Little About Carolyn's Mountain Cooking
The mountain tradition of cooking is that food should be unpretentious,
solid, and filling.
Traditionally pork or chicken was the main source of meat, but beef, fish,
and a wide variety of wild game were also enjoyed. Some form of homemade
bread was served at nearly every meal. The two main types of breads were
corn breads and biscuits. There are almost more ways to eat a “Cat Head”
biscuit than you can imagine. Most everyone grew their own gardens and
during the summer, large gardens would produce an abundance of fresh
vegetables. Favorites vegetables tended to be green beans, cabbage,
turnips, beets, garden greens, tomatoes, onions, carrots and potatoes. Not
only did these large gardens product fresh vegetables for the summer but
also for canning and preserving for the coming winter months. Winter in
the North Carolina mountains were extremely harsh at times and a stockpile
of preserved meats and vegetables were a necessity for survival.
Often winter storms would keep people “snowed in” for days, weeks, or at
times, even months with no way to get supplies from the few stores that
did exist. Mountain people were, and still are, mostly self-sufficient.
They quickly became highly respected and sought out for their survival
Herbs and spices were not readily available. The main seasonings were salt
and black pepper with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a few others mostly reserved
for baking. Small quantities of meats such as “fat back” and bacon were
often used to season vegetables.
A wide variety of apples and cherries were grown as well as an abundance
of wild berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and
grapes, all of which found there way into some of the best desserts you
could ever imagine. Fresh fruit cobblers, pies, and cakes are some of the
most incredible examples of mountain cooking you can find.
Salads as we know them today were not eaten. Instead, lunch and supper
would contain dishes of fresh sliced tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers in
addition to the regular cooked vegetables and various homemade pickles and
Traditional mountain cooking is made up of simple, easy to prepare, yet
wonderfully delicious dishes. You never left the table hungry or
The true art or magic of mountain cooking is that:
Somewhere between seemingly empty kitchen cabinets and the dinner table,
the cook was able to take a few simple ingredients and create something
Now lets just
visit the cook and find out what she might have cooking for us today, ok?
Come on in.
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