Tennessee: land of moonshine and sugar pieI’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
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
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
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