Appalachia Appalachian Food

Have You Ever Eaten Soakey?

Several months ago, Vera Guthrie sent me a cook book she had published-called Vintage Vera a Collection of Old Timey Recipes. The book has recipes from Vera and her family members. As I paged through the cook book I found recipes I was familiar with-and a few I had never heard of-one being Soakey.

The recipe is easy-1 cup hot black coffee; saltine crackers; and sugar to taste. Pour Coffee into large mug, crumble crackers into coffee, sprinkle with sugar to sweeten.

Vera said Soakey was a favorite snack for her and the other children when she was young. Once my curiosity was roused I asked for more details about the recipe. Phyllis, Vera’s sister, checked with other family members for me.

Phyllis and Vera’s cousin Ellen offered this: Mama was just talking about this the other day. We never knew it had a name but she used it on us when we had a upset stomach and she still uses it till this day for the same purpose. She crumbles up crakers in a saucer, pours coffee, a little milk and sugar. Makes me want some right now. ha-ha”.

Garland, their brother had this to say: I ate something similar, but instead of crackers, a cold biscuit was used. A biscuit was halved and placed into a saucer and soaked with coffee, sugar was sprinkled over it. Truthfully, I don’t ever remember eating crackers and coffee.  Not saying I didn’t eat it, just don’t remember.

Another cousin, Clara, remembered this: The cracker and coffee thing at home was we just put the cracker in the coffee and ate it….not crumbled in the cup. That was a favorite of mine.

After reading the information Phyllis provided for me, I wondered if soakey was just a family thing instead of a recipe that was widespread. But my recent post on coffee put that thought to rest. Two Blind Pig readers left a comment about soakey.

Robert Loftis said: I remember pouring coffee in a saucer,cooling it with my breath, then drinking it. Also I remember while I stayed with my grandparents on Buck creek in McDowell County. We would pour sugar on a biscuit then pour cold coffee on it and eat it. We called it a “soaky”.

Bradley said: There used to be ( and probably still is ) a brand of coffee called Luzianne. It had chickory in it. There was a white label and a red label. My great Grand Ma always drank that brand. I don’t know maybe I was a sissy but, I thought it was so bitter when it was black that it would make a hog shake its foot if it got in their trough! We used to – when the grown-ups weren’t around – would take a cup and fill it with sugar and cream and get a biscuit and make SOAKIE BREAD. Hey look, when you are a little poor boy ain’t nothing wrong with that. We thought it was good ( after we had changed its original chemistry ).

I asked Granny if she knew about soakey she didn’t, but she did remember spending the night with a girl who put crumbled cornbread in her coffee.

Phyllis did a bit more research about soakey for me and found: eating crackers/biscuits with coffee, brown sugar/white sugar, and sometimes butter was a depression era breakfast dish called coffee soup.

Ever had soakey?


p.s. A special THANK YOU to Vera and Phyllis for helping me!

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  • Reply
    R Pettibone
    October 22, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    My dad fixed this with coffee and crackers when we had violent nausea which didn’t go anywhere… I hate it. All I need to do is smell it. But dad ate it as a treat. He called it panada. Finally tracked it down to northern Italy. It was a poor man’s bread soup. It was also popular in Croatia. By the time it made it to England and France it was used for vegetarians, invalids, and pregnant women. No surprise it was revived during the Depression.

  • Reply
    Kathy Linger
    April 13, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Grandma used to feed me something called Soaky Tea. It was a very deeply crusted crispy biscuit. Cut in half, the soft inner white was removed and fresh hot coffee poured on the crust. No sugar just strong hot black coffee. Sooo good on Grandmas knee❤

  • Reply
    April 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    WoW I sure was surprised to see so many comments about this and that there was an actual name and recipe for coffee and saltines. I was eating some chicken noodle soup and saltines when a childhood memory came flooding back. I had to be quite young and my grandmother was caring for her sister who I believe had cancer. I distinctly remember her fixing coffee putting it in a bowl and crushing saltines into it. Then coaxing my Aunt to try and eat. We made several trips to her house just down the road and each time grandma would fix this for her. So out of curiosity I did a web search on “coffee and saltines” and oh my! One tidbit of information I appreciated is that it was used to settle an upset stomach. If my aunt had cancer was undergoing chemo, she was no doubt was having bouts of nausea. Thanks you every one for all the comments and memories you’ve shared.

