What To Do With Leftover Cornbread

Cornbread salad

We eat a lot of cornbread around the Blind Pig house, but sometimes we don't eat the entire cake of cornbread before it gets a little stale. When that happens I either feed it to my chickens or make cornbread salad with it.

Recipe for cornbread salad

The recipe for cornbread salad couldn't be easier. The ingredients can be changed up according to what you have on hand or what you prefer. The amounts can be adjusted to fit the amount of cornbread you have as well.

First-crumble up some cornbread in a bowl. Some folks layer all the ingredients so you can see the different items,but I think it tastes a whole lot better if you mix them all together. 

Cornbread salad recipe

Chop up onion and tomato and add that to the bowl. Add a can (or partial can) of beans. I've used pinto beans as well as kidney beans and both work great.

Best cornbread salad

Add a handful or so of shredded cheese. We like sharp cheddar.

Cornbread salad in nc

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress the salad with Ranch dressing.

Some recipes call for an entire bottle of dressing, but I've found it easier to add a good amount and then taste to see if it needs more.

Cornbread salad in appalachia

Stir all the ingredients up and that's it! The salad is better after it 'marries' in the frig for a while or even overnight. Sometimes I add peppers if I have plenty on hand and I'm sure you could add in other items as well.

The salad is really quiet tasty and makes a perfect lunch for The Deer Hunter to take to work. It goes pretty good with a hamburger too.

Ever had cornbread salad?


This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn in July of 2013

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Best chocolate zucchini cake

I'm up to my ears in zucchini-but I'm not complaining one bit! I love it about any way you can cook it and I swear raw zucchini isn't bad either.

I shared this chocolate zucchini cake recipe with you a few years ago-but I think it's good enough to share again. It's so easy to make-you don't even need to drag your mixer out-and the taste will make you wish you were up to your ears in zucchini too!

Chocolate Honey Zucchini Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cup plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Zucchini cake with honey

First-mix eggs, honey, sugar, vanilla, and oil in bowl until smooth. Next stir in zucchini.

Zucchini chocolate cake

In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients.

Recipe for chocolate zucchini cake

Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir till combined. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes-or till done.

Honey chocolate zucchini recipe

You could ice the cake with your favorite icing-but a glass of cold milk goes perfectly with it.

Ever had chocolate zucchini cake before?


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Leather Britches

Shucky beans

leather britches, leather britches beans noun
Green beans put on a thread or string (as at a bean stringing), dried in the pod by hanging on the porch or by the fireplace or by laying in trays or on scaffolds in the sun, and preserved for later boiling in water and winter consumption. 
1913 Kephart Our Sthn High 292 Beans dried in the pod then boiled, "hull and all," are called leather -breeches. 1939 Hall Coll. Hazel Creek NC They'd dry their beans, yes. They'd dry leather britches beans they called it. I dry mine in the sun. My grandmother dried hers on a string, hung them up in the porch or around the fireplace and dried 'em. I still dry those leather britches beans. That's what they called 'em then. (Clara Crisp) 1957 Parris My Mts 212 It's a flour sack filled with dried beans-in-the-hull which mountain folks call "leather-britches." 1975 Jackson Unusual Words 155 Dried beans had numerous names-leather-britches, fodder beans, shuck beans, and dry hulls. 1977 Shields Cades Cove 36 These were known as "leather britches" beans, and when rehydrated, cooked, and properly seasoned, they were delicious. 1978 Montgomery White Pine Coll. III-2 Our beans we would dry them. They called them leather britches, and you'd string them on your string till you got something like a yard long, then you'd hang them in the smokehouse or somewhere when it was warm weather and they'd dry out. Then all you'd have to do in the winter if you took a notion for green beans why you could go get your leather britches and put them in the water and soak them overnight and you'd just have a  livelier spell of green beans than you ever had when they come out of the garden. 1982 Smokies Heritage 66 = long string beans strung together by needle and thread then hung upon the cabin or smokehouse wall to dry. 1986 Ogle Lucinda 50 So they would dry fruit and berries of all kinds also string green beans with a needle and thread and hang to dry. These were called fodder or leather britches. 

