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Fishing for Chickens: A Smokies Food Memoir by Jim Casada

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See page 48 for author Casada’s delightful description of his grandfather actually fishing – with a cane pole, some fishing line, and a fishing hook with a piece of bread for the bait – for the chicken he had chosen among all the free-range chickens running around the home place.  Casada grew up In Bryson City, North Carolina, at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in a traditional family, and this book tells of the old-fashioned mountain food ways that his family practiced. Nearly 200 family recipes are included. “Jim Casada’s Fishing for Chickens is a superbly entertaining story-telling account of a boy’s mid-twentieth century childhood in the Great Smoky Mountains as seen from the perspective of the daily culinary activities and food production practices of the Smoky mountaineers. Casada’s deft interspersing of mountaineer foodways and folkways with lighthearted self-deprecating anecdotes captures the ethos of the domestic life of this distinctive subregion of the Southern Appalachians like no other book of its kind. Solidly authentic, Fishing for Chickens affords a rare glimpse into a bygone era of Smoky Mountain life.” -- Ken Wise. “Fishing for Chickens sagely, entertainingly, and deliciously reveals that our region is far broader and much more diverse in its stories and experiences than we have yet recorded. By delving deeply into a specific region and using compelling personal narrative and detail, he gives a rich picture that expands, and occasionally challenges, what we think we know about this much storied part of the southern mountains. With a voice inflected with expressions, words, and cadences that are regionally specific, Casada writes with an intimate, conversational feeling that makes this book a pleasure to read.” -- Ronni Lundy.“Fishing for Chickens is a comprehensive, and loving, guide to the grown and gathered foods that form the staples of cooking in the Great Smoky Mountains region, their preparation, and the cultural practices and customs behind each. In this work, Jim Casada aptly displays his talents as perhaps the foremost modern chronicler of Smoky Mountain life.” -- Dan Pierce. Jim Casada served more than twenty years in the history department of Winthrop University and lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2022.  314 pages with a General Index, an Index to Recipes, Reading and Resources: An Annotated Bibliography, and A Glossary of Smokies Foodstuffs and Terms, plus photos. Trade paperback.