  • Reply
    Heather Wilkinson Rojo
    May 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Soakies go international! I’ve been married for 35 years to a Spaniard. When we used to stay with his grandparents, they ate this for breakfast – but used old bread or a split soda cracker (not as salty as a saltine) in their coffee. His mother still does this for a quick breakfast, even though she’s been living in the USA for a long time. We live in New Hampshire, so I don’t see it much except when the Spaniards are visiting!

    • Reply
      Grace Belfiore
      July 27, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Never called them anything, but my parents, grandparents, etc. from Sicily always made a pot of coffee, poured some into a cup, added milk (couldn’t afford cream, then put in a whole slice of cut-up toast, topped it with sugar, and yum, yum. The best breakfast! I do it now that I’m almost 70 and missing my old world meals. Always put the toast in the coffee, rather than the other way around, because, I assume, that would have been too sloppy to eat without making a mess.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Oh my goodness! My Dad talked about eating this as a child; but I thought his mother had made up the name… amazing!!!! Yes, Virginia, there really is soakey.

  • Reply
    Leslie Dawn Nash
    February 10, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I’m from North-Central Louisiana and I came across this article in looking for some explainable reason as to why I’m apparently a weirdo amongst my friends.
    I was lucky enough to grow up with great-grandparents and our favorite breakfast was what we called “coffee and biscuit”. It’s very similar to the soakey, but also different.
    My gg-mother would crumble a biscuit on her plate, put a “pat” or two of Land O Lakes (real) butter on top of the crumble and then pour very strong, black coffee over the top of it.
    I remeber thinking of it as the most delicious meal in the world! Alongside this, we would eat Prairie Belt sausage, bacon, sliced cheese and tomatoes (when they were in season).
    After doing a bit of research, I’ve found that my family is the only one from this area who ate this particular meal and I’d love to know how it was born!
    My sister, brother and I are the last generation to remember this.

    • Reply
      Brandi Nugent
      June 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Hello. My grandmother served something very similar. It was cut a biscuit it half and place face down on plate. Then pour equal amounts of cold milk and hot coffee on top of it. She would serve a breakfast meat with it on the side. They just always called it coffee milk and biscuits. They had to be homemade or it wouldn’t do right. I’m not a coffee drinker so I never did it. But, I’ve talked about it and my husband thinks it’s crazy lol.

      • Reply
        September 21, 2021 at 3:21 am

        I don’t it is crazy, just different. Love you baby!

  • Reply
    Sharon Brinkman
    February 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    WOW!!!!!! I was listening to the Gaither’s and they mentioned Soakey Bread and told how to make it……I was INTRIGUED!!!!! I, of course, Googled Soakey Bread and found your article. I had 10 siblings and we grew up in the 50’s and 60’s – and only 3 of them – all brothers – and my mother tore apart bread, put on some sugar if we had any, and poured either milk or coffee over it — and we knew it as Sappy Soup or Soppy Soup – I guess whichever way you pronounced it. My mother has long since passed as well as 1 of my brothers – but I know for sure the one and probably the other still eat this Soppy Soup or Sappy Soup. What wonderful memories this article brought!!!! Thank You!!!!!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2016 at 2:22 am

    My grandmother made it for me using biscuits.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    June 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Store bought crackers were a treat for us. Me and my oldest brother still love them dipped into hot creamy coffee. You have to do it just right so the cracker doesn’t break off into the coffee.
    Daddy would mix syrup or jelly and butter together until it was smooth to eat on hot biscuits. I still like to eat this. You would sop the biscuit in the mixture.
    I love plain cake or cookies crumbled in a bowl with milk poured on–just enough to get the right amount of sogginess. I’m the only person I know who does this. It’s yummy!

