Appalachia Appalachian Food

Thankful November – Food for Winter

collage of photos thankful

“Pa spent many long hours at the sawmill. Ma planted the garden and took care of the livestock. All summer she worked toward making the long winter a comfortable one. She preserved all the food, milked, churned the butter, spun and wove material for clothing, and then hand-sewed all they wore except their shoes. All the energy she had used working for other people could now be used to make a home for her own family.

When the first snow came, they were ready for the isolation it brought. Dried fruit, meat, and vegetables would easily take them through the longest winter. Pa would take his rifle to work sometimes and bring home a squirrel for fresh meat and gravy.”

—”Dorie Woman of the Mountains”

Today’s Thankful November giveaway is a used copy of one of my all time favorite books “Dorie Woman of the Mountains” written by Florence Cope Bush. To be entered in the giveaway leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends November 15, 2020.

I’ve written about this book a number of times. Here’s a few links for you to read the posts and find out more about the book.

Mountain Traits from Dorie: Woman of the Mountains

Norwegian Wharf Rats in the Smoky Mountains?

Big Cats, Bears, and Coyotes


Falling off the Mountain


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  • Reply
    Amanda Burts
    November 13, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    I’d like to read this book!

  • Reply
    Susanna Holstein
    November 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Oh, enter me please. I haven’t read that one.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    sounds like a book i’d really enjoy

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Love those excerpts from the book. It reminds me so much of the stories my Daddy would tell about his life growing up.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 12, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    I’ll pass on the giveaway. When you first started talking about the book I just had to have it so I went on the internet and bought a brand new one. I have read it more than a few times even though I have trouble seeing to read these days. I take care of my favorite books so it looks like never been read but I assure you it has.

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    November 12, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Tipper….always enjoy your posts and esp. love your suggestions on books…this one really sounds interesting learn so much from days past. Tks for the work and effort you put into your site…love it…..Carol

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    You can’t do it now, but I carried my rifle to school and killed rabbits and squirrels both ways as I checked my rabbit traps. Our family ate most of them. Occasionally one or both of the teachers would want a couple of squirrels. I knew it was illegal to sell wild game so I would charge 25 cents for cleaning and freezing, No charge for the meat.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Lane
    November 12, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    I loved reading Dorie. Great Read! I highly recommend reading it!

  • Reply
    Sherry Thacker
    November 12, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Would love to have the book. I am a widow and love to read about Appalachian history as I was born in the Shenandoah Valley. I have lived here in TN for over 50 years so it is my home now.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I can just picture Dori dancing around ,holding one of her children and singing away. I know life back then was hard. As a child, we didn’t go to the store except to get a few things my dad wanted. We raise and work hard for our food. We had to , to prepare for the winter . We never did go hungry. Daddy hunted alot of our food. We cook on a woodstove, so there for we had to get wood. There was always something to do everyday. I love and appreciate every thing my dad and mom did and taught me.

  • Reply
    Patricia Small
    November 12, 2020 at 10:59 am

    I would love to read Dorie”s story. It’s amazing how hard people worked to survive and yet they were so grateful and happy. I don’t think I could do the work my grandma.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 10:00 am

    With coal mining my dad was able to bring the more modern things to our home and table. But, I was so fortunate to be around grandparents born in the1800s. I remember younger uncles and aunts roasting potatoes in the Winter on top of an old woodstove, and were they ever good slathered with butter. A visiting cousin came by and joined in knowing he was welcome to our feast. They lived life much the same way Dorie did, and it was truly a magic time. Popcorn balls and paper garlands decorated a real tree at Christmas time. Children are hearty, so I don’t remember much about any of the hardships we children of Appalachia were supposed to have had. Mom carried on many of the old ways, and looking back it seemed the most logical way to do things. Food tasted wonderful with little more than salt, pepper, and sometimes lard or bacon grease.

