Tennessee: land of moonshine and sugar pie

I’m so happy that my Christmas

poin s ett ias all d ied at

the same t ime t his year.

Usua lly one or t wo of t hem w ill

live a long, lingering life and

I c an’t put it in the compos t

unti l summer when I definitely

can’t sta nd to look at t hem a ny


I love, love t hem during the

holiday s, but when the y only

have one or two leaves, I get

tired of looki ng at them. That ’s

one thi ng our very cold weather

was good for.


So many of our readers commented

on the trip to Tennessee

that Bill and I made thi s fal l

and wrote a bit about.

There a re really a lot of

people ar ou nd these pa r ts who

were either bor n in Tennessee,

and/or grew up t here or love to

go there on vacation trips like

we do.

You’ve asked for more information

on the cookbook by the

Great Smok y Mount ains Heritage

Center Guild and here is

the information for ordering the

book for t hose of you who asked

for it:

The Gre at Smok y Mountains

Heritage Center Guild, P. O.

Box 268, Town send, TN 37882.

Each book is $12 plus $4 postage/

handling and a check

should be made to G SM Heritage

Center Guild. All proceeds

from t he sa le of the book are to

fu nd the education al programs

and exhibits for the heritage


There a re some intere sting

exh ibits at the heritage center,

one being the Moonshine Still.

The son of the orig ina l ow ner of

the sti ll donated it to the Center,

so t hat tho se of us who’ve

only he ard tales of stills might

actually see one set up. (Honest,

of ficer, I’ve never even seen


Infor mation in the cookbook

says this orig ina l elaborate

underg round sti ll vented off in

3 dir ect ions into the wo ods.

“The moonshiner bega n by

maki ng a ‘mash’ of ground cor n

and rye with an added tinge

of malted, or sprouted barley.

Suga r was added along w ith a

‘kicker’ to accelerate fermentation

produci ng a ‘still’ beer’ (6

to 8-percent alcohol). Next

came the ex traction conc entration

of the alcohol thr ou gh d istillation

in a ‘st ill’.

“B y ca refully r egulating the

temperatu re of the ‘ beer’ in the

still, the moonshiner boi le d off

a more concentrated alcohol/

water mix ture and left behi nd

much of t he water a nd sediment

s. The alcohol-laden steam

was condensed in the ‘worm’, a

water-cooled coil of tubing a nd

collected in a ja r.”

There is even a recipe for

Mountain Folk Moon shi ne

donated to the book by an

“Anonymous Contributor.”


I’m not going to print that

recipe (it might be against t he

law, too) but here is one f rom

the cookbook pr ovided by Hi lda

Martin Chesney who was bor n

and raised fairly near the center,

lived in Rockdale for several

yea rs and has now gone back to

her belove d Tennessee .

She is very act ive w ith the

heritage guild and volunteers

ther e as do our friend s Vicky

and Jerry Roddy. And now that

L arry Chesne y ha s just retired

from A lcoa (cong ratulation s,

Larry), he probably will be too

or maybe he w ill be bui lding his

own still in his huge backyard.

This re cipe belonged to Hilda’s

grandmother and it sou nds

like a keeper.

Brow n Sugar Pie

3 cups brown suga r
3 egg s
1 tablespoon flour

1 cup evaporated mi lk

1/2 c up butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 unbaked pie shell

Add flour to sugar, add egg s

and mix. Add milk and vanilla.

Add but ter and mix just before

pouring mi xt ure i nto unba ked

pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes

at 325 degree s.

billp e gcooke @ sb cglobal. n et

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2010-01-28 digital edition

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