  • Reply
    Janet McClelland
    June 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I remember my father making soakies with a biscuit in a saucer sprinkle with sugar and pouring coffee over it. He grew up in Sw Virginia

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    June 10, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    We have always put bread or crackers in our coffee…..never called it slowly tho. I even put oatmeal in mine and diet sugar. My twins used to dip their pizza crust in soda.

  • Reply
    Bonnie Dunston
    June 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    We did not have a name for this but I remember having a sugared biscuit with coffee poured it. We were share choppers and times were hard. This was probably a treat to give us a change from milk gravy and biscuits.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for the great comment and for sharing your Grandmas memories : )
    I hope you have a good day and I hope you drop back by the Blind Pig often!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I came across this post because I was curious about something my grandma had mentioned to me the other day. We were talking about coffee, and she briefly talked about growing up poor and loving a breakfast called coffee soup.
    Hers was a biscuit or sweet bread covered with hot coffee and cream with a sprinkle of sugar on top. And she said it was typically served as a large family breakfast on a big plate or bowl in the center of the table.
    She said it was hearty, tasty, and gave all the kids a nice kick off caffeine before they helped with the farm chores.

  • Reply
    Kathy Rau
    September 25, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I know this is an old post, but I found it while I was searching to see if anyone else ever ate “Granny Soakers” – that’s what they were called when I was a kid. A cup of coffee with milk and sugar poured over a halved biscuit, sometimes topped with a little extra sugar and/or a dab of margarine. Yummy! It’s what I had for breakfast this morning.
    I’m going to check out the rest of your website, too – it looks interesting!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Teresa-thank you for the great comment and for sharing your memories! I hope you have a great week and I hope you drop back by the Blind Pig often!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    August 10, 2015 at 6:24 am

    What good memories as I sit here eating a “bowl of soaky” for breakfast. Mother’s older brother taught me to love this as a very small child. I really don;t remember a time when I didn’t eat soaky. lol Our version was a day old or even older cold hard biscuit crumbled in a bowl with a couple dots of margarine on it & then a cup or so of good hot coffee poured over it to fill the bowl. Usually only took 1/2 cup of coffee since the biscuit absorbed it & swelled right up almost filling the bowl. hahaha Black coffee or a dash of milk as I drink mine or even my cousins that put sugar in theirs make it a real treat for those of them that don;t make homemade biscuits.Mother was the last of her siblings & she died in June of 2010 so I am really glad I paid attention & learned to make a lot of the family favorites & I even can beet pickles & Granny’s recipe of chow chow along with the usual beans, tomatoes, peaches, soup, etc. My husband makes something his family have had with their biscuits forever also. Our kids called it “merry go round” for some crazy reason but he takes King syrup ( only King syrup will work they say! ) & mixes either a pat of butter or some peanut butter in a plate with the syrup & stirs it up good & then fips hot fresh biscuits or even toast in it for their after breakfast dessert. Yes these NC men like to have dessert at the end of all 3 meals. Must be what makes them so sweet !!!!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I just turned 33 years old and grew up eating soakey! My grandmother was born in 1922 in Missouri and she would often fix this for me when I was a young girl. My mom & two aunts, all born in the 40s, would also fix themselves some soakey every now and then. It was just commonplace around our house and I never realized that so many, especially of my generation, has never heard of it.
    We would fix ours using toast. Just place a slice of toast on a salad plate, pour enough coffee to let it “soak” in, sprinkle on sugar and drizzle with heavy cream or half & half. Delicious!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Funny, I was just thinking about this memory today. I never knew what this was called but I remember when I waited tables in a very fancy restaurant in Lexington, KY long ago. The maitre ‘d seated a distinguished older man with the whitest hair and equally white goatee, and dressed in all white. It was Col. Harlan Sanders himself. After examining the menu I asked him what he would like for lunch. He asked me for a stack of saltine crackers, a cup of hot coffee, milk, and sugar. I smiled and said “Colonel if I may comment, the only person I ever knew who ate this was my father. I will get it for you right away”. He smiled ear to ear. Of course the chefs in the kitchen were baffled. I served the Colonel and looked back a bit later to see him produce a golden spoon out of his white jacket and commenced to mix everything to his liking. That was many years ago and now I live in New York City. I have no idea why this memory came back to me today but I will definitely try it. Interestingly my coffee maker died today and I guess it will have to wait till tomorrow.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    This is a huge tradition in my family! We call it coffee & crackers cereal, never heard it called soakey. First you crumble the crackers, add sugar, then you pour a bit of milk (so the crackers dont get mushy too fast, we liked them to crunch. Lastly fill the bowl with coffee! Both of my grandparents said they ate this for breakfast during the depression. Even the little ones in my family eat this!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I remember my daddy would make this and let me have some when I was little! It was just a mix of black coffee, cold biscuit, and a liberal amount of sugar, and was right tasty as I recall. You had to eat it pretty quick before the biscuit got too mushy. But he called it “coffee sop”, as in “sopping a biscuit”. I’ve never heard of the terms soaky, coffee soup or coffee slop before.
    If he didn’t make coffee sop, he loved his coffee straight up black and he always drank the Luzianne brand. It smelled so good, but boy, was it bitter! One time I begged and begged for a taste, and he kept telling me I wouldn’t like it, but I kept on anyway. He was right! After that I stuck with the coffee sop only.
    He passed away suddenly when I was only 7 years old and I’m 52 now. Thank you for bringing up a very sweet memory of my daddy!