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


It's been a few years since we've strung up any leather britches, but we've got them on our to do list for this summer. If you've never had leather britches they are very good, but have a completely different taste than fresh green beans or ones that have been canned. 


p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing August 5, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. Unicoi State Park  in Helen GA.

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The Easiest Salad

  Easy summer salad

Come summer, you can count on Granny having a simple salad of cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes in her frig or on the table if you're sitting down to eat. 

A few years back I asked Granny who taught her to make the summertime salad. 

There were eleven children in Granny's family and nine lived to adulthood. Granny was the third youngest of the family. By the time she came along some of her older siblings had moved out, married, and had children of their own.

Granny used to spend the summer with her sister Dorothy in Gastonia. She babysat her nephews and helped out around the house. 

Dorothy served the simple salad for supper almost every day. Granny said she just loved it-so she asked her sister where she learned to make it? Dorothy surprised her by saying "Why mother made that for us all the time when we were little. Don't she make it for you and the rest of the bunch at home?"

For whatever reason, their mother Gazzie had quit making the salad by the time Granny came along, but thanks to Dorothy the simple recipe survived and was passed along so that I might enjoy it my whole entire life. And since Chitter made the salad for our supper the other night the recipe will go on to another generation of this family. 

To make Granny's Easy Summer Salad:

  • dice up an onion-some cucumbers-and tomatoes
  • toss them all in a bowl
  • salt to taste and put it in the frig for a couple of hours.

A few years back when I mentioned Granny's simple salad here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn more than a few readers had their own versions of the salad. 

Sandy: I thought I was the only one who ate this. I chop it fine and eat it in the middle of the night on ciabatta bread grilled in olive oil. I put a bit of garlic in mine too or rub the bread with a clove of it. Oh yum.

Mrs. K: This is my favorite salad, but like everyone else, I have my own adjustments. I chop up the tomato and cucumber, salt them and let the whole mess sit until it gets juicy, then add a bit of oregano, some olive oil and wine vinegar along with some crusty bread chopped up. Yummy. Growing up, everyone had gardens in our neighborhood and we kids used to go picking to make tomato and cucumber salad. I just love it!

Wanda: I love this--usually put a little olive oil & lemon juice on it too. It's one of my favorite nighttime snacks with the leftover cornbread from supper.

Bill Burnett: My Mom made a similar salad in the summer since we always raised a large garden and ate whatever was in season. She often added a little sugar & vinegar adding a great sweet/sour kick to the great flavor of the fresh veggies.


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Making Pickles

How to make bread and butter pickles
Pickling's More'n Cucumbers - Murphy (Mountain Cooking by John Parris)

"To many a mountain woman who grew up at a time when the kitchen stove occupied most of her 16-hour-long day, pickling is a heap sight more than just preparing cucumbers.

"It's most every thing," said Mrs. Tennie Priscilla Cloer. "It's meats and fruits and vegetables."

"I came along at a time you had to plan ahead for the long, cold winter months when the food came mainly from the cellar," she recalled. "You pickled and preserved all sorts of things."

"We pickled beets and beans and corn, watermelon rind and tomatoes and kraut, cherries and apples and peaches," she said...

"Pickling's a lot different now from what it was back when I was coming on. Back then we didn't have glass jars. We did our pickling in two-gallon and three-gallon stone jars and put beeswax paper over them as a cover. "I was 18 years old before I ever saw a glass jar. The first ones were half gallon jars and very thin. Later they got out a green glass jar and it was better, didn't break so easily."

"As a child, I remember my mother used 30-gallon cider barrels to pickle her beans and kraut and corn in. She had one barrel full of beans, one full of kraut, and one full of corn. It was enough to last the family over the winter."


So far, I've only made one run of pickles this summer, but I'm hoping to make more. Here are some of my favorite pickling recipes.


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Dinner Time in Appalachia

Silver queen corn in brasstown

"Yep, dinner at noon and supper late in the day.

My Grandma W. Cooked dinner everyday on the wood-burning cook stove. In summer she cooked by burning corncobs left from shelling corn for the livestock. Corncobs make a quick heat and burn out fast, letting the kitchen cool down a bit after cooking.

