The Angel of Brasstown by Jim Casada

A few weeks back I told you I was featured in the February/March issue of Smoky Mountain Living. Blind Pig Reader Jim Casada wrote the piece. I had nary a clue that he planed to write it nor that it would be in the magazine until it was! Many of you have emailed me to say you couldn't find the magazine but would love to read the article so I'm sharing it today. Jim's kind words still make me blush even though I've read them a couple dozen times myself. 

Blind Pig and the Acorn and Tipper Pressley featured in Smoky Mountain Living

Jim Casada Copyright 2016

TIPPER PRESSLEY: THE ANGEL OF BRASSTOWN

Folks commenting on Tipper Pressley’s daily blog, “Blind Pig & the Acorn,” often call her the “angel of Brasstown.” The description’s geographical part is easily explained. She lives in the crossroads community of Brasstown in far southwestern North Carolina, a location best known for the annual New Year’s ‘Possum Drop and a storied bastion of Appalachian folkways, the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Explaining the moniker’s angel part is more demanding and open to multiple interpretations. Among them are an angelic face graced by a permanent smile; an approach to life conjuring recollections Loweezy’s quote in the Snuffy Smith comic strip, “gooder’n airy angel;” and her keen interest in crafts such as corn husk angels and decorative paintings depicting angels. But where Pressley really shines in earning earthly angel wings is passionate devotion to celebrating and perpetuating our rich, varied Appalachian heritage. As she puts it in describing her daily blog, which first appeared in 2008, “All you really need to know is I’m crazy in love with . . . Appalachia—the people, the food, the music, the colorful language, the sustainable lifestyle, the soaring mountains, and the deep dark hollers.”

In truth there’s far more to know. She’s a marvelous cook specializing in traditional high country cuisine who teaches classes at the Folk School and in other settings; talented musician whose bass playing helps showcase the singing and instrumental talents of her twin daughters, Corie and Katie, brother Paul, and recently deceased father, Jerry; skilled photographer with an exceptional eye; serious student of mountain history; writer; storyteller; and speaker. Atop all that she has a full-time job at Tri-County Community College where, among other duties, she manages the college’s website.

Tipper’s interests, invariably attuned to her passion for place, range even wider than her abilities and are daily displayed in Blind Pig & the Acorn (www.blindpigandtheacorn.com). The blog’s title, taken from an Appalachian adage suggesting that even a blind hog occasionally roots up tasty oak mast, enjoys considerable and growing popularity. Performing a daily balancing act that that avoids contentious comments common in many blogs, Pressley educates and entertains while celebrating southern Appalachia’s attributes through a steady flow of noteworthy material. A heartfelt comment from one reader succinctly summarizes what many readers have discovered: “You have done so very much to make me proud of my heritage.”

That pride involves an array of topics, with one of Tipper’s strongest attributes being the ability to infuse almost any subject with immediacy and interest. Another is insatiable curiosity. Vanishing mountain customs, old-time edibles, or some obscure subject once commonplace to those calling the region’s steep ridges and deep valleys home all form fair game.

Among Pressley’s encyclopedic interests are a number of threads which run as bright strands through her blog’s entire fabric. One favorite is the monthly “Appalachian Vocabulary Test” where five words are offered to see if readers know or use them.

Another recurring theme is music. Her college-age twins, Katie and Corie (“Chitter” and “Chatter” in the blog), possess ample quantities of the family’s deeply entrenched musical talent, and they now perform regularly at regional church gatherings, fairs, and folk festivals. They play guitar, fiddle, and mandolin while offering exquisite harmony reminiscent of the likes of the Louvin Brothers or their grandfather and Uncle Paul. Tipper’s father, the late Jerry Wilson (“Pap” on the blog) and his brother, Ray, were an acclaimed regional singing duo and recipients of a North Carolina Heritage Award in 1998, while Paul is an accomplished guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Readers of Blind Pig & the Acorn can savor scores of selections from the family musical archives while reading the latest blog post.

Given her love of the land, gardening is another prominent theme. Her husband Matt (the blog’s “Deer Hunter”), a skilled jack-of-all trades, enters the scene doing everything from simple tilling to greenhouse construction. Blog readers actually serve as testers for Asheville heirloom seed company Sow True Seed, and from winter’s seed-starting time right through to fall harvest, there are regular updates on everything from herbs to “tommytoes,” cabbage to corn. Use of crops on the family table and for canning, drying, preserves, and pickles also looms large.