  • Reply
    Amy Jo Phillips
    April 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    sounds interesting but im not so sure I would like eating that. I love seeing,hearing,reading about what people eat.
    Amy Jo Phillips

  • Reply
    Connie Keys
    March 31, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I used to stay with my mom’s cousin’s family in Grant County, W.Va on their farm in the summer.
    If, some way you over slept(not easy to do there),you ate “coffee sup” for breakfast. It was coffee, sugar, real cream from a cow and real homemade bread for your breakfast.
    I would love to win a cookbook. I always love those that have old country recipes in them.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’ve never had a soakey and wouldn’t since I don’t drink coffee. 🙂 But I’d love to have that cookbook! blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    March 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve never had soakey before. It sounds interesting.

  • Reply
    Brandi Nabors
    March 30, 2011 at 11:25 am

    i’ve not had a soakey before, but i’ll sure try it tomorrow! my favorite was always (still is) cornbread crumbled in buttermilk.
    i’d love to have a copy of Vera’s cookbook – thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2011 at 3:20 am

    We didn’t have “soakey”, but mom used to take a slice of bread and sprinkle sugar on it,then sprinkle that with water. It would have tasted good with coffee I’m sure. Thank you for the contest.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    No Soakey for me, thanks! I like most make-do foods, as they all evoke comforting childhood memories, but there’s no way I can eat soggy anything! I don’t recall any of my elders eating soakey either, though many of them would dunk cookies in their coffee til they were soft.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Are you kidding? Crackers were bought by rich folks,! Biscuits were used to ‘sop’ the coffee at our house. Daddy’s coffee was so strong that he used to say, “It will make you grow hair.” Needless to say, none of us girls tried the Soakey as we didn’t want ‘hair’. A saucer was always used with the cup when the coffee was poured from the boiling pot. I remember Dad blowing the strong brew and sipping right from the saucer. I always saved my biscuit to crumble in the chocolate gravy.

  • Reply
    Boyd Guthrie
    March 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I remember biscuits soaked in coffee growing up but, I don’t recall a name for it. Soakey sounds like it would be a fitting name. You can’t go wrong with coffee and anything.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    March 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Never heard of soakey until now. I did dunk crisp toast in my coffee. But this all brought back some make do cooking my mother did.
    We lived off the farm. Eggs was one of the mainstays. When the hens didn’t lay enough for all of us to each have an egg, Mother made “sawmill gravy.” Sounds like it was eggs and milk and a like flour and butter to thinken. She served it over the best hot biscuits in the world and none of us felt deprived.
    One of our treats in south west GA was cold biscuits and cane syrup. After school, we found cold biscuits in the oven and poked a hole in the side and filled it with that sweet syrup. So, so good.

