118. Goodbye Hostess, Hello Little Debbie

11 Jan

One of my Southern friends once confided in me that she suspected her boyfriend had taken up with another woman. “Who?” I asked. Her reply: “Little Debbie.”

Ah, yes, it’s difficult for any red-blooded Southerner to resist the siren song of that little tart. Or more accurately, that little fudge brownie, honey bun, powdered donut, Swiss cake roll, what have you…After all, not only is Little Debbie cheap (and easy), she’s ever-so well preserved.

Sure, Betty Crocker, Sara Lee, and Aunt Jemima may age gracefully on your pantry shelf, but I’m convinced that Little Debbie could survive the Zombie Apocalypse. That’s how I know Cormac McCarthy didn’t set his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road in the South. The never-named father and son happened upon a Coke that one time, but there was nary a Little Debbie snack cake to be found. Which just isn’t natural.

Breakfast of champions!

What sets Little Debbie apart from convenience store counterparts like Twinkies (R.I.P), Zingers, and such? Aren’t all cellophane-wrapped pastries created equal? Well, sort of. But also not really.

Each Little Debbie package features an illustration of a cheerful little girl in a straw hat who looks like she’d enjoy jumping rope or swinging on the front porch and would most likely never throw a Wii remote at the TV. That’s little Debbie, the granddaughter of the company’s founder, O.D. McKee (wouldn’t that be a great band name?).

Debbie does...everything!!

Debbie does…everything!!

While you may find the occasional single-serve Star Crunch or Pecan Spinwheel, you almost always have to buy Little Debbie snacks in the family pack. I see this as a metaphor for Southern relationships in general.

But even though you have to take 5 to 11 extra treats when one would suffice, they come individually wrapped, so you can enjoy them at your leisure.

When I packed up my car and headed west nearly two decades ago, my friends treated me to a going away lunch and presented me with a big bag of goodies for the road. I remember seeing Little Debbie smiling up at me from a package of Oatmeal Creme Pies. Though I haven’t had one in years, I can still recall the taste of freedom, independence, lasting friendships, nostalgia, and, of course, high-fructose corn syrup. Yum!

What Little Debbies are made of…

After snapping this pic in my local grocery store, I decided that it might be time for some homemade Little Debbie-style treats. I Googled upon The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for oatmeal creme pies, which I quickly added to my ever-growing to bake list. Also, I noticed that her avatar looks strangely familiar. Check it out and see if you agree.

Oh! And what’s your favorite Little Debbie treat? Please do tell!

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17 Responses to “118. Goodbye Hostess, Hello Little Debbie”

  1. vintageyallGrimsby092 January 11, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I love Little Debbie’s pecan swirls and oatmeal pies. Luckily, we can get the oatmeal in Canada. I used to drive 5 hours between Dallas and Tulsa regularly. It was the Love’s Country Store halfway point where they do sell individual packages…and where I would stock up for the remainder of my drive.

    Yes, that avitar does look like Debbie! Too funny. Well she does have plenty of fans! Wish she would branch into chocolate with salted carmel …southern style, of course.

    • Nolan January 11, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Well, if they quit making “Moon Pies” we Southerners will starve to death…. 🙂

      • Todd January 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

        I wasn’t a big fan of the Twinkie, but, boy, I used to love Star Crunches when I was a kid.

        • Kim Holloway January 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

          I don’t recall if I’ve tried those, but that reminds me of the star-shaped ice cream on a stick they used to have at Dairy Queen (before they went all KFC and became DQ).

      • Kim Holloway January 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

        Ain’t that the truth!

    • Kim Holloway January 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Oh, I had forgotten all about Love’s Country Stores! I remember stopping at them during a few cross-country trips. I’m pretty sure they sold moon pies.

  2. mallory.pickering.5@facebook.com January 11, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Cosmic brownies from the freezer! And the Christmas tree cakes.

    • Kim Holloway January 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      I’ve always been a little dubious about those Christmas trees. Thanks for the endorsement! I’ll have to try them sometime.

  3. Dianne Wing January 11, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Reblogged this on While you were sleeping .

  4. Kelly January 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I was a latchkey kid in the South, and everyday after school, the bus would drop me off, I’d go into the house and call my mother to tell her I was home, and I’d grab a Little Debbie (almost always a Swiss Cake Roll), and only then could I start my afternoon. Ah memories…

    • Kim Holloway January 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      I think the Swiss rolls were my favorite, after the oatmeal cremes. Much better icing to cake ratio than the Hostess cupcake.

  5. whitney January 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Little Debbie snacks rule in our house! What’s a lunch box without one thrown in? ! Would you share this on The Southern C when you have time? Thanks, Kim!

    • Kim Holloway January 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Will do! Thanks!

  6. Betty January 13, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I love those oatmeal pies. Haven’t had one in decades. Definitely going to try that recipe.

    • Kim Holloway January 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      I’d love to know how they turn out!

      • Jenna Holloway Cochran February 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        So here is yet another tale about your youngest nephew. I introduced him to “Oatmeal” a few weeks ago…of which he kept calling “Oatmilk”.

        A couple of days ago he came up to me grinning with a box of Oatmeal Pies. I asked “Do you want an Oatmeal Pie?” as I opened one of the packs.

        “Nooooooooooooo!!!!!! I not want oatmilk!!!!!!” and flatly refused the one I had opened…then he promptly handed me another and said “I want DIS CWACKER!” and happily walked away with his “non-oatmilk cracker.”

        • Kim Holloway February 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

          Love that kid!!

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