Traditional mountain crafts form another area of prominence on the blog. Periodically some craft project are covered, and each year near Christmas Tipper offers unique family creations for sale, such as knitted and crocheted items made her mother (“Granny”) and CDs from various members of this musical clan. Each twin has her own Etsy shop, respectively featuring jewelry and handmade soaps, oils, and balms.

Selfless in promoting mountain heritage, Tipper generously shares links to other Appalachia-related blogs in her “Sit a Spell” section. There are frequent historical posts with coverage ranging from Civil War letters back home to stories underlying popular ballads, from forgotten customs such as dumb suppers to Decoration Day or all-day singings. Yet the blog involves more than “pause and ponder” reading material leavened by ear-soothing music.

The blog’s visual impact sometimes stirs the viewer’s soul. Pressley’s keen photographer’s knack for capturing commonplace scenes from strikingly different perspectives often draws immediate attention. Daily comments from readers provide insight and information. Where responses on many blogs deteriorate into sniping, here there’s a sense of shared passion. Readers feel they are part of an extended family. As a personal example of this togetherness, I’ve obtained candy roaster seeds from fellow Blind Pig fans, received helpful suggestions on troublesome gardening problems, and been reminded of how tasty springtime pigweed (purslane) can be.

Adding a bit of spice to Tipper’s heady literary brew are occasional guest posts. The quality of these varies, but unfailingly they come from the heart and evoke a deep, abiding love for Appalachia. That affinity for Appalachia, masterfully molded and melded by a true Appalachian angel, forms the essence of Blind Pig & the Acorn.

To date well over three thousand blogs devoted exclusively to heralding all that is good and gracious, endearing and enduring, about the mountain way of life have appeared. Quantitatively only by John Parris’ storied “Roaming the Mountains” newspaper column from yesteryear surpasses that figure. Only in her mid-40s, Tipper Pressley likely will give us stories on the glories of Appalachia for many a year and yarn to come.

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Jim Casada is a son of the Smokies who has written extensively on his highland homeland and its people. He has a particular interest in distinctive mountain personalities and is currently completing a book, “Profiles in Mountain Character.” The Angel of Brasstown is the first of several profiles that Jim will be doing for the magazine Smoky Mountain Living so please be on the lookout for them. 

To learn more, visit his website, www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com.

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Tipper

p.s. Typepad found an issue with my music player and I had to remove it...probably for good. But I made direct links to playlists full of our music on youtube. Look over in the right side-bar and you'll see a photo to click on and listen to Pap and Paul and one to listen to The Pressley Girls. 

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Pam's Cubed Steak

Best recipe for cubed steak

I didn't used to be a fan of cooking cubed steak. I always fried it like Granny did and like Granny's, sometimes it turned out good and sometimes it was so tough you could barely chew it.

A few years back my friend Pam shared her secret for cooking cubed steak with me and I've been cooking it that way ever since.

There isn't a firm recipe, but I've found it to be a practically fool proof process.

Easy way to cook cubed steak

First flour and season your cubed steak as you normally would to fry it.

Pour olive oil or whatever oil you like to cook with in a frying pan and heat. 

Place floured seasoned cubed steaks in hot pan and brown on each side, but don't worry about cooking it through.

Once both sides are browned place cubed steaks in a crock pot.

Add a tablespoon or two of flour to the frying pan like you were going to make gravy from the drippings. Cook and stir flour for a few minutes and then pour in chicken stock. Continue to cook and stir while gently scraping the cooked pieces off the bottom of the pan. After a few minutes of cooking, pour chicken stock over the cubed steak in the crock pot and cook on low for a several hours or until done. 

I aim for having enough chicken stock to almost cover the cubed steak in the crockpot. The last time I used about 4 cups of stock for about 3 lbs of cubed steak. 

The meat turns out super tender and the broth makes a gravy that is perfect for putting over mashed potatoes or rice. 

The first time Pap ate Pam's Cubed Steak at my house he loved it. He said it reminded him of the cubed steak and rice he used to eat at the truck stops when he trucked up the eastern seaboard. And The Deer Hunter loves it too, actually we all do!