  • Reply
    Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds
    March 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve never heard of it. I can’t drink coffee, this kind of makes me want something soaked in tea!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I think the closest I ever got to soaky was cornbread & milk.
    I drunk my papaw’s coffee (cream & sugar) since I was big enough to lift a cup.(granny drunk her’s black ;(

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    March 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you Tipper for sharing our memories of Soakey. Like Garland said I never remember being hungry as a child. I hope the person that wins the cookbook gets as much pleasure using it as Phyllis and I did putting it together. Thanks for the friendship we are truly blessed!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    March 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t remember if I ate soakey or not but Mom would pour her coffee in her saucer then put a slice of plain toast in it and let it soak up her black coffee, she always told me she did not like the taste of coffee but she always drank one cup every morning. As for the bread and milk, crackers and milk, and cornbread and milk, I have always liked that but I like ti dice up a large onion and put it in there also, did that 3-4 nights ago. My daughter used to do some strange things, she would put unsweetened ice tea over her cereal for breakfast plus when she was in high school when on the computer she would go to the kitchen and get two glasses and put pepsi in one and milk in the other then alternate taking drinks. My son that is now in Japan had some strange eating habits which may have to lead him to be a vegatarian, but now he has to eat what he can get, 4 apples are $7.00.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Never heard it called a soakey and for some reason a biscuit just didn’t do it for me. But…. stuff a couple of slices of light bread (lipe bread when you are 4,5,6) into a mug of coffee and add a goodly portion of sugar and it’s a meal, snack,and dessert all in one. Also the mention of buttermilk loaded with cornbread makes me drool on the spot.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    March 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Never heard of soakey. Glad I know what it is now. I wonder what the price of coffee was back then. Nana

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Gosh! I hadn’t thought of that in years. I remember Daddy and Mom eating that made with biscuits. OFcourse we kids sampled it, too. They never had a name for it.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve never heard the term Soaky. However my mother did eat toasted bread in her coffee. She often had honey in her coffee too.
    I’m sorry Brian, I just don’t think Coffee Slop is an acceptable name. Coffee soup is okay, and Soaky is okay but slop is what you give the pigs! LOL!
    My mother would have likely hit you if you called what she was eating slop. I mean, that’s just the way she did things!LOL

  • Reply
    Kay Baldwin
    March 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    oh yes, Tipper, I sure am familar with “soakies”. For my Grandmother and me, it was a cold bicuit crumbled in a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. I ate a lot of this when i was a little girl and loved it.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    March 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    The blog and the comments of the many readers show that during hard times country people find simple solutions. You know, I never was hungry as a child.

  • Reply
    Penny McGee
    March 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Wow Soaky, didn’t know it had a name but we used to have biscuit with coffee and sugar…wow I was really little when I had that. I hope that I win the cookbook…would love it…Thanks

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I have never had the desire to try soakey, but Mitchell eats it for a cereal substitute quite a bit. He says it’s really good-I’ll just have to take his word for it!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Never had a soakey, I do not like coffee. My version is crackers in milk and I love it!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    What I liked about the soakey post is it reminded me of my late Grandfather. No he didn’t eat soakey bread, at least that I knew of. But he did pour his hot coffee in a saucer and slurped it. Drove my Dad nuts!!
    Thanks for the memories.

