Appalachia Appalachian Food

Dishpan Pie


“You know, we didn’t have no cans to can nothing in. We dried our blackberries, and in the winter, we’d take those dried blackberries and make ’em into a pie, just the same as if they were fresh. Put’em in a pan, put some water in and let e’m go to boiling, then put your bread in, your dough. And that was good!

And peaches. Peaches was the finest things dried, you know. People enjoyed eating them more than they do now. Oh, my goodness, I guess they did! They worked harder, and they enjoyed their food more.

I’d bake dried apple pies, tarts, fried apple pies. In some things, I believe the big old iron pots give the food-some of it, anyway-a better flavor. Now, where they boiled cabbage-you know, put a big bone of meat in and boil cabbage-now, that was really good! We had cornbread with it.

And soup beans! I used to have half-a-bushel of soup beans. Those were the white beans you grow, and the hulls were tough, and you shelled ’em. People would make great big old potfuls of stews, soups.

And when I had my children at home, you know, I’d make a pie in a dishpan. One of the smaller dishpans, you see. Crust on the bottom and a crust on the top. Now, that I baked in the oven, after we had an oven.”

Iowa Patterson, 1881 Clay County NC

Excerpt from “Snowbird Gravy and Dishpan Pie” by Patsy Moore Ginns



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  • Reply
    Sallie Buckner
    March 19, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    In 54 years of marriage, my husband and I have always had a garden and canned and dried beans and apples. One year my daughter and I canned 300 jars of beans, 75 jars of tomatoes, and 20 quarts of apple butter.
    Hoping to get some branch lettuce and ramps as soon as the snow melts.
    Nothing better than kilt (wilted) branch lettuce and ramps with soup beans and hot buttered corn bread.
    Enjoy your articles.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Mama never dried fruits or vegetables, but she shore canned ’em. We’d have more canned jars, (some 1/2 gallon) than you could shake a stick at, cause we had a pretty big bunch of boys.

    One time just after school, a pheasant flew threw the kitchen window, took out 4 window panes, cleared the table and hit the wall on the other side. Mama had her mama visiting and it ’bout scared her to death. But mama wrung that succer’s neck, and put him in the sink. She had it cleaned before we got there and had him on cooking, met us on the porch and told us she had a
    treat for supper. She had got a Pheasant without going hunting. …Ken

  • Reply
    March 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Them Pressley Girls have an excellent new video on Youtube. People who subscribe have probably already seen it. I guess the rest will have to wait until you put them a link in a post.

  • Reply
    Richard Moore
    March 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    My mother used dried fruit to make fried pies all winter. I just ordered Patsy Moore Ginns book as i heard so much in family stories about life in Clay County, NC in the 1880s. My grandfather was born there in 1861.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 19, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Mama preserved every bite of food in some way. We would put dried beans or peas in an old pillow slip and beat them with a stick to shell them. Then, on a windy day, we would pour them back & forth till the wind had blown away most of the shells. She kept on drying apples almost up till her death. She did them outside but finally took one of my dehydrators and did them in it.

    I remember Granny chopping lettuce for lettuce & onions in the dishpan with a sharpened spatula. My whole family loves wilted lettuce (well except my onion hating spouse). I saw someone making it with the bagged salad mixes &n it looked good, too.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    March 19, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Blackberry Cobbler is some good eatin’. Yesterday we were blessed with a short visit from a cousin from South Carolina. I, if course, cheated on my dinner for them. We had KFC, with a few sides. I fixed green beans and I found a blackberry cobbler from Walmart. It is a line of foods now by singer Patty LaBelle! It was good but not as good as my grandma’s. However, Tipper, I did make that corn pudding recipe and it was a hit! Thank you!

  • Reply
    aw griffgrowin
    March 19, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Ate a lot of blackberry dumplings growing up, It seems now that nobody makes dumplings. It’s all cobbler.

  • Reply
    Ann Appplegarth
    March 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Mmmmmm! The made me so hungry for blackberry cobbler that I bet I could eat a dishpanful! But I am glad that
    nowadays we can freeze berries instead of drying them.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    March 19, 2018 at 10:23 am

    We grow blue lake climbing beans and save the seed when the beans dry to replant. We were cleaning the freezer last week and found beans from 2015 and 2016 so the wife made the best ham and bean soup from them. Don’t let anything go to waste. The ham was a ham bone from Christmas.

  • Reply
    Agnes Farr
    March 19, 2018 at 10:17 am

    This brought back a lot of childhood memories. Try a dish pan Chicken Pie…with boiled chopped chicken, a few dumplings, a little thicker in the broth, a few chopped carrots and celery…Now days I stir in a can of Cream of Chicken Soup…remove from heat and stir in a few green (English) peas. Stir and pour into a butter dishpan. Top with a rich biscuit crust, seal edges, put some slits in the top and bake at about 325 degrees until bubbly and crust is light brown. If more liquid is needed use a funnel in the slits to add extra broth. Sometimes I use thin cheese biscuits to ring the edge and cover the top…slightly over-lapping. and bake. It was funny to be at a homecoming, reunion, or dinner on the ground and see the chicken feet sticking up in the pie. Enjoy you articles.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 19, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I agree with Ron, working for your food does make it taste better. Also growing it yourself and cooking it yourself.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Pie in a dishpan, I’ve never heard of such! Our fore bearers were a hardy people with much ingenuity. They found a way to get things done!
    I love this clip, Tip. I can remember my grandmother drying fruits and beans in the summer so they would have plenty through the winter.
    Those were hard times, physically very challenging. Now life is more challenging mentally!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2018 at 8:50 am

    That was a big pie baked in a dishpan! Back then, families were large and food was enjoyed more. Mom said they never had anything to snack on between meals and that everybody had a good appetite after working so hard all day.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

    We used to make snow cream in a dishpan but that’s about it I think!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 19, 2018 at 8:18 am

    I remember my grandmother making dishpan cherry cobbler. As I remember it was done in a small dishpan and did not have a bottom crust. Just a crumbled very sweet topping. It was very crispy.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

    “Worked harder and enjoyed their food more” deserves being thought about. Us humans often forget until reminded that we tend to take for granted what comes easy and in abundance. I want to keep gratitude because it a great sweetner and spice. And being grateful for food one grows or gathers oneself includes gratitude for an entire season of sun and rain and health to work.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Rodriguez
    March 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    I remember helping my Grandma Josephine when she dried the apples. She would spread a white sheet on the tin roof of the pack house. We’d spread the apple slices in a single layer. There they would stay baking in the heat of the sun. Later, the sheet would be gathered with the apple slices inside and kept indoors until the next day. Then, off we’d go again, up the ladder to the top of the tin roof, spreading our slices, and waiting for the sun to do its job. This went on for several days until the apple slices were the perfect dryness. Then, Grandma stored them for the winter. She made the best dried apple pies with a made from scratch crust and fried apple turnovers, mmmm! Nothing ever tasted so good!

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