Tipper

p.s. Typepad found an issue with my music player and I had to remove it...probably for good. But I made direct links to playlists full of our music on youtube. Look over in the right side-bar and you'll see a photo to click on and listen to Pap and Paul and one to listen to The Pressley Girls. 

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Little Debbies and The Pressley Girls

Little Debbie Jolene Spoof by The Pressley Girls
Back a few years ago the girls learned the Dolly Parton classic Jolene. I shared the video of them doing the song in my weekly Pickin' and Grinnin' in the Kitchen Spot in April of 2015. 

As often happens when we're making music we all get to cracking jokes and being silly. Actually I believe on the occasion of learning Jolene it was Paul and the girls being silly. One thing led to another and they begin singing about Debbie instead of Jolene

If you're not familiar with Little Debbies you can find out all about them here

The snack cakes have always been popular in this area and Granny has always had a box or two in the cabinet by the frig. I don't eat Debbies much these days, but I went through a spell in high school where I ate a fudge round every day for lunch. One of my best friends from childhood loved Little Debbies so much that one Christmas someone wrapped up a box for her and put it under the tree at church.

For several years I bought Chitter a box of chocolate cream pies every week. That's how the spoof of the song came about. Someone was teasing her about her Little Debbie addiction. 

Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie oh how I long for thee. Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie please don't disappoint my belly. 

That snack cake is beyond compare, with filling that's so sweet and rare, with a wrapper that seals the freshness in. That little girl with crimson locks upon the corner of the box makes promise of the prize that waits within.

Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie oh how I long for thee. Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie please don't disappoint my belly. 

I've seen you slipping round the house; yes you're as sneaky as a mouse, but remember that Debbie belongs to me. You ate the other eleven before, so you best not touch the cabinet door, for you don't know how crazy I can be.

Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie oh how I long for thee. Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie please don't disappoint my belly. 

I hope my words are making sense because I need some nutrients to warn you, you can't say I haven't tried. I should have moved it somewhere else and not left it there upon the shelf, but I thought that you were satisfied.

Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie oh how I long for thee. Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie please don't disappoint my belly. 

You talk about it in your sleep, but there's other things that you could eat, and I really need that Little Debbie. I had to have this talk with you; my hunger now depends on you and whatever you decide to do Katie. 

Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie oh how I long for thee. Debbie Debbie Debbie Debbie please don't disappoint my belly. Please don't disappoint my belly.

Although the girls and Paul worked out the silly lyrics to the Little Debbie Jolene spoof they never truly learned them. 

If you've been a Blind Pig reader for a good long while you'll probably remember the girls made Pap a special dvd of songs he hadn't heard them do for Christmas each year. This year they made the surprise dvd for Paul and they finally recorded the spoof.

I hope you enjoyed the spoof. If you're a Little Debbie fan I bet you'll ever eat another one without thinking of Chatter and Chitter.

Tipper

p.s. If you missed the Blind Pig email yesterday-it's because I failed to send it out at the right time! Silly me...I chose p.m. instead of my usual a.m. If you missed the post for Saturday you can go here.

p.s.s. Typepad found an issue with my music player yesterday and I had to remove it...probably for good. But I made direct links to playlists full of our music on youtube. Look over in the right side-bar and you'll see a photo to click on and jump over and listen to Pap and Paul and one to jump over and listen to The Pressley Girls. 

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When You Get in the Habit of Saying the Same Thing

Habitual sayings you know - like - so - anyway

Have you ever been around someone who used the same word or words in every sentence? Years ago, I was introduced to a man who at the end of every sentence said and what not. I remember being obsessed with listening to him. I wanted to see if just once he wouldn't say and what not. It never happened. He said the phrase at the end of every sentence just like clock work.

A few other habitual sayings I've heard:

  • you know 
  • anyway
  • you know what I'm saying
  • now it'n it
  • like
  • ah or uh
  • now
  • well
  • the thing is
  • so

I'm sure you've heard some of the ones I mentioned, but sometimes folks habitually say things that aren't so common.

When Pap was growing up, Old Man Bud Baker lived over in the next holler. Pap said everyone loved Bud because he was a lot of fun to be around. Bud's habitual saying was si hell. Pap said no matter what Bud was telling or talking about he always started it with si hell.

