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The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery edited by T. J. Smith

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Although first published in 1984, the previous edition of this book was released in October of 1992. It was co-edited by Eliot Wigginton and Linda Garland Page. One month earlier, Linda Garland Page’s husband, Rabun County, Georgia, Sheriff Don Page, charged Eliot Wigginton with child molestation, and Wigginton pleaded guilty to one count of non-aggravated child molestation of a ten-year-old boy. Wigginton was given a one-year jail sentence and required to leave the Foxfire Project and the teaching profession. He moved to Jacksonville, Florida and set up a home landscaping business. Wigginton was born in 1942 in West Virginia. His mother died of pneumonia eleven days later. His father was a successful landscape architect. The family had a summer home in Rabun County, Georgia, which Eliot loved, and after earning both Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Cornell University and a second Masters from Johns Hopkins, he took a job as an English teacher at the Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School in Rabun County. At first frustrated by his students’ lack of interest in learning English basics, he hit upon the idea of their interviewing older family members and neighbors and publicly publishing those stories about the traditional Appalachian ways so that the students would want to write correctly and be proud of what they had written. It was an immediate success, largely due to the charisma of Aunt Arie, a woman who lived the old-fashioned ways without electricity up on the mountain, the whimsical craftsman, Kenny Runyan, and other fascinating local characters. Linda Garland was in Wigginton’s first cohort of Foxfire students. The Foxfire Magazine grew exponentially in circulation leading to the publication of the first of twelve numbered Foxfire Books, a best-seller, in 1972, along with several other books, including one on Aunt Arie. In 1977 Wigginton transferred his program to Rabun County High School. Not a penny of the profits from all the Foxfire books went to Wigginton, instead building up the Foxfire Fund which established the beautiful Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center on several acres of mountain land that now hosts an Annual Foxfire Mountaineer Festival. The Fund also created an outreach program for teachers all over the country. In 1986 Wigginton was named "Georgia Teacher of the Year" and in 1989 he was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Known to friends as “Wig,” Eliot Wigginton has that quintessential quality of a good writer – empathy. He pushed his student writers to consider what the reader would get out of their writing and to explain exactly what the reader would need to know to make what the people they were interviewing were making and do what they were doing. The students quickly picked up on that and the funny and fascinating sayings of the old people and spiced up their careful instructions in this fashion. This quality makes this cookbook both endearing and useful. This edition starts with Aunt Arie and a chapter on The Hearth following Aunt Arie’s methods of cooking both on her fireplace and her wood cook stove. Other chapters focus on where the ingredients come from – The Garden, The Springhouse, The Pasture, The Smokehouse, The Woods, The River, The Gristmill, The Syrup Shed – and ends with The Table. “If you're interested in real American cooking (not the media-hyped trend), spend time with the people in this wonderful book.”—Cuisine. “There are instructions for making bread in a Dutch oven (specifically over coals in the fireplace.) For pork, the authors note that Appalachians 'stand by their belief that virtually no part of the hog should be thrown away,'. . . . Although foraging and using imperfect vegetables and local food are popular concepts today, they've been a way of life for generations in many cultures. . . . Foxfire was one of the few books to describe how to make sausage from scratch."—The Salt. The editor, T. J. Smith is executive director of The Foxfire Fund and holds a PhD in folklore from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, a 2019 revised edition of a 1984 release. 248 pages with a new foreword by Sean Brock, a frontispiece photo of Aunt Arie cooking on her fireplace, an Index and many photos. 8” X 9” trade paperback and hardback in dust jacket.