More Stuff White Midwesterners Like: Mules.

You don't see them so much anymore, but back in the day every farm had a mule or three. However, our love of mule has endured here in the midwest. It's the official state animal in Missouri, the mascot for Central Missouri State University (or whatever in the hell they're callin' it these days) and the high school mascot in towns from Fairfield, Illinois to Bedford, Michigan to Poplar Bluff. Nowadays the Amtrak line from St. Louis to Kansas City is called the "Mule." And if you've never swallowed a Moscow Mule you're missing something. (Get your mind outta the gutter.) Just add vodka, lime juice and ginger Beer and serve it cold in a pewter mug. It's gooder'n hell, I'm telling ya.

White Midwesterner of the Week: That hot guy on Mad Men.

See photos of Jon

Oh sure, you thought that Don Draper guy on the teevee was a native of New York? Heck no that boy is from St. Louis, Missouri. He went to some fancy-pants high school in Ladue (where the money is) and even got an acting scholarship to go to Mizzou. (Brad Pitt went there too without an acting scholarship, but he seems to do OK.) But you know he's a White Midwesterner on account of the way he wears pleated khakis on the show, and I bet you a donut he's got a few pieces of Budweiser memorabilia at his house. You can take the boy outta St. Louis, but you can't take the St. Louis outta the boy.

If you'd like to nominate someone for WM of the WK, email us.

November 14, 2008

Newly Discovered Things White Midwesterners Like: The Chicken Dance

Now I consider the Chicken Dance to be an abomination - I'd rather be waterboarded. When I got married I specified no music at the afternoon reception because I hate that song with an unending passion. But the fact that it's a song often played by polka bands (and often at wedding receptions at VFW halls) qualifies it as being part of White Midwestern culture.

November 13, 2008

Newly Discovered Things White Midwesterners Like: Barn Stars

star barn
Originally uploaded by Ardent Eye
I've had so much fun doing press for I Love Ranch Dressing but the most fun is when people ask me "Why didn't you include...?" So here are a few new Things White Midwesterners Like, brought to my attention by radio hosts and listeners around the country:

Stars on Houses: I hadn't noticed this until it was pointed out to me by a Michigan morning show, but damned if it isn't true. These were apparently a big deal in Amish communities and German immigrant farming communities (from whence my ancestors came) and are make a big comeback now. There isn't much significance to them (other than, "Hey, I like stars!") but they do scream, "White Midwesterners Live Here."

November 04, 2008

More Stuff White Midwesterners Like: Infomercial Products

cham wow
Originally uploaded by sublies
Have you seen the Sham-Wow commercial yet? Well if you're in the White Midwest I guaran-darn-tee that your neighbor Carl has. He bought the bonus set and uses them to clean up the AstroVan, the family's incontinent Labradoodle "Misty", and his John Deere lawn mower, which he keeps in pristine condition just in case someone from the John Deere company comes by to say "hey." Every White Midwestern home has at least a half dozen life-changing products that were ordered off the TV, and this is what all the cool kids are buying.

November 03, 2008

Extreme White Midwesterner Home Makeover, Part 2: Doilies

A Doily from my Aunt Beth
Originally uploaded by bcmom

White Midwesterners loooove doilies. Doilies can be found on the back of an easychair, on the coffee table, and even on their heads of old Catholic and Baptist White Midwesterners at funerals. (This is the only thing Baptists and Catholics have in common. that and the fact they don't want their kids marrying each other.) You can even dress up a boring sweatshirt with a doily collar and elbow pads. We love them because they are dainty, equisitely labor-intensive, and most of all--white.

October 30, 2008

Extreme White Midwestern Home Makeover, Part 1: Church Cookbooks

Pre-1950 Book.JPG
Originally uploaded by lisa_h
I've joked with people that I wanted to name the book, "Al Qaeda's Guide To Blending Into The Midwest" instead of "I Love Ranch Dressing." But truly - if you happen to be one of the poor unfortunate souls who wasn't blessed to be born in the Great Midwest, there is still hope for you should you have the opportunity to live here.

Behold: Extreme White Midwestern Home Makeover, Part 1 - Church Cookbooks

Outfitting your home in White Midwestern Style begins in the kitchen, on account of the fact that we all are big eaters, and the first thing you should buy is a smattering of church cookbooks. To really blend in, you need to have old cookbooks, so start looking at your local used bookstore or garage sales.

Now, not any cookbook will do - the following is the list of denominations of White Midwestern churches from which you should select.

Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
Lutheran (other)

Catholic (only if you live in an urban area that has a kick-ass St. Patrick's Day Parade)
Baptist, non-southern

Anything with the words "Kosher" (sorry, rabbi) or that contain goat-based cuisine

October 03, 2008

Kansas City Book Signing - Save the Date!

The Kansas City book signing for I (Heart) Ranch Dressing will be Friday, November 7th. The place to to be determined, but it will likely be somewhere in the Plaza area. Watch this space for more details on specifics.

