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Coffee With Crumbled Bread

Since several of you mentioned crumbling bread in coffee on last week's Chocolate Gravy post, I thought I'd re-share this post about soakey that I published back in 2011.

Several months ago, Vera Guthrie sent me a cook book she had published-called Vintage Vera a Collection of Old Timey Recipes. The book has recipes from Vera and her family members. As I paged through the cook book I found recipes I was familiar with and a few I had never heard of, one being Soakey.

The recipe is easy-1 cup hot black coffee; saltine crackers; and sugar to taste. Pour Coffee into large mug, crumble crackers into coffee, sprinkle with sugar to sweeten.

Vera said Soakey was a favorite snack for her and the other children when she was young. Once my curiosity was roused I asked for more details about the recipe. Phyllis, Vera's sister, checked with other family members for me.

Phyllis and Vera's cousin Ellen offered this:

Mama was just talking about this the other day. We never knew it had a name but she used it on us when we had a upset stomach and she still uses it till this day for the same purpose. She crumbles up crakers in a saucer, pours coffee, a little milk and sugar. Makes me want some right now. ha-ha".

Garland, their brother had this to say:

I ate something similar, but instead of crackers, a cold biscuit was used. A biscuit was halved and placed into a saucer and soaked with coffee, sugar was sprinkled over it. Truthfully, I don’t ever remember eating crackers and coffee. Not saying I didn’t eat it, just don’t remember.

Another cousin, Clara, remembered this:

The cracker and coffee thing at home was we just put the cracker in the coffee and ate it….not crumbled in the cup. That was a favorite of mine.

After reading the information Phyllis provided, I wondered if soakey was a family thing or a recipe that was widespread. My post on coffee put that thought to rest. Two Blind Pig readers left a comment about soakey.

Soakie bread

Robert Loftis said:

I remember pouring coffee in a saucer,cooling it with my breath, then drinking it. Also I remember while I stayed with my grandparents on Buck creek in McDowell County. We would pour sugar on a biscuit then pour cold coffee on it and eat it. We called it a "soaky".

Bradley said:

There used to be ( and probably still is ) a brand of coffee called Luzianne. It had chickory in it. There was a white label and a red label. My great Grand Ma always drank that brand. I don't know maybe I was a sissy but, I thought it was so bitter when it was black that it would make a hog shake its foot if it got in their trough! We used to - when the grown-ups weren't around - would take a cup and fill it with sugar and cream and get a biscuit and make SOAKIE BREAD. Hey look, when you are a little poor boy ain't nothing wrong with that. We thought it was good ( after we had changed its original chemistry ).

I asked Granny if she knew about soakey she didn't, but she did remember spending the night with a girl who put crumbled cornbread in her coffee.

Phyllis did a bit more research about soakey for me and found: eating crackers or biscuits with coffee along with brown or white sugar and sometimes butter was a depression era breakfast dish called coffee soup.

Ever had soakey?


p.s. A special THANK YOU to Vera and Phyllis for helping me!

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In North Alabama when times were even leaner than ususal, we halved a biscuit, placed it in a saucer, sprinkled sugar over the top and then poured coffee over it. Our family called it "soak".

My Grandpa used to make me coffe bread. Coffee, milk, and sugar mixed together with crumbles of light bread. It was a special treat and I loved it.

Later, at some point, I developed an allergy to coffee. Now, of course, I never have it in any form.

Some in the family eat crackers and milk, but I never tried it. My only "dunk" is rare for me -- toast and hot chocolate.

Tipper I grew up eating the day old biscuits dipped in coffee, or we would crumble them in our coffee. I never added sugar. I liked the biscuits as hard as I could get them so I could dip them. it was hard to get a biscuit to last long enough around my house to get hard with10 of us besides mom & dad. I still like them today. we ate a lot of peanut butter -honey-biscuits growing up too.

I love cornbread crumbled in milk also love saltine crackers crumbled in milk but I don't want anything crumbled in my coffee. When I was younger we had an occasional treat, Mom would place brown sugar in a saucer and then mix a couple of spoons of coffee, we would eat this with hot biscuits. It was great, in fact I may have to try it again even though it's been five decades or so since I've had it this sure brings back sweet memories. My wife said they would crumble biscuit in cold creamed coffee and called soakin jonce, I have heard of soakin john but never tried it.