Pap said one day Bud came around telling "Si hell I killed a rattlesnake that was 5 foot long yesterday." Pap's father, Wade, said he didn't really believe there were rattlesnakes that big. Bud answered back "Si hell I know it was cause I measured it."

Another elder from Pap's childhood named George was fond of saying now I hell at the beginning of his sentences. Actually Pap said George's entire family took up the habit of saying now I hell.

George lived at the head of Pinelog and one day a trader came to see him about buying a milk cow. The trader asked if the cow was a good milker and George told him "Now I hell she gives a waste of milk." Taking George's comment to mean the cow gave to much milk to use the trader bought the cow.

Didn't take long for the trader to figure out the cow wasn't a good milker. He soon came around to ask about the cow's lack of milk. George said "Now I hell I told you she gives a waste of milk. She gives enough to cream your coffee but not enough to make gravy!"

L.C. who was Pap's best friend was known for saying I tell you what at the start of his sentences. 

After listening to the recording of Luke Bauserman interviewing me it's pretty obvious I've picked up the habit of saying you know

Do you have a habitual saying or know someone who does?

Tipper

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Words for Love in Appalachia

 

Courting in appalachia

In Appalachia... 

courting = dating

sparking = dating

sweet on = means you like someone

he-ing and she-ing = hugging and kissing

slip off = elope

serenade or shivaree = a loud noisy celebration
occurring after a wedding

courts like a stick of wood = a person who is awkward
when courting

jump the broom = get married

took up = 2 people who start courting or move in together

going steady = serious dating

struck on = means you like someone

going with = dating

get hitched = get married

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When I was young someone was always asking me if I was courting yet.

Granny and Pap slipped off from Granny Gazzie and got married without her knowing it. 

Along with courting and slip off  I still hear: took up, jump the broom, he-ing and she-ing, going with, struck on, and sweet on in my part of Appalachia. The others have faded away. 

For more about courting in Appalachia-visit Dave Tabler's Appalachian History site

I'm sure I left some courting sayings out-if you think of one leave it in a comment!

Tipper

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Mingledy = Mingled in Color

Mingledy adjective Mingled in color

mingledy adjective Mingled in color.
1997 Montgomery Coll. (Adams, Bush, Cardwell, Norris, Oliver, Weaver).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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Chatter got the prettiest mingledy scarf you ever seen from a friend about this time last year. I don't kow how she kept it hid from me, but I've already worn it to work twice since I found it in her closet about a month ago.

In Appalachia...

Mingledy = mingled in color
Flowerdy = has flowers
Stripedy = has stripes
Polka-doty = has polka-dots
Checkerdy = has a check pattern

Tipper

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Kissing Games

Old fashioned games spin the bottle, post office, barber,

Did you ever play any of the embarrassing games designed to instigate contact between the opposite sexes when you were in school?  

I was in about 8th grade when one of my friends had a boy/girl birthday party. Until then all the parties I had been to were girls only.

Her mother made fondue, which most of us didn't know how to eat. And she had us take one shoe off and give it to her. She placed them in a big pile-one pile for the boys-one for the girls. Then we took turns picking a shoe. The shoe you picked = the person you were going to dance with. My friend and I almost died from embarrassment.

As backward as I was-I never got up the nerve to play any of the kissing games like spin the bottle. Taking a chance on kissing someone I thought was gross in front of the rest of my friends wasn't something I was ever going to do.

Looking through The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore I found a few other courtship games (also called play party games).

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A boy and a girl stand at one side of the room. Another boy and girl catch hands and skip around them singing the first verse. The first boy responds with the second. The second couple sings the third and the first boy sings the fourth. At the end he asks "How about Mr. (one of the boys playing the game). The chosen boy comes up and takes the girl, and the singing dialogue is continued until all the girls but one are paired off. Then this last girl and the first boy clasp hands and raise them as in "London Bridge." The couples dance through singing:

Come under, come under
My honey, my dove, my turtle dove;
Come under, come under
My dear, oh dear.

We'll take you both our prisoners,
My honey, my love, my turtle dove;
We'll take you both our prisoners,
My dear, oh dear.

Then hug her tight and kiss her twice,
My honey, my love, my turtle dove;
Then hug her tight and kiss her twice,
My dear, oh dear.

