Comfort food: Traditional Appalachian mountain recipes to warm the body & soul




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I was wondering if your ambrosia would be like my grandmothers. Long line of Georgians here, and she would always make a pound cake and ambrosia, just like what you have here. If you ever try to look up an ambrosia recipe, it almost always has cool whip, or fluff, which to me, is not true ambrosia. Love it!

Michael more than 4 years ago

Your story

I am using your story with my children at church tonight. We are talking about children in Appalachian areas. Last week we ate foods that your children like. Tonight we will have similar but your story is very special and warm. We are filling Backpacks for the Baptist on Mission Appalachian Christmas Outreach

Lynn more than 5 years ago

Thank You!

This is a beautiful article, insightful and with "feel"...much appreciated.

Christina more than 6 years ago


i need help to cook this

hunter more than 6 years ago

Family traditions

Awesome article. As an outdoor writer and self taught cook with a cooking column I can appreciate your story. The thing that really got my attention was the oranges and nuts for Christmas. My family is from Cookeville and as a kid I remember always getting lots of oranges and nuts and now I know why. Thanks for enlightening me on some of my childhood memories that were just memories. That is until now. Thanks

Ken McBroom more than 6 years ago

My Tennessee Childhood Memories

The oranges, tangerines, and assorted nuts we kids found in our Christmas Stockings back in the 1940s were a delight. We put off tasting them for a while because my mother would soon be serving buttermilk biscuits, country ham and fried oysters (my father grew up in Florida) for breakfast. We were a relatively poor family but my mother canned, pickled, and dried relentlessly to make sure we ate well in the winter. I have so many great memories of those days.

Charlie Sommers more than 7 years ago

Oysters for Breakfast

If I may add to my comment, a fried oyster on a biscuit is a fusion dish of unheralded magnificence. Being poor doesn't mean you can't splurge at least once a year.

Charlie Sommers more than 3 years ago


By the way, I went to Young Harris College in the late 60's/early 70's. At that time only one building in Helen had an Alpine flavor. I loved North Georgia and venturing around Appalachia in the "tri-state" area

Ward Riggins more than 8 years ago

Traditional Appalachian mountain

This is a wonderful story. Yesterday I was reading a NYT Magazine story about the importance of bagels to the Jewish community. The story was about a person who left NYC to live in San Francisco. He started a bakery just to supply bagels to his community. Basically, he was saying that "comfort food" was almost as important as a group gathering at a synagogue. Your article shows that most "subcultures" have a memory of family gatherings for special occasions/. These occasions seem to center around the dinning table. I am a food broker and recently added a barbecue sauce brand, Hungry Hillbilly. We have a dozen or so other "fixens". I believe these products will always be in demand because of the basic human trait, need for comfort food. In the future I would like to add your story to my food blog. We are just getting our web site completed:

Ward Riggins more than 8 years ago

comfort food, Karen Dill

I just found this article, 5 years after it was posted. I throughly enjoyed reading the history of Karen's family, especially on a day when I am feeling nostalgic about my native state, Tn. Today I am going to make the buttermilk cornbread and old fashioned cabbage and cheese in honor of my childhood favorite. Thanks for a fun read and bringing back happy memories.

Bj Sullivan more than 8 years ago