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      November 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      You make me smile with that “hardships we were supposed to have had”. Those are my feelings to. The folks I knew growing up knew the secret that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” By the world’s arithmetic, only great gain is great gain. It is rather arrogant to tell anybody they are in poverty because it means only the measures of the speaker are valid.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I have heard the women in my family say they looked forward to winter, a time to relax. Their idea of relaxing was sewing and quilting. They still had to feed the animals, milk the cows, wash on a washboard, carry in coal for heating and cooking and cook three meals a day from scratch. I don’t know how they ever found time to relax regardless of the season.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 12, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I few weeks ago I went from Sevierville over to I-40 on Jones Cove Road. I think that is the general area where Dorie ended up and where Dolly Parton’s childhood home was. I was surprized to find that about as soon as we left Sevierville behind it was a rural field and woods landscape. The mountain home developments have not reached there.

  • Reply
    Patsy Allen
    November 12, 2020 at 8:42 am

    I really enjoy your site I can relate to a lot of your posts. I have shared your site ( I asked you before I did ) with several of my Family and Friends. I look forward to reading your messages everyday Thank You

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    November 12, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I wish the young people today would know how to be prepared like those folks.

  • Reply
    Dan O’Connor
    November 12, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Stories about Appalachia always give me a feeling of belonging and being at home. Hard working good people in balance where they fit in the world and dedicated to family. This is the character that founded this great country. That character is still needed to keep this country great.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 8:19 am

    My mother and grandmother would work all summer to can and freeze and dry food. There was very little food bought in grocery store. She would also sew and patch our clothes. One of my favorite meals was squirrel dumplings and another was fried rabbits and gravy. The rabbits were caught in rabbit gums. We also raised hogs and had our own chickens. Does anyone else think like me, a lot of what we ate is considered unhealthy now. I don’t think it’s the food as much as how it is preserved or in some cases fed. All I remember is salt, sugar or vinegar being used when canning and the hogs eating slop and the the chickens finding a lot of their own food. The chickens that were to be ate were in a coop that had wire bottom and off the ground and the hogs would be fed corn before butchering.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Layfield
    November 12, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Since this is Thankful November I am so thankful God put you in my path!! So enjoy reading your post and have learned a lot from them and the memories from my childhood and my maw and paw that come to mind when I read about your childhood is awesome. Cant wait to find out more about this book!! Thank you again and God Bless you and your precious family!!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 12, 2020 at 7:49 am

    The women of Appalacha have always been heros to me. Their fierce determination to provide for their families with, for the most part, no help makes me wonder if any one of us could do the same. I sew because my momma taught me, I can clean, cook and care for a garden for the same reason. I did teach my children, boys and girls how to do the same. With the necessity of most women to work outdide the home, the art of homemaking is starting to be a lost art to most and a hobby to others. Traditions are important to continue

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I always enjoy the excerpts you post; I was doing that for my little family when we moved out here minus the clothing part since Goodwill is probably more cost efficient nowadays.

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    November 12, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Love reading about your area, have always enjoyed the area when we had a chance to travel to the Carolina’s and Tennessee and of course Georgia. Don’t get to do much traveling anymore.

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    November 12, 2020 at 7:22 am

    My mother sewed her 15 children’s clothing. I saved two pair of unders she made from curtains. They each have several seams to use every piecce. Love Blind Pig. . . .

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    November 12, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Love Dorie’s stories. All of my relatives told similar stories.

  • Reply
    Betty Jo Eason Benedict
    November 12, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Love your stories, recipes, canning how-to’s and by all means the music. In other words I look forward to your posts every morning to start my day!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 12, 2020 at 6:29 am

    That’s the life my Grandmother lived. My grandfather worked in the paper mill in Canton NC and my grandmother did everything else including milking, slopping hogs, taking care of chickens and the garden also the house and children. When my Grandfather retire she handed him the milk bucket and from then on it was his job! LOL!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Tipper! I love your book suggestions. I’ve been making a list. I love peering at other peoples bookshelves. I hope you have a great day.

  • Reply
    John Hart
    November 12, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Love your post. And a chance for a free book. Christmas in November!

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