The meal is much as you described, the pork was grown, processed, and cured right on the farm. Much of what we ate was called side meat. It was greasy and it was quite tasty. The grease was saved to make lye soap.

Leftovers were sometimes put in a hollowed out piece of stone called the spring house. It was outside the smokehouse, about the size of a bathtub. No spring ran through it. We pumped cold well water to put in it. There was no electricity until well into the 1950s, then a refrigerator called a Crosley Shelvedoor assumed leftover duties.

Some leftovers stayed on the table til supper. After dinner everything was covered with a square white cloth, nothing fancy. I am guessing it was made from flour sacks, there were always seams in it.

In summer sliced tomatoes and fried corn were delicious additions to dinner."

June 2016 ~Eldonna Ashley 



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Poor Year for Blackberries

Blackberry jelly

The one thing I must put up every summer is blackberry jelly. There's no other jelly for me. There are other jellies that I like, but my favorite must have jelly is blackberry. 

It's a taste that goes back to the breakfast spread on Granny's table and after school snacks of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with milk and reruns of Tom and Jerry. 

Most summers I'm in blackberry heaven. This year not so much. This has been the poorest blackberry season that I can remember in my area. We've had plenty of rain-maybe we've had too much rain. I really don't know why but the blackberries have been slim pickings this summer. I made one run of jelly over the weekend and I'm worrying it will be my only one. If it is, those jars will be like solid gold for the Blind Pig family. 

Blackberry jelly is one of the easiest things to make-the hard part takes place before you ever make the jelly. First there's fighting the heat, bugs, snakes, bees, and briars for the blackberries. Then there's the juicing of the blackberries.

Some folks prefer jam and if you're one of them your jelly making will be easier. I'm not a fan of seeds so I try my best to get every last one out of my juice.

It takes about 2 and half quarts of blackberries to get the amount of juice needed for a run of jelly. But I don't worry about whether they'll be enough juice for a run I just go ahead and cook them and see what I end up with. If I have a little too much I pop the excess in the freezer for future use.

Blackberry Jelly

  • 3 ¾ cup blackberry juice
  • 4 ½ cup sugar
  • Box of surejell or other pectin
  • jars, lids, rings


Place blackberries in a large stock pot and add water until you can just begin to see it come up around the berries. Cook for 20 minutes.

Using a colander ricer in canning and preserving

Granny always used a hand turned foodmill for the first step of juicing the berries and that was what I used before Miss Cindy gifted me with a cone shaped colander ricer. I LOVE MY RICER!

Place blackberries in ricer or foodmill and try to get all the juice out of them. This step also gets most of the seeds out of the juice. 

Blackberry juice how to extract it

To ensure all the seeds are removed I use my small sieve/strainer and a piece of cheese cloth to filter out any seeds which are left. 

If you end up with enough juice for 2 recipes of blackberry jelly-double it! I have with very good luck. If you end up with extra but not enough for another recipe pop it into the freezer until you get more juice. If you end up with almost enough you can add water to increase the juice to the right amount or you could add another type of fruit juice to make up the difference.

How to make blackberry jelly

Place blackberry juice into a large pot; add surejel; stir well.

Cook mixture until it comes to a boil. I'm not sure there's anything that smells as good as blackberry juice when it's cooking.

Add sugar all at once and stir to combine.

Bring mixture back to a full rolling boil and boil one minute.

Sterilizing jars for jelly

While I'm waiting for my blackberry jelly to come to a boil I fix a pot of boiling water to sterilize my jars and rings in. Some folks like to sterilize theirs in the dishwasher or the oven-that works too. 

Once jelly has boiled one minute quickly ladle into hot jars and seal with lids and rings. Set jelly upside for 5 minutes. 

Turn jelly right side up and cover with a towel until sealed. 

Blackberry jelly from appalachia

After jelly has cooled check to make sure all the jars have sealed. If a jar isn't sealed don't worry just put in the refrigerator and use it first. 

There is a whole debate about whether you should water bath your jelly or not. I don't and feel comfortable doing it that way since I always have. If you'd rather water bath yours do so for 5 minutes. 

One recipe made the jars you see in the photo above plus one more that I used immediately to make a jelly sandwich. 


