Thursday, February 26, 2009
Week 5 (I think): The Foxfire Book
I grew up on the eastern edge of Appalachia (properly pronounced apple-at-cha, as in "I'm gonna throw an apple at ya") and learned all sorts of useful things like how to make apple cider with a press, which types of trees make good fence posts (locust) and what sassafras root (recently discovered to be a carcinogen) looks like and how to make it into tea.
Now I can say that I also know how to make soap, build a log cabin correctly, and skin various animals, not that I am likely to try that. The mountain people of Appalachia fascinate me. Their self-sufficiency and artistry is amazing. Sitting down with this book is almost like having a long conversation with my great-grandparents and reminds me that people once made/did all these things as a matter of course, a matter of survival.
These books have a little bit of everything, cooking, building cabins and stills, dressing a hog, hunting stories and interviews. Entertaining and informative at the same time, and for me, comforting. All those people who forgot to ask their great-grandparents about the proper way to hide a still have a place to turn.
Posted by Old Dominion Heather