Funny · Memorable words

welfare cheese

“I don’t like to give the sob story: growing up in a single-parent home, never knew my father, my mother never worked, and when friends came over I’d hide the welfare cheese. Yo, I failed ninth grade three times, but I don’t think it was necessarily ’cause I’m stupid. I didn’t go to school. I couldn’t deal.”- Eminem

5 thoughts on “welfare cheese

  1. what is welfare cheese, even.

    last night i was telling shaun how we were never allowed to have white bread in the house or eat it at parties or whatever if our mum was watching. (this is the same mum who made our raisin, apple, brown-bread-with-tomato-and-peanut-butter-sandwich lunches). so this means that even today white bread is a bit of an illicit luxury, and although i never buy it or eat more than a slice or two of it per annum, i still think it’s lovely and delicious. because verboten.

    lvoe from leial

  2. we used to eat Spam, or sometiems we fried Bologna, called “baloney” and we ate Sandwich Spread sandwiches (which horribly enough looked like nose innards) (sorry) and we had white bread; lard, and I remember when margerine was invented, and my twin and I fought over who could press the orange bubble and masage it into the creamy white paste inside a plastic package. We also drank things like Zarex, and my brother during highschool had summer at a Zarex factory where the supervisor said, “Stick you hand in their see if you find any rat hairs or something,” don’t know the exact thing.
    We also or the grownups did, had “canned cow,” which is evaporated milk, and lots of sugar in the coffee, drank Karo syrup for sore throats, ate Vicks, the gobby kind; my husband remembers too; and when Bill and I were in Ukraine our first year, we found canned milk (canned cow) on the streets in black market type of thing for sale, and that was preferable rather than ice cream cones (milk was deficit item, i.e., a shortage) and so we seemed to go back to a time in the 40s and 50s a time of remembrance, where Bill remembered his mom putting blueing in the sheets, and thwapping the rug on the line Saturday mornings. I have used these tales to entertain high school kids when I subbed in Western New York! esther

  3. Gosh, and I thought I had it tough growing up. I wasn’t allowed to sit close to the TV. I’d better go buy Slim Shady right away.

  4. Welfare cheese, having grown up on welfare, is a huge block (and I mean huge) of American cheese – sort of like the American cheese you can find in the grocery store, but a huge block of it.

  5. Thanks, Mara. Don’t you just think how interesting it is, our relationship to food memories from childhood? I’ve always wanted to write about it, and only posted this quote up from Eminem because it talked about it so vividly.

    My mom always talked about growing up post-war in France and spoke about the food. The lingering, sickening smell of boiled milk for the omnipresent rice pudding and the canned spinach (both of which she refuses to eat to this day).

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