Appalachia Granny

Foundered on Peas and New Taters



Granny was a picky child and wouldn’t harldy eat nothing. She wouldn’t even eat egg whites, only the yolks. Her mother Gazzie would beg her to eat and try to entice her with different things, but Granny would usually stand her ground and refuse even a bite of something. She’d literally go days without eating all the while worrying her mother to death.

One early summer when Granny hadn’t been eating much her brother-n-law Woodrow came in with a mess of new taters and fresh peas. Gazzie cooked them up together and Granny ate until she made her self sick. She said “They just tasted so good I couldn’t quit eating them and I foundered myself.”

Granny said she laid on the porch and cried she was so sick. Her younger brother James stayed right with her trying to console her that she’d get better. Granny said “Oh Lord James I’m really going to die this time.” James told she wasn’t going to die and fed her sodie crackers until she felt better.”

It was a long time before Granny could ever eat new taters and peas again. She finally got over being foundered on them and new potatoes and peas was one of her and Pap’s favorite dishes.


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  • Reply
    February 8, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Tow head comes from the color of flax that has been prepared for making linen thread. It is a white/silver color. We have tow headed babies and toddlers in our family. It doesn’t last but is so pretty till they are 2 or 2.

  • Reply
    David White
    June 4, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    I’ve only recently discovered your YouTube videos and now this site. I love them so much and watch them over and over as they take me back to a time I remember so well. Planting by the signs, home remedies, great home cooking. At the time I didn’t know there was anything different. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    I have founded myself on a few things i have eaten. I dont like doing that. Feels awful.

  • Reply
    Rachel Bee
    March 27, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Founder is a condition in horses. Too much rich feed.
    Tow head is blonde, like flax, also called tow.
    Spring greens are up here,and I will try not to flounder on em,lol.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 27, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Oh my, if only I could even find fresh homegrown “English” peas, much less new potatoes with fresh country butter. No wonder she foundered. But it would take a lot of peas before I starting even getting close. Why do you reckon fresh peas are not in the produce section at the grocery? I have grown them here but they have a very short time producing, maybe 3 weeks.

    My father-in-law got sick eating raw pumpkin as a boy and he never would eat it in any form after that.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 27, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Green peas are good cooked with tiny dumplings too. Lots of black pepper. Mama said it was something her mother would cook to eke out the early peas to feed everyone.

    I was also a picky little one. My first year of school the cafeteria was not open so we had to take a sack lunch. The big boys on the schoolbus would eat mine on the way home. Always wondered if Mama thought I ate it all. It’s strange that some of the things I wouldn’t eat are now favorites.

    I have heard of people and animals being foundered and have come close myself on gravy & biscuits, barbeque, etc.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 10:10 am

    We used that word, and I have found some do not know what I am talking about. As a child I hated to eat, and had to sit at the table 30 minutes. I usually got bored and ate. I wanted to play all the time. I got Pnuemonia, and the doc put me on a tonic. My appetite increased dramitically. I was just wondering if anybody remembers the old radio ad about Hadicol. It ended with “They Hadicol it something.” I need to google to see what it was for. Remember ftom the forties.

    • Reply
      Brenda smith
      April 1, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      My Ma forced me to take Hadicol. It was supposed to be an iron tonis.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    March 27, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Good story Tripper I had a niece like your Granny she still doesn’t eat much my first husband got founder in fresh green bean and didn’t eat them anymore . They say that is a terrible sick. The only thing I guess is when the heads were left on the fish to fry. I refused them to eat , the heads has to go for me to fry fish . (If it wiggles or looks at you NO WAY)

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 27, 2019 at 9:15 am

    I had an aunt in Canton who could cook peas and new potatoes that would be to die for…she also added a few pearl onions for seasoning…I never could get the taste the same after years of trying and growing our own new peas and new taters…I think it was one of those things where cooking with love for others was the ingredient…she loved to cook and have someone enjoy her cooking…Best sweet tea I ever well..
    Thanks Tipper,
    Loved this post…

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 9:08 am

    If I had a mess of fresh peas and new taters, I would founder and love every minute of it. If I ever ate something that made me sick, I would be just like Granny and not eat it again for a long time. I don’t know what happened in my younger days that makes me refuse to eat fried chicken legs. That must have been the only piece left and I was forced to eat it or go hungry, or it could have been that I foundered on chicken legs. Until this day, I would starve before I would eat one. Never have and never will.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Don’t remember the word “foundered,” but i was a picky eater as a child too. When we would go to my Aunt’s home for a Sunday meal, they would call me and say you better get in here cause your cousins are going to eat up all the green beans, etc., and I thought to myself they can have them all cause I’m not hungry. I guess I was about 14 or 15 when I thought I might be missing out on something so I started trying different foods and found out I like most everything. By the time I was in my teens, I would have been to the table faster than a jack rabbit to get those green beans.

    That is a precious picture of Granny. Didn’t realize she was a blonde. Our youngest son was born a blonde and when he was three a lady asked me if I bleached some parts of his hair that were actually white. Lord have mercy, I would have never bleached a child’s hair. I hadn’t thought of “Toe head” for a blonde haired child in many, many years, but that is what they were called and I don’t know why.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 27, 2019 at 7:28 am

    I was a picky eater as a child but one thing I would always eat was mashed potatoes and I still love them today.
    That’s a precious picture of a pretty little blond headed girl! A blond haired child used to be called a toe head but I haven’t heard that expression in many years.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou mcKillips
    March 27, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Tipper there is nothing any better to me than blackberry dumplings , apple dumpling are good too. I laugh every time I think about one of my brothers. Mother had gone to town with his wife Ann . He and Dad were working on something at the house . I was not married and still at home , so I got Dad and him some lunch . I didn’t have a dessert so I get a can of apple juice and made them some apple dumplings man it was good but no appples. Lawrence eat and said sis your pie was good but where was the apples.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 27, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I knew horses foundered but never thought about it for people. Guess it is the same thing.must feel terrible.

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