Appalachian Food

Mountain Flavors Class Round-up

a group of people in front of a fireplace

Mountain Flavors Class 2019

What a fun time we had in my recent Mountain Flavors Class at John C. Campbell Folk School! The students were all wonderful. Every student was sincerely interested in the foodways of Appalachia and they were nice too πŸ™‚

My co-teacher Carolyn Anderson is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the foodways of Appalachia and I learned a lot from her right along with the students.

pan of dried apples

We took a walk down to Orchard House and picked enough apples to make two runs of applesauce and enough to dry to use in a Apple Stack Cake.

Apple stack cake

Speaking of Apple Stack Cake, look how pretty ours turned out. We let it sit overnight to allow every bit of apple goodness to be soaked up by the layers.

women stirring jelly in a large pot

We walked around the Folk School and gathered blackberries to make jelly. Two students got into a hornet’s nest and got stung. I felt horrible! But Carolyn came to the rescue by showing the students how they could use plantain that was growing right by the berries to lessen their pain.

women stirring pickles in large pot

Along with several kinds of jelly we made several kinds of pickles.

a group of people making biscuits

We showed the students two different ways to make biscuits and then we let them go to town making their own. They did a great job!

women's hands in bowl making butter

Carolyn demonstrated how to make butter the old time way by letting the cream sit for several days till it clabbered. In this photo she is washing the butter.

group of people walking through a garden

We took a few field trips during the week. I believe everyone’s favorite was visiting Tim’s garden. He explained how he grew things in rotation and how he uses seed that’s been in his family for generations.

It was such a great week! If you’re interested in taking the class, Carolyn and I will be teaching it again in August of 2020 so be on the lookout for the details.


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  • Reply
    July 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Gosh. that apple stack cake is a work of art. And your whole week sounds like a lot of fun and educational for all. I sure wish I could come, but I imagine joining in via your blog will have to do. Thanks for sharing the week with us, beginning to end πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Cheryl Christensen Bennett
    July 10, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I was tempted to take this class but I don’t cook hardly at all (sad but true) and I am a vegetarian. I didn’t want to hold the class up with my inexperience nor did I know how meat orientated it would be. Looking at how wonderful the class was and all the extra things you did, I really missed out!! Unfortunately, I can’t do the August 2020 class as I will be in California but will look forward to participating in the future.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Looks like you all had a great time and enjoyed it. God Bless

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    I can sue imagine the class was lots of fun and great learning, that apple stack cake looks delicious…. I was wondering about the butter made from clabber milk ,versus made with regular cream ,how different would they taste…

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Oh – what a delight it would be to take your class!! Are there places to stay nearby if one had too far to travel?
    I’d never heard of “washing butter” either – is that removing the whey? Sounds like a new blog coming – how many ways are there to make butter?

    • Reply
      July 9, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      Tamela-yes! The Folk School has housing and a campground. And there are other places nearby to stay in Murphy or Hayesville πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 9, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    I have been picking blackberries for a couple of weeks now. I have about 1-1/2 gallons ready to make conbler and jam. I love wild blackberries and the store-bought ones just don’t taste right.

    Found a tick the other day, but they never attach to me. Something about my skin that they don’t like.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      July 9, 2019 at 9:20 pm

      I am what they call a “tick magnet”, not to be confused with a “chick magnet”. I think ticks can hear me coming from a quarter mile away and get ready to jump on me.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 9, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun and worthwhile information.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Hi Tipper, Wish I could have been there! God Bless. Belva-Jean

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 10:55 am

    You certainly did a lot of cooking and if I lived closer I would definitely be there for a class. I knew Plantain was used for something but I didn’t remember bee stings. My mother and daddy made the best cat-head biscuits and I should have watched them as I cannot make biscuits anywhere near as good. I know my grandmothers made their own butter but i don’t remember them saying they “washed the butter.” They probably did but I missed that part. My tommy toe tomatoes are coming in now and are so sweet. I love just being able to walk out and pick a few and eat them right on the spot. Can’t beat fresh garden grown vegetables.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Learning how to make stack cake and homemade butter makes me wish I could have been there!

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    July 9, 2019 at 8:43 am

    That sounds like a great way to spend a week…except the Hornets. But, on Spud Run, when I was a kid, it was copperheads that lurked in the blackberries. So, it could always be worse!

    I think it is amazing that nature gives us food to eat and food to heal. You get away from that and forget when everything comes from the store rather than your own garden. Your class is a good reminder that we are part of this earth…not somehow distinct from it.

    If you do this again, I’m going to move mountains so Kim and I can attend.

    • Reply
      Jan in Oklahoma
      July 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      As one of the stingees, I was amazed that as soon as I put the crushed plantain weed Carolyn gave me on the hornet sting the pain immediately went away!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    July 9, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Looks like everyone had a great time. I wish you could run a class for young people in the area.
    Some of them will never experience homemade bread or jelly. I would bet most of them never even heard of apple stack cake.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 9, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Apple stack cake, yum! I have not had that for a long tine. Too bad Cracker Barrel doesn’t try to have some of those old time favorites. They could start with ginger bread.

    Glad you all had a good time. I could like that class and I am not really a cook.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 9, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Tipper–Other than the tale of two students getting into a hornet nest (those stinging buzz bombs are the pure spawn of Beelzebub), it sounds like a wonderful week. I didn’t know plantain helped counteract stings although I assume it is a base like other remedies such as baking soda, jewel weed, and chewing tobacco. I guess no one happened to have a chaw handy!

    That stack cake is a thing of pure beauty and using the leaves atop it, then a dusting of powdered sugar before removing them to make the design is really a nice touch.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 9, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Sounds like a fun week, Tip. Those are all certainly certified as country cuisine! Tim and his garden are both worth seeing. I’m actually very glad Tim is there doing his thing. I buy vegetables from him all summer. You know most of what he plants are from seeds he has saved for many years. I really like that!

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