Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine

ISBN: 9781402239137

By: Joseph Dabney

Published: 05/01/2010

Winner of the James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award

Available Formats




“Joe’s book makes my mouth water for Southern food and my heart hunger for Southern stories. Not since the Foxfire series has something out of the Appalachian experience thrilled me as much.” —Pat Conroy, New York Times bestselling author of South of Broad “It’s the first ‘cookbook’ I’ve actually read from the top like a novel. It’s a helluva book, and I haven’t even taken it to the kitchen yet.” —Paul Hemphill, author of Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams The Art of Appalachian Cuisine from Pioneer Days to the Present A modern-day classic, Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine embraces the art of Appalachian cooking and storytelling. This James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award winner is a scrumptious serving of Blue Ridge hill-country food and folklore, packed with recipes, photographs, and tales that bring to life one of the South’s most treasured regions. “Joseph E. Dabney knows as much about the South as just about anyone. In this superb and entertaining book, he graphically illuminates the Appalachian region through its food and beguiling rituals that envelop it. Don’t read this heady amalgam of folklore, history, and literature on an empty stomach.” —Willie Morris, author of My Dog Skip, North Toward Home, and New York Days “Joe Dabney’s prize-winning book humanizes Southern food with its charming stories and interviews.” —Nathalie Dupree, author of Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits Cookbook “This book is like a treasure uncovered in Grandmother’s attic. Recipes and histories of their origin reminisce of the old days with such longing that even a Yankee will hanker for more.” —Today’s Librarian

About the Author

Joseph Dabney

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Tenth-Anniversary Edition - xi
Foreword - xv
Preface to the Tenth-Anniversary Edition - xix
Acknowledgments - xxi

Introduction - 3
The Folklore - 9
The People: America’s Great Melting Pot - 11
The Seasons: “To Everything There Is a Season” - 31
The Social Life: From Work Frolics to “Bran Dances,” a Spirit of Joy - 39
The Art - 51
The Art of Growing: God’s Chosen People Tackle the Good Earth - 53
The Art of Reading Signs: Tracking the Moon from Hog Killing to Moonshining - 61
The Art of Mountain Cooking: From the Fireplace to the Microwave - 69
The Art of Preserving: Smoking, Salting, Drying, Burying, and Canning - 83
The Foods - 93
Introduction - 95

Corn Bread: Mountain Staff of Life - 99
Biscuits: And Butter ’Um While They’re Hot! - 115

Mountain Beverages
From Buttermilk to Bourbon and Spring Water Galore - 125
Moonshine: Mountain Water of Life - 131
Eggnogging and Syllabubing - 145
Wines, Beers, and Ciders: Maude Thacker’s Elderberry Magic - 151
Sassafras Tea: Spring Tonic Supreme - 163
Cool, Tangy Buttermilk: With Corn Bread Crumbled In, Elvis-Style - 169

Meats & Gravies
Hog-Killing Day: Fresh Meat Frenzy - 175
Smokehouse Ham: Ah, the Succulent Glory of It All! - 189
Barbecue: As Old As Fire - 201
Mountain Gravies: Soppin’ Good - 209
Brunswick Stew: It Began with the Indians - 215
Burgoo: The Kentucky Wonder - 223
Wild Game: Marvelous Meat of the Mountains – 225

Fresh, Fresh Vegetables
And the Tradition Continues - 259
Corn: From Soup to Dessert, an Appalachian Favorite - 263
Greens: Plus Pot Likker and Corn Bread - 271
Ramps (“Tennessee Truffles”): Wild Leek of the Mountains - 281
Irish Potatoes: A Slow Start But Soon a Hero - 291
Indian Squash: A Summer Delight - 297
Cabbages, Chestnuts, and High-Proof Moonshine - 301
Sweet Potatoes: The October Delight - 307
Mountain Favorites: Leather-Britches and Other Delectable Beans - 315
Big Hominy, Little Hominy (Grits), and Mush - 323
Soup: The Everlasting Meal - 331
Tangy Mountain Magic: Relishes, Pickles, Krauts, Chutneys, and Chow-Chows – 337

A Cornucopia of Fruits & Nuts
A Table Constantly Spread - 349
Apple Time in Appalachia - 353
Peaches: A Joyous Time When They Hit - 361
Berries: A-berryin’ on the Blue Ridge - 367
Persimmons: The Sugarplum of the Mountains - 375
Wild Grapes, Plums, Pawpaws, and “Mountain Apricots” - 381
Chestnuts, Chinquapins, Walnuts, and Hicker Nuts - 389
Jellies: Sweet Sustenance for the Mountain Winter - 399
Jams, Preserves, and Oh, Glorious Apple Butter - 405

Fat and Lovable Pies, Puddings, and Cakes - 413
Sorghum Syrup: A Soppin’ Delight - 431
Honey: Bee Gum Robbery in the Mountains - 441
The Blessings: With Thanks to the Almighty - 449
Epilogue - 457
Bibliography - 459
Photo Credits - 469
Permissions - 471
Foods and Recipes Index - 477
People and Places Index - 489


The People

America’s Great Melting Pot

March of the Celts Down the Great Wagon Road
On my father’s side were Germans, blue eyes. On Mother’s side the


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Format: Paperback

Length: 9.25 in
Width: 7.5 in
Weight: 35.84 oz
Page Count: 528 pages


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