I've never had a "soaky" but it's funny as it reminds me of what my husband does and was raised doing. If cake or cookies get old, he crumbles them in milk and eats them. Said his family always did that. It's so fascinating sometimes to see the similarities and differences that different ones of us grew up with!

I don't put anything in my coffee. About 10 years ago I started drinking "Lite" coffee, either Maxwell House or Folgers. The stronger kind made my heart flutter.

I read yesterday's comment from Eva Mull and I felt sorry for her loss. I've seen her pictured with Chitter and Chatter, they all look nice. I've never met Eva Nell, but I know about loosing someone dear to you. ...Ken

My mother loved cornbread crumbled into milk. She said it was wonderful, but it looked like a mess to me. My dad wouldn't eat it either. As a child, her family was incredibly poor, so I am sure that this was a treat to her. She liked to eat it before bed; she found it comforting.

I am a coffee purist. Nothing goes in my coffee but coffee and water! My coffee goes in nothing but a cup! Coffee with cream and sugar is cream of coffee soup.
Now that the coffee is out of the way, I like bread soaked in a liquid. Of course there is the cornbread "crumble-in" made famous by Sen. Sam Rayburn for whom the House Office Building in Washington, D.C. is named.
My latest favorite is cornbread crumbled in green bean juice (aka pot likker).
Soup and crackers are on the menu. I believe most people purposely make their soups too thin so that they will hold more saltines or cornbread (at least I do).
Then there's biscuits soaked in the juice of strawberries or peaches macerated in sugar. If that ain't heaven right there it's pretty close!

When we were children, we ate cornbread and milk. Dad would sometimes dip his biscuit in his hot saucered coffee, maybe that helped cool it off somewhat. Mom just hated when he would saucer and blow his coffee and then slurp it from the saucer! Not that she was so refined, she said the only one left in her family that boiled coffee, saucer, blow and slurp was her aged grandmother before she passed! We finally got some of those green Fire King cups, so Momma's china cups and saucers went to the back of the cabinet!. Oh the memories!
We always had soda crackers and a little milk when there was stomach ache, a lost baby-tooth, etc.
Plus, a trip to the druggist for a small brown bottle of cola syrup. Back then Dad knew the old druggist and he would just ask him for a child's mix of bellyache medicine. Later on we had to take Castoria or Castor oil which my parents thought cured anything a child might be infected with! ha
I knew what might be coming so I hid my ache, always telling them that the soda crackers and milk sure nuff cured me! I am sure my savvy Mom knew I was fibbing!
I have many stories of my distain for castor oil, but another time. I am craving a good old timey "sodie cracker" with my "mug of Joe"!
Thanks Tipper,
PS...It might not be the right place to say it, but after Eva's post yesterday, I just wanted to say...
My condolences to Eva Nell Wike and to her brother's family! I have a brother seriously ill now as well. It's a very hard thing at anytime or any age in our lives.

Try putting a pack of instant oatmeal in your hot coffee. I do that when my sugar is low and I can't eat just then. My family has always put cornbread in their coffee.....or biscuit. Also milk sweet or buttermilk.

My mother-in-law says her mother would eat a biscuit dipped in coffee but they didn't have a special name for it. My brother and I love crackers dipped in coffee. We also ate sugar and butter on hot biscuits and I believe daddy called them sugar soaks. I still toast buttered, sugared leftover biscuits in the oven sometimes and they are yummy!

My family didn't dip anything into coffee but have seen people on TV dip cookies into coffee. I didn't drink coffee until I was old enough to go to work.
My brother and I dunked hot buttered toast into hot chocolate and would suck out the sweet hot cocoa as we went thru the bread. Seemed a Saturday morning treat with westerns and Sky King.!

You make a sweet treat out of whatever is available to you at the time. ☕️

Sittin' here drinking my third cup of pure, unadulterated coffee this morning. I thought this over, looked at the cuppa and it said "Go ahead, try it, I dare ya! You do, and I'll reach up and hit you with the spoon..."

I've never heard of soakey bread. Mom would always fold a piece of light bread in half and dunk it in her coffee. We weren't allowed to drink coffee, but she let me take a bite of the dunked piece of light bread. As far as crackers go, I love to crush up a large handful of saltine crackers in a bowl, pour on milk and eat them - delicious.

