Bring a little Appalachia to your Thanksgiving Day Table

Add a little bit of Appalachia to your table this Thanksgiving.

Southern West Virginia is home to some mouth-watering traditional home cooking. You can bring a bit of that country style to your kitchen.

Start with the stuffing. Add a few finely chopped ramps to the mix. The wild onions have an extra strong kick, and they’re a staple of Southern WV cuisine.


Are you coming “home” for Thanksgiving?

Then, try some seriously Southern WV sides: Stir up some soup beans, which are dried beans flavored with smoked pork or bacon. Or, try some chicken and dumpling soup as a pre-turkey appetizer.

Fried green tomatoes are a must! Crusted with golden-brown cornmeal, they’re best served still warm.

Now to give your dinner rolls some flavor: bake up some sweet cornbread instead. Top it with a little West Virginia-made honey, or fresh apple butter.

If you want to get really authentic really easily, stuff some pepperoni and cheese inside your rolls. Welcome to our state secret: the pepperoni roll. Serve it warm while the pepperoni’s oils are infused with the bun.

We’d tell you that it’s also okay to eat pepperoni rolls room temperature, too, because they keep very well… but we doubt you’ll have leftovers.

These suggestions are just a start. If you want a real authentic flavor, try these family recipes:

“My grandparents raised two gardens every year, one they ate from and one they canned for later. Vegetables were abundant. So here are a couple of alternative side dishes that we had growing up here in WV. ” Kay Bess, Marketing Director, Visit Southern WV

Winter Vegetable Gratin

1 large baking potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced onion, turnip, rutabaga and/or carrot
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

In a skillet, combine potatoes, vegetables and broth. Season with salt and
pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer; covered, 15 minutes or
till nearly tender. Stir together half and half and cornstarch. Pour over
potatoes and simmer until thickened. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Mock Mashed Potatoes

1 head fresh cauliflower
1 tsp chicken boullion granules
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp. finely minced onion
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. heavy cream

Cook cauliflower on stove or in microwave till VERY done, fork tender.
Drain well and mix cauliflower with all other ingredients except cream with
a mixer. Add cream slowly and mix again. You can add more cream if you
like creamier mashed potatoes or less if you like them thick. Place in a
baking dish that is buttered or sprayed with Pam. You can add extra pats of
butter on top and a dash of paprika for color. Bake 15-20 minutes in 375
oven. 4-6 servings.

Note – this tastes nothing like cauliflower, most people cannot tell the

Don’t Forget Dessert!

Fresh Chocolate Apple Cake

2 3/4 cup flour, 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp salt, 3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 cups shredded tart apples,drained, 1 cup nuts ( I prefer walnuts).

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. set aside. Combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with mixer on low speed till blended. Gradually add dry ingredients, stir in apples and nuts till mixed. Pour into greased and floured BUNDT pan. Bake 350 60-65 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

Chocolate Caramel Glaze

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in small saucepan over low heat. Add 2 tbsp. cocoa and 2 tbsp. caramel ice cream topping. Stil until thick. Remove from heat and beat in 1 cup confectioners sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract. Pour over hot cake.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream Cake

Before baking cake, spoon one quart peach ice cream into an 8 inch round pan and freeze.

Mix 3 cups thinly sliced fresh or canned peaches (well drained) with cinnamon and nutmeg and let stand in refrigerator till ready to use.

Next, begin cake

4 egg whites, 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/3 cups buttermilk.

Beat shortening, sugar and vanilla till creamy. add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture and buttermilk till well blended on low speed. Spread in two 9 inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake 20-25 minutes 350. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan.

Assemble cake by placing one cake layer on a plate. Add half of the peach mixture, then add the frozen peach ice cream layer.

Add second cake layer and the rest of the peach mixture. Cover with foil and freeze. When ready to serve cake, remove from freezer and ice top and side with icing. Decorate with shaved white chocolate. Serve immediately and re-freeze any remainder.

Crème Fraiche Frosting

1 8 oz cream cheese, softened, 1 8 oz sour cream, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tsp vanilla.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream, confectioners sugar and beat till it holds peaks. Store in refrigerator till ready to serve cake.

This cake is a litte work, but so impressive and delicious you will get rave reviews.