Tag Archives: appalachian food

The turkey was dressed out the day before

“In my younger days, during the 1920s, work was very good, and I would see men at the commissary company store, flipping gold and silver coins in the air and catching them as they fell. Shopping at the company store was an event. We all had our favorite clerk and would stand in line to […]


Wait until the first frost has kissed the persimmons

Fall means that the persimmons are getting ripe and it’s time to gather the sweet, pulpy fruit. But you’d better try to get to them before the woodland critters beat you to it. Raccoons, foxes, squirrels, wild turkeys, bob white quail, possums, coyotes, and even deer feast on it. Numerous birds also relish persimmons. The […]


Apple butter thick enough to slice

“Cider for apple butter must be perfectly new from the press, and the sweeter and mellower the apples are of which it is made, the better will the apple butter be. Boil the cider till reduced to one half its original quantity, and skim it well. “Do not use for this purpose an iron kettle, […]


West Virginia Food is Much More than Ramps and Pepperoni Rolls… Maybe

The great thing is that every time I complete one of my books I realize how much I’ve learned about each state. The West Virginia Hometown Cookbook is my fourteenth book and the seventh in the Hometown Cookbook Series. Sheila Simmons, of Great American Publishing, and I co-author the Hometown series and so far it includes Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and now West Virginia. We learn something new with each book.

Working on the West Virginia Hometown Cookbook was once again a learning experience. I love being able to combine recipes from my own kitchen with those from West Virginia kitchens. I also include recipes from producers, growers, chefs, and even food related agencies and associations. I see my cookbooks as culinary history books.


Of Love, Beans and Pie Luck in Appalachia

Men and women moved along the table side-by-side, some introducing themselves to each other for the first time, and some reconnecting while filling their plates and sharing stories of their Appalachian roots. This was exactly the purpose of the summit. As Ronni Lundy repeated throughout the day, “We’re here to break bread and talk about what are we doing, not where are we?” The gathering wasn’t pretending to provide answers. It was listening to what Appalachia has to say for itself about its people, food, and place without those who bend its stories into stereotypical narratives stemming from a fear of poverty and the unknown.

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