Say it the way my people have for centuries: vidls.
Maybe you’ve seen it spelled “vittles” in a cartoon balloon coming from the mouth of Mammy Yokum. Or heard it as the punch line delivered before Granny Clampett clogs off to “roast up a mess of possum.” Maybe you thought saying it that way was wrong.
But look that word up in your dictionary. It turns out my people of the southern Appalachian Mountains, have been right about victuals all along. About the way you say them, the way you raise them, the way you cook them, keep them, and share them. About saving seeds, and working the land, and simmering pole beans, and making real cornbread. About the connections between earth and the table, and between the table and the people seated around it.
Victuals. This is a book that tells about those connections. This is a book about present-day people and places across the southern Appalachian Mountains and the ways their stories link to the past. It’s about the foods they make and eat, the gardens they grow, the lives they create. It’s a book full of recipes and a book full of voices.
I explore Kentucky, West Virginia, southern Ohio, northern Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. I searched back through history and joined others in imagining the future. I ate and cooked up a remarkable amount of really good food. This book will take you back on that journey with me.
I was born. In Corbin, a railroad town in eastern Kentucky”.
Why I liked this book so much. -NVA