Appalachian Food Granny

Granny Turned 82

Granny with crochet

Yesterday was Granny’s birthday. She was 82 years young. For as long as I can remember Granny has made her own birthday cake. Most years she made a vanilla cake with icing in different colors which she used to write Happy Birthday to herself.

In more recent years she switched to making the dessert she has become most famous for in our family: Holy Smoke Cake. Everyone loves it, especially Paul and The Deer Hunter. I usually get Granny to make one for The Deer Hunter’s birthday every year and she recently made one for Chatter and Austin’s wedding shower. There wasn’t a piece left by the end of the event.

Granny loves to tell the story of the day she was born. Her mother, Gazzie, told her there was a big snow on the ground. So big that it was even with the porch and had completely covered the steps. Granny’s mother had eleven children and Granny was the ninth. So I’m sure a big snow and a baby coming didn’t worry Gazzie too much.

Last week I took Granny to town to pick up a few things. She told everyone who spoke to her “If I make it till Sunday I’ll be 82 years old!” 🙂

If you’d like to have the recipe for Granny’s Holy Smoke Cake go here.

Last night’s video: Early Spring Garden Chores & Patch Farming in Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    March 19, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Happy belated birthday to Granny! Hope she has many many more to come! It sure was nice getting to meet her this past weekend at Corie & Austin’s wedding.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    Happy late Birthday Granny. I’m so sorry for being late. We have been so busy. As they say , better late than never. God bless you with many more. Love you.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Happy belated to birthday to Granny! May God bless her health and may she have many more, in Jesus’ name, amen.!

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    March 10, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Happy Birthday Granny!! I wish I could clone you!! When I see you on Celebrating Appalachia I always say to my husband Michael that I want a granny like you! I had one growing up but she is no longer with me. I love to see all of your beautiful crochet. What a talent!

  • Reply
    Shelia Nelson
    March 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Happy birthday to your sweet Mother!!She reminds me so much of my own Mama–good, kind, sweet, and loving. And Happy Anniversary on your blog. It’s my favorite blog and has been since I discovered it years ago.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    March 8, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Happy birthday Granny. Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    March 8, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Happy Birthday

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    March 8, 2022 at 8:45 am

    Happy Birthday, Granny! Will be gaining on you April 13th!! 79 coming up..

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    March 7, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    Happy late birthday to a precious lady that I would love to meet. May the good Lord bless you and all your loved ones. Birthdays are a gift from God and Life is a gift of time. May we use our life the way God would have us to live it. I love you even though we haven’t met yet. Stay sweet and beautiful. Big hugs from your Appalachian friend!

  • Reply
    Karen Boone
    March 7, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    Happy Birthday, Granny Wilson. I know you are deeply loved and appreciated by all your family. A sweet smiling face sure makes me miss my Momma so much. Cherish all the time you have left with her. Much love to her!

  • Reply
    libby rouse
    March 7, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Happy Birthday Granny, from your Birthday Twin! Know you feel blessed like me to be here for 82 years, and have our wonderful loving families!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Happy birthday Granny!

  • Reply
    Gloria Hayes
    March 7, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Happy Birthday to Granny! May God bless you always!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hall
    March 7, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Happy birthday!

  • Reply
    Lisa I
    March 7, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Happy Birthday Granny! Celebrate all week.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Happy Birthday, Granny! May you be blessed with many more!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope your birthday and each new day God brings your way is filled with all of the special things that bring a smile to your face and to your heart! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Wishing Granny the happiest of birthdays and many happy returns of the day! We’ve never met, but I was just thinking of you yesterday when I was wondering if I could find room for “one more row” of pole beans in the garden this year 🙂

  • Reply
    Wanda L Benzing
    March 7, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Happy Birthday Granny. You are such a blessing to your family. Wishing you a very special day.

  • Reply
    Patty Hansen
    March 7, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    Happy Birthday Granny, from CNY! Hope you enjoyed your day relaxing & crocheting with lots of company around. My Gram used to make me a certain cake every year for my birthday. It’s an orange cake with a glaze type frosting. I was the only one who really was crazy about it. I even inherited her recipe in her scrawly handwriting. No-one will make it for me, because they don’t care to eat it, so I make it for myself sometimes. Everyone always complained that it was too dry and not sweet, but that was just what drew me to it. I absolutely hate chocolate! (Unless it is paired with coconut or peanut butter : ) ) Have a great day and blessings to you all.