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    March 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    This sounds like it would be fun to try, even for a caffeine traditionalist like me. “Coffee slop” seems more interesting than “soakey” – more folksy and authentic. My son’s coming up for my 71st birthday in April. Maybe old Dad’ll lay this genuine Appalachia treat on him! I’ll tell him Daniel Boone made it.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    Grew up eatin’ crackers soaked or dipped in milk. My favorite was light bread on a saucer with milk poured on it soaked up…We had coffee with lots of sugar, cream (evaporated milk) and dipped sweetbreads or cookies etc. soaked up in it..(PS..My Mother would never let me poke the holes in the evaporated milk can with the ice pick! What was she thinking..Oh, and don’t run with the scissors.) Back to the subject!
    I can’t remember ever calling it “soaky” and only drink coffee with skim milk no sugar today!
    In my 1887 White House cookbook there is some interesting recipes probably same type of thing only the names upgraded for the was called Plain Milk Toast, another called Toast water or Crust Coffee..real brown toast pour in boiling water, steep set set to cool, sweetened to taste, strain and drink..also drank warm with cream and sugar…Doesn’t sound to good to me..
    I used to give my babies crackers or melba soaked in a little warm milk..after rubbing the tops together to get off the extra salt..
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Granny Mandy and all of us love Soakey and we eat it all the time! It is a great make do meal and also good as a dessert with biscuits and brown sugar and cinnamon.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Salmons
    March 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Note: In my research, this concoction is not always called Soakey, sometimes it was “coffee soup” and other times no name at all. I found a reference that crumbled crackers (saltines or other crackers) into hot chocolate, some that used bread, some with sugar and/or milk and some without one or the other or both.
    I remember family members crumbling cornbread into milk (and others said they used butter milk). I have never been one to care much for drinking “sweet milk” (I do understand that term) or butter milk so I didn’t care for it myself.
    As you see, there are many variations of Soakey no matter whether it was called Soakey or not.
    The Vintage Vera cookbook is primarily what Mama and Granny made, not necessarily a classic mountain dish but just something we liked and had frequently back then. It was typically an economical dish due to poor times. We also added recipes from friends and relatives, plus a few that we find to be good and easy dishes even if they are not that old. It certainly does not cover the full spectrum of foods but it does include some of our favorites — the kind Mama made “till it looks right” if she didn’t have a written recipe.
    For anyone interested in a cookbook (if you don’t win it), please send me an email and I will discuss pricing and arrangements with you. Send a message to [email protected].
    It’s exciting to see how many people know of a version of this childhood treat and how many are learning something new! Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Well, I don’t think I ever heard it called Soakey but I do remember my daddy putting a biscuit in a bowl or cup and pouring hot black coffee over it to eat. I don’t remember ever trying it but maybe I will. Love cookbooks with old family recipes.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

    This is a new one for me Tipper. If I liked coffee I would try it! I guess hard times brought about a lot of make do recipes to fill those empty tummies.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    March 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I never heard of this in my part of the woods. I have soaked graham crackers in sweet milk, I’ve soaked saltines in hot tea w/sugar, my great grandma soaked popcorn in buttermilk. I have dunked jelly toast in coffee my whole life. I try not to do it in public because people laugh at me. LOL

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    my Grandmother would make me a cup of coffee with milk along side a small pile of toast at breakfast and we would sit at the kitchen table, dunking toast and talking, starting when I was only 5 years old. That remains my favorite breakfast. The closest I came to soaky though was when I was young I would take cold biscuits and dunk them in cold or hot coffee or milk- I thought that was the best after school snack ever-

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Never heard of soakey. Not sure whether I think I would like it, but I like most foods. I wouldn’t use good cornbread or biscuits with coffee, though. Only want them with milk…

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Never had a soakey..But my mother would put a chunk of chedder cheese in the bottom of her coffee mug. When she got to the bottom of her coffe there would be a nice gooey glob of cheese …It was so good.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    We dipped the cracker into the hot coffee until it was soft & then ate it. Often they broke off & fell in the coffee to be fished out with a spoon.
    Bought crackers were a rare item in our family & biscuits were a substitute for them to dip in coffee but I never liked the biscuit in coffee.
    Still eat the crackers/coffee occasionally & so does my brother.
    Tipper, I just checked out Southern Talk A Disappearing Language by Ray Cunningham from the library. If you haven’t seen it, I know you’d enjoy it. Tons of old timey words–Do you know what hockey is? Thought my oldest bro was the only person who said this.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I love the old fashioned cooking and ways of doing things, but I like my coffee with just milk. I know it was common for some of the older folks to dip their breakfast biscuit in their coffee. I used to watch while some would pour their coffee in the saucer to cool. I visited an aunt one time in Roanoke and inquired about coffee one afternoon; she mentioned she sure could tell I was from WV. The coffee pot works all during the day in many homes here.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

    oh my, I remember my mom and her sisters telling and laughing about a cousin who loved her ‘soakey’.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    March 28, 2011 at 10:05 am

