Food has a way of taking the sting out of tragic events and helping the community bond in love and strength. That’s what happened after deadly fires spread through Gatlinburg in November, 2016. Read more


Polly's Meat Loaf

Dick Kennedy photo

The meat loaf Polly Judd Rideout makes is so good that when her daughter, singer Naomi Judd, was growing up, she and her siblings could take Polly’s meat loaf sandwiches to school and trade for anything that the other kids had in their lunch sacks. Read more


In early mountain communities, one farmer might own a valuable tool or piece of equipment that was made available to family and neighbors as needed. Read more


Comfort food

Karen Dill photo

SML brings you all the news that's fit to eat. Read more


Roasting a Pig and Remembering

Photo by Fred Sauceman.

Every October, Eduardo Zayas-Bazán travels from Miami to East Tennessee, where he once taught Spanish. His mission: to reunite with friends over a roasting, citrus-marinated, garlicky pig. Read more


Pies were the Mother of Invention because necessity required that they be made from whatever was on hand. In the summer there was no dearth of fruit that could be gathered—often by small children who would eagerly do the work for just reward later. Read more


Not every mountain farm had a cow or a pig, but virtually every household had a flock of chickens and they most often graced the Sunday table. Read more



Josh Brown photo

A network of winding backroads interlaces the foreboding geography of Southern Appalachia from Virginia to Alabama. Read more


Kilt Lettuce and a Spring Celebration

Photo by Fred Sauceman

Mary Waldrop kneels beside a brook in Unicoi County, Tennessee. She has spotted something. It’s a bright green plant, a welcome sight after a long winter. The edges of its leaves are serrated. We’ve come, on this day in early May, to dig ramps. Read more

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Mountaineers have long been known for their ingenuity and independent spirit, traits that live on today among the entrepreneurs and artisans profiled in Smoky Mountain Living’s Made in the Smokies feature. Read more


“There are things that only pot likker can cure & times when what actually matters can be spooned on to a plate — the savories & the sweetest of things that simply taste like my North Carolina home.” — Sheila Smith McKay, Home in Mind Read more

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12 Days of Christmas

Donated photo

Partridges and pear trees need not apply: These 12 holiday destinations around Southern Appalachia offer mountain merry-makers a bit of everything—from homespun traditions to festive glamour and glitz. Read more

Home Cooking

JBN Photo

’Tis the season for good cooking. Whether your holiday food traditions have been set in place for generations or every year starts as a blank menu, there’s always room at the table for one more special dish. Read more


Janette Carter

Photo by Larry Smith

The making of chow-chow involves far more than the blending of vinegar, vegetables, and spices. Canning this mysterious relish, made for generations in the Mountain South, signals change and ingenuity. Read more


Corn bread

Meg Reilley photo

Not too long ago, I was chatting with a friend—a lifelong Southerner who had relocated to northern California several years prior. Read more

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Sweet pickle relish

Meg Reilley

I am an “all purpose” lady. Which is to say that I most prefer those objects that serve a multitude of purposes. An item whose usefulness can be employed on a daily as opposed to occasional basis gets my vote. Read more


As a new bride on my grandfather’s family farm, my grandmother taught herself how to make pie crust in secret, feeding her failed attempts to the hogs. As my mom tells it, eventually she emerged victorious with a husband-worthy crust. Read more


Sorghum and Bourbon Pecan Pie

John Rott Photo, Courtesy University Press of Florida

When it comes to old mountain staples reaching new heights of popularity, sorghum takes the cake—not to mention the fried chicken, pork chops, and wings. Read more


Each cookbook in the UNC Press Savor the South collection celebrates a beloved food or tradition of the American South. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, the books brim with personality. Read more


Love Kitchen

T. Wayne Waters photo

It’s a little past 8 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and 82-year-old twin sisters Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner are in the kitchen cracking eggs into wide-mouth wooden bowls. Brewing coffee infuses the air with an earthy aroma. Read more