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Excerpt: Dinnertime at a mountain home

  "There was usually a large hearth with an enormous stone chimney.  The large stone forming the hearth was generally broken by the heat from the fire.  There was also the familiar crane with its two or three pots whose fragrant odors pervaded the whole house; a blazing fire; whole logs in the fireplace; a Dutch oven with bread cooking on the coals and another one with cornbread baking, and last but not least, the housewife herself busily placing the coals on top and under the ovens.  There was a smell oftentimes of delicious salt-rising bread from a huge Dutch oven, and always a pot of salt-rising in the corner of the fireplace.  A sweet fragrance of bacon and frying ham filled the air, while the hot corncakes cooked on the long-handled griddle and the cornbread was taken out of the oven with a knife under it to separate it from the bottom.  In the corner of the fireplace stood a long shovel and a long-handled pair of tongs with a big bar of iron with which to put back the logs, and with a round broom made from the broom cane grown on the place.  The frying pan, fragrant with the homemade sausage or the hot corn cakes, made the mouth of the tired man hungry as he looked on it.  It was a scene of busy, happy work for the housewife and her daughters, and of waiting contentment for the men..."

Source: Gov. William A. MacCorkle, The Recollections of Fifty Years of West Virginia (1928).


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