never married each other, and her three older sisters are all from different misters. The family lives in a small, run-down wood frame home in a rural Georgia community. There appears to be an overabundant fondness for farting and belching. As a fellow southerner, I do appreciate their deft use of colloquialisms.
With so much to poke fun at, why would I dislike the show? Well, that’s WHY I dislike the show. First of all, I think TLC wants the viewers to be shocked, and maybe disgusted at the family’s lifestyle. They attempt to portray them as lard-munching, moonshine swilling dolts whose family tree doesn’t fork. You almost expect someone to whip out a crack pipe, or for domestic violence to ensue. The show is trying to capitalize on some long held southern stereotypes that are insulting to me as a southerner.
But mostly I am disgusted at how the show seeks to ridicule this family, when none of the important aspects of them deserve ridicule. As an example of how I am sure TLC meant to capitalize on the shock factor, a viewer recently wrote:
What in the world?! A pile of uneducated, grossly overweight weirdos who parade around a fat kid in pagents. That’s not cute, it’s purely disgusting.
Wow….What a bully this guy is. Does any of his critique seek to judge them on anything important?
Yes, they are simple. Yes their manners would have Emily Post rolling over in her grave. Yes, they use colorful language unheard of by most northern or city-dwelling ears. But at the heart of them, they are a good family. They stick by each other, including gay Uncle Poodle, even with all the fruit in his tank. That is no small feat in the rural south. There is clearly much love among them. Their home, although simple, is neat, and kept up. They are friendly and active in their community, and they have their priorities in the right order.
I read today that they are getting a raise this next season, from $2,000 per episode, to $15,000 per episode. They were also offered a new home, which they declined, citing that they love their community and don’t wish to leave it. The mother turned down an offer of having an agent, stating that she wanted nothing getting in the way of her being able to parent properly.
In the end, they have a lot more of a certain type of “class” than a lot of well-heeled, well-educated folks that are sitting back and laughing at them, and now at least, they’ll be able to bank on it.
So, in honor of Honey Boo Boo, I bring you some of my favorite recipes made with honey….
- 5 oz sliced almonds
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 t salt
- 3 cups powdered milk
Place almonds on a baking sheet and place in a 300* oven. Toast until golden and fragrant. About 10 minutes. Place in a food processor, and pulse until finely ground, but not smooth.
Place honey, peanut butter and salt in a large saucepan. Over medium high heat, heat and stir constantly until mixture darkens and comes together in one thick mass and no longer sticks to the side of the pan. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachement. Add milk powder and almond powder. Beat until well mixed. Pour onto a silicone mat or wax paper, and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. While still warm, cut into small pieces with knife, and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, cut up
- 3 cups brown rice flour
- 1 T paprika
- 1 T black pepper
- 1 T salt
- 2 teaspoons powdered garlic
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup oil
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 1 cup honey
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Preheat oven to 400*
Melt butter and honey together over low heat in a small saucepan. Add sesame seeds and set aside.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, and place skin side down in hot oil. Brown well on both sides. Repeat in batches if necessary. Place dutch oven in oven, uncovered, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain oil out of the dutch oven. Pour honey butter mixture evenly over chicken, and turn to coat. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn to coat once before before serving.
Honey Soy Meatballs
- 1 package prepared meatballs (2 pounds)
- 2 cups honey
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
Place all ingredients except for green onions in a slow cooker. Cook over low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours. To serve as an entree, serve with steamed rice with green onions on top. To serve as an appetizer, pour into a chaffing dish and top with green onions.
Warning** raw honey should not be given to children under the age of one. It may contain a type of botulism that, although harmless to adults, can prove fatal to babies.