New Day Cafe: Celebrating Appalachia


To the west, ho!

European migration to Appalachia began in the 18th century. As the lands of eastern Pennsylvania, Virginia’s Tidewater region, and the Carolinas filled in, immigrants began to push farther and farther west into Appalachia. A relatively large proportion of early hinterland immigrants were Ulster Scots – later known as ‘Scotch-Irish’, a group originating mainly from southern Scotland and northern England , many of whom had settled in Ulster Ireland before migrating to America.[22][23][24][25] – who sought cheaper land and freedom from Quaker rulers, many of whom considered Scots-Irish “savages”.…

So, about that chocolate sauce… It’s part of a great breakfast [13:16]:

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There are many traditions in these hills:

Treacherous English lords. Murderous American doctors. Haints raps loudly. My grandmother, Lelia Jane Grubb Musser told stories about these things, and more. She has resided her entire life in southwestern Virginia and is a product of Scottish, Irish, and German ancestry.


Nana’s most significant story took place on Thanksgiving in 1959. The family settled in the living room after dinner. We heard a knock in the wall.

My grandmother said she had been hearing this noise for several weeks. She told us the rap was a premonition of death in the house. She said we could test that premise by saying, “If you’re a haunt, rap louder.”

My mom, who wasn’t easily frightened by these things, leaned back in her seat and said in a loud voice, “If you’re a haunt, rap louder.” With that, it seemed to me that the whole wall was shaking. Shaken, everyone excused themselves and went to bed.

A month later, my beloved Lelia was dead.…

This one’s sure to be controversial – people are so picky about their cornbread – but she’s right about the cast iron skillet, and she recommends experimenting with different recipes and types of cornmeal to find the one. that you prefer. “The Secret to Good Cornbread” [14:41]:

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Did you know? I do not have :

Regional writers and business interests led a movement to create national parks in the eastern United States similar to Yosemite and Yellowstone in the west, resulting in the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and Carolina North, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, and the Blue Ridge Parkway (connecting the two) in the 1930s.[28]: 200–210 During the same period, New England forester Benton MacKaye led the movement to build the 2,175-mile (3,500 km) Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine.…

Cooking Green Beans (“Strings”) the Traditional Appalachian Way [18:33]:

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What did the early settlers do for fun?

For the first settlers, there were few opportunities to obtain an education. Owning a book other than the family Bible was rare. What little time was left after meeting survival needs focused on ways to stave off the fear of loneliness and isolation. Music and storytelling became the main forms of entertainment, and to this day there is a distinctly unique version of life and health here in the mountains.

Storytelling required little more than imagination and an audience. It was the ideal solution for the poor and isolated mountain dwellers.…


Need a change of pace from grilled cheese sandwiches? Try a fried jelly sandwich! [11:07]

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Of course, we all know the stereotypes.

Representations of Appalachia and its people in popular media are generally negative, making the region a subject of humor, derision, and social concern.[139] Ledford writes, “Still part of the mythical South, Appalachia continues to languish behind the scenes of American drama, still clad, at least in the popular mind, in the garments of backwardness, violence, poverty, and despair. .”[140]…

Here is a dinner she is preparing with braised (yum) and simmered turnips. I love turnips! And these look simple but delicious [21:20]:

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Tipper’s website is worth visiting. Here is his profile here:

There’s tons of things I could tell you about myself, but all you really need to know is that I’m madly in love with my home in Appalachia – the people, the food, the music, the language colourful, the sustainable way of life, the history, the high mountains and the dark and deep cries. I hope you will join me as I do my best to celebrate and preserve Appalachia.

Just for fun: some regional pronunciations [16:20]:

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So come to the cafe and have a cup…

…and good food…


…and join us!

New Day Cafe is an open thread. What do you want to talk about today?


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