    How interesting, never had “soakey” and sounds like something to try! But coffee for an upset stomach? That sounds strange. In any event, the cookbook giveaway sounds great and would make a wonderful addition to my collection! Thanks, Tipper, for another interesting post.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    March 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

    A new one on me — kind of a country biscotti.
    My grandmother liked saltines in buttermilk.

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    March 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I love black coffee, but don’t want anything in it. One time I
    tried dipping my biscuit in the
    coffee: didn’t like it. Enjoyed
    reading all the recepies and ways
    folks have their snaks…Ken

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    Lonnie L. Dockery
    March 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I ate biscuits soaked in coffee-black coffee, no sugar, just about every morning growing up. As far as I remember we didn’t call it anything in particular. I never actually drank coffee until I was about 25 years old and too far away from home to find a biscuit.

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    Jim Casada
    March 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Tipper–As a staunch trencherman and co-author of a bunch of cookbooks (I’ll readily admit Miss Ann gets most of the credit on the books) I thought I was pretty much up to snuff on mountain culinary traditions. However, soakey is new to me. I was sufficiently curious to check it out in two of the finest treatments of mountain fare, John Parris’ “Mountain Cooking” and Joseph Dabney’s “Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking.” Neither mentions soakey.
    Mind you, I’ve had plenty of milk and cornbread, and milk with soda crackers, and I love both of ’em.
    I wouldn’t care for soakey, because I have no use whatsoever for coffee (neither does brother Don), but if Vera has any cookbooks left or reprints it, I’m in the market. Our collection of cookbooks runs up somewhere around 500, but another one, especially if it focuses on mountain fare, is always welcome.
    Finally, one thought and bit of shameless self-promotion. Of all the books I’ve written or edited, the cookbooks have been far and away the best sellers. All focus primarily on wild game, fish, and foods (nuts, berries, ramps, etc.) from nature, and anyone who wants details can visit
    Jim Casada

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    Sheryl Paul
    March 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

    My grandfather ate this, but he was a postum drinker, I think during WW
    II he started drinking postum as coffee was scarce and never went back.

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    March 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Interesting but never heard of soakey. Have eat cornbread or crackers crumbled in milk but no coffee added to it.

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    March 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

    The way we would eat soakey back in the day was to doctor the coffee with sugar, cream or honey if we could find it and ( here’s what was the clincher )use a biscuit made by a MASTER Usually that would have been Granny, and dunk it like a doughnut. Guess the local dentist was glad we did. Cavities can be fun if you are a dentist!

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    barbara gantt
    March 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I dont remember ever seeing anyone eat food crumbled up in their coffee. We did eat cornbread or crackers crumbled in milk. The cookbook sounds like a tresure . Barbara

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    Marta Winters
    March 28, 2011 at 9:30 am

    As a 1940’s child of south Georgia, I looked forward every morning to a nameless conconction of a cup of milk with enough coffee to create a smooth tan color; and of course an ample supply of white sugar – how tasty! When ready, with delight, I would dip white toast into it. Gosh, that brings back fond memories. Thanks Tipper for your blog!!!

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    Debby Brown
    March 28, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Well.. I never heard of that! But what I did have for night-night food was crumbled graham crackers in a bowl of sweet milk. (sweet.. hehe.. another one of our terms that if you use it these days folks give you a funny eye!) oh.. I also would have peanut butter in soda crackers and dunk them in a cup of milk till they were just falling apart and then eat the left overs that went into the cup. Now mama and my aunts and uncles and papa.. they all ate that staple of crumbled cornbread smushed up in a tall glass of cold buttermilk. Ate it all up with a spoon! I tried but never cultivated a taste for it. We were never given coffee, as it would stunt your growth. I can see why that would be important regarding me.. I never did and do not now drink coffee and I am all of 4 foot 10! I couldna had coffee~!!!