I have seen my Dad crumble biscuits in his coffee cup many times and some times crackers if Biscuits were not available. I never knew it had a name .

I got tickled over Ron Stephens post about Bob the mule. We always said grinning like a mule eating saw briars. I guess I could say grinning like a mule drinking coffee.

My g-dad would do this occasionally. I tried it as a kid but didn't care for it.
I don't remember him calling it soakey but he might have. I remember watching him really enjoying his morning cup of coffee and now I do the same thing. My day doesn't start until I sit down with a big mug of my favorite coffee. But instead of soakey bread I soak up my BP daily blog!

Cornbread crumbled in milk,biscuit crumbled in coffee with sugar,but never crackers. One thing a younger brother did was stir blackberry jelly into his gravy.

Some of my folks including my grandma used to soak biscuits in coffee. They called it soakums!

I remember folks dunking toast in coffee, but they didn't refer to that as a soaky.

This is a very interesting post, and I would love to learn more about soaky. I was exposed to many unusual food habits growing up from my numerous relatives, but this was not one of them. I am grateful I never learned this food custom, because it would surely add a lot of calories each day. In those days coffee cups always came with a saucer, and have seen them drink from the saucer. This was probably due to the coffee was actually boiling hot in those days. Even as a youngster nothing smelled quite as good as the aroma of coffee percolating on the stove.

One common practice was to put on a pot of coffee any time there was company, and it did not matter what time of day or evening. Also after folks were able to plug in a coffee pot, many families kept the coffee pot going throughout the day. This was back at a time when it was rare to have soda pop on hand. I recall visiting an aunt from out of state and she noted my love for coffee by stating, "I can tell you are from West Virginia."

Keep these interesting posts coming, Tipper, as they have become as addictive as my morning coffee.

Interesting blog! When I was a child, a lunch bfore going to bed or if we had been ill with stomache complaint or a sore throat, some soda crackers crumbled in a bowl slightly dampened with boiling water and added milk and sugar was wondeful. I used to give it to my children also for a before bed snack. It is so interesting to hear other people in different parts of our land do such similar things. I guess in our own small world we think we alone are privy to these wonderful delectable treats! At least now I have a proper name for it-Soaky. Thanks Tipper and gang.

When grandma had cold biscuits left from the day before, and cold coffee, she would let us make it. She called it coffee bread. I remember one time when my cousin and me picked a handful of blackberries and mixed them in ours along with a little milk. We thought we had invented a new desert.

My father always made soakies. They were pretty tasty. Must have been the sugar.

We didn't call it "Soakey" in Cheostoe, but I remember my Aunt Ethel and Aunt Avery doing the opened (split) biscuit in a saucer and pouring hot coffee over it, sprinkling on sugar, and asking me to try it. At first I didn't like it, because I had not then developed a liking for coffee, but later on, when I "took to coffee" in college to help keep me awake to study late, I used a cracker or a cookie in the hot coffee for a "midnight" (or later) snack. With all that caffeine, I probably went to the test the next day without much sleep at all! It's a wonder I passed all those tests, but something must have worked--either the extra studying,--or the alertness from too much coffee-soaked-crackers! (Not to mention the sprinkles of sugar!)

My Dad occassionally soaked a biscuit in coffee but it had no name. Reminds me though of dunkin a doughnut. Seems to be the same idea.

And that reminds me of a horse called Bob that Dad used in the log woods. Bob was bad to try to get in our lunch buckets at dinner time. Bob would try anything offered from our lunch. One day Dad poured Bob out some black coffee. Well, he tried it, raised his head and rolled his lips back. I guess you could say he made a horse face. Anyway, he didn't like coffee. He did like biscuits without the coffee though.

Soda crackers has always been my 'go to' thing for upset stomach....still is. I also sometimes snack on soda crackers and milk. Never had the crackers in coffee or biscuit in coffee but then I never had coffee till I was grown. Biscuits and crackers both contain salt and soda , at least they used to contain soda. Both of those things are good for an upset stomach.

My paternal grandmother used to eat this as a mid-morning snack. I don't remember her calling it soaky, though. And she made it with a cold biscuit instead of crackers. She was born and raised near Blue Ridge, Georgia.

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