  • Reply
    Margaret Evans
    March 7, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    A big Happy Birthday to Granny. I wish my Mum was still with me . The recipe looks delicious and I have copied it down but of course I can’t get cool whip or the pecan mix. It’s making my mouth water just looking at it. I am a real sugar fiend! I managed to get an hour in my garden today as it was 9degrees but sunny. It was just clearing all the dead stuff off and it is great when you find all the new shoots coming up. I can’t do it for long but I tell myself whatever I achieve today is more than yesterday. I hope to get some flower seeds set in trays tomorrow as I think it might reach 10 degrees! Happy gardening.

  • Reply
    Hank Skewis
    March 7, 2022 at 11:50 am

    Holy Smokes, what a cake!!

    Happy #82 Granny!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 7, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Dear Miss Granny, I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Love seeing and hearing you on The Blind Pig!

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    March 7, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Happy Birthday, Granny. You are a beautiful lady – inside and out!!! Celebrate this special occasion with gratitude. God is so good. He knows I need to see you and hear the stories about your life. Tipper, you are so blessed to have your mother still with you. My mother went Home in 2008 at the age of 87. I will always miss her, but will see her again! Love to all of your family. Take care and God bless

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Happy 82nd Birthday, Granny!! You look wonderful and I pray you have God’s best for the year ahead. I have appreciated all your beautiful crochet work as Katie, Corie and Tipper have been wearing them over the years. You are a blessing and shinning light to all. I must say too that your cake looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Happy Birthday to Granny! She looks great and doing very well for turning 82!
    May God continue His blessing of good health and looking her beautiful self for many more years to come.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Happy Birthday to dear, sweet Granny! I wish every modern woman was like her – what a different world we would live in today. I long for the days of old when women had her heart and mindset. We can’t change the world around us, but we can BE the example we wish to see by not conforming to its molds and by standing firm for our convictions, no matter what everyone around us is doing. So thankful for Granny’s example to us of doing that! May God bless her with many, many more!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 9:56 am

    Many happy returns and I hope this year is especially good to you.

  • Reply
    Bob Lingle
    March 7, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Happy Birthday, ‘Granny’! Pray you were surrounded by family and friends. Thanks to Tipper for allowing us to share this blessed event!

  • Reply
    brenda taylor
    March 7, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Happy Birthday! May God richly bless you and your family. You are so precious. I love when Tipper has you reminisce and share with us your memories.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 9:41 am

    What a Blessing! Beautiful picture, too!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 9:20 am

    Tipper, please wish Granny a Happy Birthday for me. My birthday is the day before hers. I spent my birthday enjoying the Cherohala Skyway and the surrounding area. It was a beautiful drive and did some hiking also.
    My mother in-law used to make a cake like that but she used lemon and it was call Lemon Delight but I haven’t seen butter pecan pudding here in my neck of the woods (Ohio)

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Happy birthday Granny! You remind me of my grandmother – she was a bonny lass too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I hope Granny had the best birthday ever! How I hope to live to be 82 and still be able to bake my own birthday cake! Granny looked like a movie star when she was young, and she is still the most beautiful 82 year old I know!

  • Reply
    Diane Kelbaugh
    March 7, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Happy birthday Granny! I hope you got lots of new yarn to keep you crocheting!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Happy Birthday, Granny! Love your picture. You remind me so much of my own mother. The cake looks delish!

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    March 7, 2022 at 8:39 am

    Happy birthday, Granny, and many more! May God richly bless you.

    • Reply
      Kenneth P Hartman
      March 7, 2022 at 9:02 am

      Happy birthday to your Granny!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 7, 2022 at 8:15 am

    Well Granny Wilson, your little brown-eyed baby girl is the reason you get birthday greetings from all over these United States, or even maybe further. Did you ever think of that when she was little? We are glad to have met you through her and we wish your 82nd year to be a richly blessed one in every way. You and your whole family have been a source of delight, comfort and inspiration to us readers. You and Mr. Wilson did well with the Lord helping.