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    Jerry McKelvy
    March 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

    My wife says her mother used to put crackers in her coffee, but didn’t know it was called soakey. I have eaten crackers in milk. Some neighbors of ours always put milk in their iced tea. I thought that was strange.

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    March 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I have never heard of “soakey” before, but it sure is interesting for many variations there are. Thanks again, Tipper for teaching me something new.

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    Lisa @ Two Bears Farm
    March 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of soakey, and I’m not a huge coffee drinker it probably wouldn’t be my thing. I’d love to win the cookbook though!

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    March 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

    No soakey in my past, as far as I know. Doesn’t sound like something my rather proper Canadian mommy would make! 🙂

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    March 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I wondered what this was and came over to check it out. I had never heard it called Soakey but my dad ate this all the time. He would take a slice of white bread, sprinkle sugar over it and then pour coffee over it in a saucer. He did it with biscuits, too. I have tasted it and thought it was good but we were never allowed to have coffee when we were children except for just a small taste. Glad I came! Now I know we had soakey, too.

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    March 28, 2011 at 7:21 am

    As I do all of your posts, I love this! Wonderful blog (and love the music, too.)

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    carol harrison
    March 28, 2011 at 6:56 am

    i’m from western Pa. and my father in law and husband used to eat what they called coffee slop. white bread, coffee, milk, white sugar. then a sausage patty on the side. small piece of sausage, little bit of bread on the same spoon and they would roll their eyes it was so good. i must confess i never tried it because i like my coffee black. my 2 sons ate this also, but not my girls.

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    Mary Shipman
    March 28, 2011 at 6:35 am

    I don’t remember soakey as you describe it here, but we had lots of crackers and milk, crumbled biscuits and milk, and one of my favorites, cornbread crumbled in fresh buttermilk.
    That last one was always eaten with or after a meal of fried fish. The mushy cornbread and buttermilk were believed to ‘kill the bones’ if you swallowed any…

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    March 28, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I have never heard of or had Soakey. I was interested in the comment about the coffee with chicory in it. I have had something similar, a chicory coffee from Brazil. It was horribly bitter and I couldn’t drink it, even at the risk of hurting the feelings of the person who made it for me.

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    Angela Peevy
    March 28, 2011 at 6:18 am

    wow ! This was always one of the first things a baby ate in our family. LOL I remember my grandparents crumbling a biscuit in a saucer and then pouring sweet coffee over it. I used to eat it every morning before school. Papa ate it for dessert after his meal.

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    March 28, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I swear I remember my dad talking about this, but I never saw him do it. He had a nightly love affair with a cup of coffee and some cookies and he was telling us when they were really poor he would use crackers or a biscuit.

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    Phyllis Salmons
    March 28, 2011 at 5:23 am

    In researching this subject, I was amazed at the rich history of Soakey, though not everyone calls it that. A friend of mine told me of a neighbor from England who ate “coffee soup,” a new term to me, but I found lots about it. There are indications of the Amish having coffee soup and the soldiers in the Civil War would soak their Hardtack crackers in coffee before eating.
    When the discussion was started on Vintage Vera, I thought we were the only ones who had it, which led me to poll the cousins. Then Tipper’s coffee blog got more responses (as she mentioned) and finding the term coffee soup showed me that many poeple indeed have eaten what we call Soakey.
    Putting the Vintage Vera Cookbook down on paper was a stroll down memory lane for us. Mama had a habit of putting things together without looking at a written recipe. When we tried to recreate it and asked her how much of an ingredient to use, she would say “till if looks right.” Many times I have called Vera and ask questions such as, “how much sugar do you think I should sprinkle over my sweet potato pie to make it look right?” If I couldn’t remember a recipe, many times she could — or we would ask our brothers.
    Good luck in the cookbook give away! Note — in the area that has the canning and preserving recipes, we couldn’t help ourselves — we included a recipe for lye soap! Now we’ll meet you down by the cement pond and like Granny Clampett — get ready to stir!

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