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Zucchini Pie = YUM

Zucchini pie

Our Sow True Seed zucchini plants have been producing like crazy! I've been hunting for ways to use them other than my tried and true roasted zucchini, cakes, and breads.

Blind Pig Reader, Gayle, recently gifted me with some dandy cookbooks. One of them is the Country Cookbook - Lone Star Country Dancers. While flipping through it I found a recipe for Zucchini Pie and decided to give it a try and boy am I glad I did!

Zucchini Pie by Mary McLaren

  • 4 cup thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup butter plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Crescent rolls (I used a store bought pie shell instead)
  • 2 teaspoon mustard

Easy zucchini recipe

Press rolls into (or pie shell) an ungreased pie pan to form a crust. Spread mustard on bottom of crust and set aside. If you dislike mustard just leave it out. 

Cook zucchini, onion, and butter for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and basil.

Combine eggs and cheese and add to zucchini mixture. Stir well and pour into prepared crust. Bake at 375˚ for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Print Zucchini Pie by Mary McLaren from the Lone Star Country Dancers Cookbook  (right click and open recipe to print)

This recipe was loved by the whole Blind Pig household...even the two picky girls liked it so it was a winner for us and I know it will become one of my favorite recipes to use the bounty of zucchini that summer brings. 


p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing on Friday July 7 @ 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Art Walk in Murphy NC and on Sunday July 9 @ 1:00 p.m. at the Festival on the Square in Hayesville NC.

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Cake Making on Peeks Creek

Cake folklore from appalachia

"Grandma even baked cakes on the fireplace. She baked them in this oven I've got here. It came down to her from her grandmother. And when Grandma was married in 1888, her wedding cake was baked in it. It was a yellow pound cake and my great-aunt Annie Strain, who used to stay with us a lot, helped make it. When I was growing up, Mama always told me when I made a cake never to let anybody else stir the cake batter. She said it would cause it to fall. She never would let anybody stir the batter. Neither would my grandmother nor my great-grandmother. And I won't either. There's another thing too. In mixing a cake by hand, you never stir it two ways. You always stir it one way. I stir mine clockwise. Even with a mixer, I never switch it from one side to the other. I keep it going in one direction. Mother always said a cake would fall if you stirred it two ways. She said you had to stir cake batter like you stir lye soap, one way."

Excerpt from Pothooks and Spiders - Peeks Creek - Mountain Cooking written by John Parris


Now that you know how to stir your cake the right way, here's a few of my favorite cake recipes from the Blind Pig and The Acorn archives.


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Aunt Faye's Pound Cake

Old Fashioned Pound Cake easy recipe

We've add two more laying hens to our small flock of backyard chickens and the extra eggs have me trying to come up with recipes to use them in. I got to thinking a pound cake would be good and immediately thought of Aunt Faye's Pound Cake. I've told you about Aunt Faye before-she was Granny's oldest sister. 

I thought I had her pound cake recipe, but couldn't find it so I asked Granny to borrow hers. You'd have thought I ask her for a million dollars. She said "Can you take a picture of it with your phone so you don't have to take it with you?" I said "No not to where I could see it good. Can't I take it? Or would you rather me sit down and copy it off?" Granny said "Well I'm pretty sure you've got my original recipe that she gave me." I admitted that I thought I did too but couldn't find it. 

I think the fact that I had just took her to get groceries, carried them all in the house, and helped her put them up made her give in and say that I could take the recipe with me, but I better bring it back...like tomorrow. 

Aunt Fayes Pound Cake
Granny said Aunt Faye was such a good cook that she was always tinkering with recipes trying to make them better. According to Granny Aunt Faye came up with the idea of mixing plain flour and self-rising flour to make the cake easier to whip up as well as have a better density. 

Aunt Faye's Pound Cake

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ½ cup plain flour (all-purpose)
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar together until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each.

Combine flours.

Alternately add flour and milk mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Pour batter into a well-greased Bundt pan.

Bake in a 325˚ oven for 1 hour or until done.

Print Aunt Faye's Pound Cake (right click on the link to print the recipe)

In case you're wondering, I delivered Granny's recipe right back to her the next day...and she was right I later found her original recipe for Aunt Faye's Pound Cake. 


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