  • Reply
    Martha Justice
    March 7, 2022 at 8:02 am

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday Granny ❤ Wishing you good health and God’s blessing through the coming years.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 7, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Hope ypur Birthday was everything you wished for and much more! HAPPY BI

  • Reply
    GoodGriefLouise ( Bill )
    March 7, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Happy Birthday young lady!!! Hoping you had a wonderful day. Thanks for all your memories.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    March 7, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Happy birthday, Granny! That cake sounds pretty good. When I was young, I remember all our family meeting down at my grandma’s house every June and having a get together on her birthday. She lived to be 92!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 7, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Happy 82 Birthday, Granny! You look absolutely fantastic and glowing in your birthday photograph! The Holy Smoke Cake looks tasty and the recipe proves why- its got all the tasty morsels you can handle in there. I hope the shower was a lot of fun and the happy couple received items they are in need of for their new home as well as the many blessings of loved ones who came to support the young couple. Tipper, it’s revving up to be a big year for your family and I know you’re bursting with excitement! Hillbilly tidings to all this fine morning!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Mrs. Wilson,
    Praise the Lord for birthdays. God is so good.
    I hope you had a beautiful day.
    ~Maggie ~

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    March 7, 2022 at 6:33 am

    I hope you had a wonderful Birthday.
    Wishing you many more.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    March 7, 2022 at 6:30 am

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Wilson!

    I think you are a gift to the world! When Tipper does a video with you as the star, I love to listen to your memories of your life. God richly blessed you in giving you the parents that He did, and all of your family, along with the different places you have lived, and your life’s experiences. When Tipper talks about you in her other videos, about how you make different foods, or do different daily tasks – I give her my full attention. You are an inspiration and an example to me! I see the pictures Tipper shares of you, and I think how beautiful you are. Your faith in God is so strong. You are how I strive to be. I wish I lived closer, I would love to visit with you in person. I think it would be fun to sit together, chatting, as we each crocheted on our current projects. I would love to hear all the small and large details of your thoughts and opinions. You are very wise, and kind. You are what God wants us girls to be as wives, mothers, friends and humans in general. You are my hero. You are the kind of woman I try to be like. How wealthy we are in our earthly existence has nothing to do worldly standards of rich – it is how we live day to day representing Christ to the people God places in our lives. You are one of the richest women I have ever known. When I find myself being envious of all you have, I remind myself I can be just as rich in my own walk through life. Your character is my motivation to keep my own eyes on God. You and Mr. Wilson did an excellent job raising the three children He entrusted you with. Your grandchildren, and great grandchildren, are a continuation of your wonderful life story. Paul posted a song of you and Mr. Wilson singing “Our Father Owns It All” on the Blind Pig music channel a couple of years ago. It is a splendid song. I love to listen to you and Mr. Wilson sing together. Your voices harmonize beautifully, like your lives together have. I am so grateful you accepted Christ as your Savior. Someday we will get spend endless amounts of time together in Heaven, singing praises to God, and visiting. Until then, please know you have a friend, and a fan, who thinks you are one of life’s most treasured blessings.

    Donna. : )

    • Reply
      March 7, 2022 at 9:10 am

      Donna Sue,
      You write the best comments. You write things that I think but just can’t seem to put into the right words – writing is not my gift. You are an inspiration to me. I don’t know where you live but if we lived close I would love to visit with you. However I do know that I will meet you someday in our Heavenly home 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Well happy birthday Granny! I hope she had a wonderful day. I hope she has a great year.

    • Reply
      Kim Glenn
      March 7, 2022 at 7:54 am

      Happy Birthday, Granny! You are such a sweet blessing!!!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 6:14 am

    Happy Birthday Granny!!!! She is such a sweet, sweet precious soul – I just LOVE her. That is a great picture of her. I wish I could be there to give her a great big hug, maybe you can give her one for me.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 6:12 am

    Happy Birthday!! What a wonderful story!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 7, 2022 at 6:06 am

    That’s a lovely picture of Granny, sitting there amongst all her crocheting stuff! I got to be there and eat some of her wonderful cake yesterday. It was quite a treat to get to help Granny celebrate her 82nd birthday. She is a few years ahead of me but not too many.

    • Reply
      Brandy Maxwell
      March 7, 2022 at 8:13 am

      Hope you had a great Birthday young lady

  • Reply
    March 7, 2022 at 4:52 am

    Happy belated birthday to Granny. That cake really sounds good. I am not the best on desserts, but this sounds really easy and delicious. Farm Bureau is in West Virginia, and I had the insurance at one time. I love to look at their stores for seeds in early Spring. They are or were less expensive, and are usually the simple old standbys. They seem to germinate well.

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