Media Events coming up:

Tuesday, October 7 at 9:40 am - Morning Magazine on KOKX 1310am in Keokuk, Iowa

I (Heart) Ranch on Radio

A big shout out (White Midwesterners love to adopt Black street slang...10 years too late) to Cathy Hamilton of who was nice enough to give my book a positive endorsement. Click here for the Boomergirl Radio interview we did.

September 28, 2008

Stuff White Midwesterners Like: CrockPot Food

It's getting a little cooler here in the Midwest and that means one thing: break out the CrockPot.

White Midwesterners loooooovvveee CrockPot cooking. And why wouldn't we - the crock pot was invented in Chicago, Illinois - the cultural mecca of the White Midwest. (Fancypants people have LeCreuset; White Midwesterners have Rival.)

Sure, anybody can make Rotel Dip or Little Smokies with BBQ Sauce (both White Midwestern party food staples) but like all things we touch, White Midwesterners like to gussy things up a bit. Even though we have perfectly good ovens, White Midwesterners will cook cake in a CrockPot and you can even make soap (not at the same time).

We love our CrockPots so much we own themed CrockPots:

And EVERY CrockPot recipe contains the word "CrockPot" - just so you know that if you want to make Easy Cheesy CrockPot Chicken you're gonna have to call Carl to get it down from the high shelf.

September 26, 2008

The Midwest is Red State Country Right?


If you take a look at the latest Real Clear Politics Electoral College Map you'll notice something about the Midwest - it's not as much "Red Country" as the national media would have you believe. Although there are a slew of White Midwesterners who claim to be Democrats, there's also a healthy chunk who are obviously not going to be voting for The Descendant of a White Midwesterners Who By The Way is A Senator From Illinois. Sure the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas are solidly in the McCain camp, and only Iowa and Illinois are solidly Obama's. But Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin are still toss up states.


White Midwesterners don't want to be rushed. What with our Consumer Reports and "Try it Before You Buy It" segments on local TV, White Midwesterners like to keep our options open. Maybe in the next 40 days Palin will grow a brain, or Obama will actually be able to articulate an idea without using the word "change." And then we'd have to go back and change our answer. White Midwesterners don't like to change our answers - it makes us look flaky.

In the meantime, we're keeping our options open.

September 24, 2008

White Midwestern Culture, the Business Edition: Cubicle Decor

As we've seen before, White Midwesterners are fond of decorating just about anything we can lay our eyes on - tying wreaths on cars, bedazzling do-dads on sweaters to make them more festive, and turning tumbleweeds into snowmen. And why not? With the economy in the toilet and gas prices making us wince, we could all use a little cheerfulness courtesy of a 30% off coupon from JoAnn Craft Stores. (Not TOO much cheerfulness - extremes in emotions make us uncomfortable.)

Today I present: The Halloween Cubicle.

(Spotted in Overland Park, KS)

Notice the sunflower, which White Midwesterners consider to be a staple of home decor:

And not to be out done is the cubicle found directly across from the Halloween cubicle.

Behold: The Thanksgiving Cubicle:

Cheerful, colorful, and educational at an affordable price. What's not to love?

September 17, 2008

Attention farmers, tweakers, and insomniacs:

On Air Light
Originally uploaded by jonxyz
I’m going to be on a Denver radio show (850 KOA-AM) called “After Midnight with Rick Barber” Thursday morning at 5:00 am Central (a/k/a White Midwesterners) Time. Click the link above and tune in!

Crafty White Midwesterners

Ever since I Love Ranch Dressing came out I've gotten lots of great suggestions for some other crazy things about White Midwesterner Culture. Today's blog post is on the theme of Crafty White Midwesterners. These are from Marty L., who grew up in Kansas and now lives (the much more sparkly) Las Vegas, Nevada:

(1) The way people decorate their vehicles: with window flags, car magnets supporting our troops, wreaths on the front grill at Christmas, flowers on trhe antenna. I once saw a lady with a small mug of artificial flowers stuck on her dashboard. Also how teens write on each other's cars to celebrate their teams. You see "Go Panthers!" or the kid's name & jersey number or "We're No. 1" (not to mention "Just Married")

(2) In western Kansas I have seen snowmen made out of tumbleweeds. They get 3 nice round tumbleweeds of graduated sizes. They spray them with a can of spray artificial snow & hot glue them together into a snowman. Then they dress them with nose, scarf, hat, buttons, eyes etc. Very cute.

(3) All the uses of empty egg cartons (they're not just for Easter eggs anymore) like drawer organizers, jewelry holders, nuts/bolts dividers/organizers.

September 12, 2008


Welcome to your one-stop-shop for learning about all things White and Midwestern. My book, "I Love Ranch Dressing: And Other Stuff White Midwesterners Like" is now available on and soon (if not already) in your local bookstores. I had a great time writing about my beloved homeland, the squishy center of America - hope ya like it!

Check back often - we have a lot of fun stuff in store for you!