Appalachia a Sense of Place

A Baby Boomer in Appalachia
   
Super Bird’s Journey

Jake, Shane, and Super Bird

I hear many highfalutin food folks talk about “terrior” that is to say a sense of place. There is something very compelling about Appalachia. The mountains are achingly beautiful throughout the seasons. As we walk the roads less travelled, one can feel those who have come before us….and dream of the ones to follow. We are but one part of a long history.

   
   

Soup Beans and Cornbread

Holidays, they are important here. Bringing the family together from the far-flung places we have been scattered to. They make the trip down the Mountain Parkway from Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Detroit. No matter how many generations removed from Appalachia, this is still home.

Home, a place where we all belong; a place where the dog and pony show of pretense and obligations is replaced by warmth, laughter, and a big helping of soup beans and cornbread.

Holidays, it is a time that most food bloggers….most farm-to-table writers are in heaven.; cranking out glorious recipes, stories of harvesting fresh rutabagas, and breaking out the best champagne for buffet dinners we in Kentucky refer to as “groaning boards.”

In the hustle and bustle of taking care of family, sometimes I don’t always remember to take pictures of food, to share recipes, and to bring a little bit of Appalachia to your desktop. But sometimes, I do click a photo or two of what is important.

The photo above is of Jacob, my nephew who lives near here, and Shane my great-nephew who is visiting from Detroit. Between them, that ugly green bird is “Super Bird.”

Super Bird is the mascot of Shane’s kindergarten class. He travels. He has his own scrapbook, with each family documenting their adventures with Super Bird.. It teaches the children about other places, other people, and other cultures. When Shane returns to Detroit, I hope Super Bird shares the sense of place, the sense of wonder, and the sense of belonging that is our Appalachia.

Family history….that’s what is important. Do not worry if you burn the cookies, if you run out of good china and are reduced to paperplates and plastic forks. Rejoice in each other’s company…in each other’s shared history.

It’s not the pictures of food plated perfectly that they will remember. It’s that feeling of love, that sense of belonging. You call it “terrior.” I call it Appalachia.

Friends Drift Inn Recipes, Gardening and Hot Flashes

Jake holds Cushaw Winter Squash Heirloom Gardening

The Real Hillbilly Days No Apologies

Jake and the Beanstalk; Greasy Grits Heirloom Beans

My Favorite Dish Sweet Pickled Beets

Sorghum Sugar Cookie Recipe

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About Joyce

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.