The last couple caught proceeds as directed in the last verse, and "go ahead." The game goes on until each couple has been caught then the leaders dance under the clasped hands of all the other couples and are captured by the last. Then they too kiss each other and the game ends.  

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Old Sister Phoebe contributed by Maude Minish Sutton who obtained it from Bob Huskins a banjo picker from Mitchell. c. 1927.

Old Sister Phoebe, how happy are we
As we go 'round and 'round the juniper tree!
We'll tie our heads up to keep them all warm,
And two or three kisses won't do us no harm.
Old Sister Phoebe!

Here comes a poor widow a-marching around
And all of my daughters are married but one,
So rise up, my daughter, and kiss your true love.
Old Sister Phoebe!

This kissing game is a favorite among young people in the remote parts of the Blue Ridge. Bob (the informant) was a very picturesque person, and he sang this song to a rollicking, jiggy tune. 

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Flower in the Garden contributed by Maude Minish Sutton c. 1927. Collected in Big Ivy (Madison County).

There's a flower in the garden for you, young man;
There's a flower in the garden for you,
There's a flower in the garden, pick it if you can;
Be sure not to choose a false-hearted one.

The boy in the center of the circle selects a girl, and those in the ring sing:

You got her at a bargain, my young man;
You got her at a bargain, I tell you,
But you promised for to wed her six months ago;
So we hold you to your bargain, you rascal you.

The couple kiss and the girl remains in the center. The second verse is the same except for a change from man and her to maid and him

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If you remember any games like the ones above from your childhood I'd love to hear about them-so please leave me a comment! 

Tipper

*Source: The Frank C. Brown Collection Of North Carolina Folklore.

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Love Jerry

Love Letter From Pap 

Dear Louzine

Hope you are feeling well. Guess I am o.k. This fine wether is just about to give me spring fever. Seems every one gets a little lazy this time of year.

Louzine they put me on the second shift at work. I knew it was comming but I thought it would be another week or so. I have to go to work at 3 oclock and off at 11 oclock. I have to work sat. night. Looks like Sunday night is the only chance I will have to see you. If it is o.k. with you, and unless you send me word different I will be there about 4:30 Sunday evening. Then maybe we won't be out so late.

Darling I miss you lots. Sending this by Wayne, hope he gets it to you. Hope you can read this I am not much at spelling and writing. Don't eat supper before I come Sunday. We will eat out somewhere.

Love Jerry

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Pap sent the letter above to Granny when they were first courting. Pap lived in the southern portion of Cherokee County and Granny lived in the western portion. With today's modern cars and roads that only equals about 20-25 minutes driving time, but in Pap and Granny's courting days the distance was farther in more ways than one.

A few months back I asked Granny when her family first got a telephone. She couldn't remember the exact year, but she did remember having to walk across the road to use the neighbor's phone to call Pap's mother and tell her to let Pap know she was sick and and that he shouldn't come out to see her one evening. Pap and Granny only dated a short 3 months before marrying so I'm guessing it was about 1963 when she borrowed the phone. 

Only one or two houses in the neighborhood having a telephone is a huge difference from today where everyone you know is walking around with one in their pocket. The difference almost boggles the mind.

Pap's Uncle Wayne and his wife Violet lived across the way from Granny's family. As often happens in large families, Pap and Wayne were closer in age than most uncles and nephews and since they grew up near each other they were more like cousins.

Back in the day Pap and Wayne drove wagons from the Harshaw Farm to Murphy, worked in the fields, swam and fished in the Hiwassee River and slipped off to play when they both knew better.

After they were grown and Wayne married Violet he introduced Pap to Granny.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Tipper 

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Do You Saucer Your Coffee?

Saucered and blowed coffee
saucer noun, verb
B verb To pour (esp coffee) into a saucer to let it cool before drinking. 
1981 Whitener Folk-ways 82 Mine's already been sassered and blowed. 1994-95 Montgomery Coll. (Ogle); He always sassers his coffee so it can be more comfortably drunk (Cardwell).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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My post about chocolate gravy led us to eating bread soaked in coffee which has led us to the tradition of saucering and blowing your coffee to cool it for drinking. 

I remember my Great Aunt Pearl sitting at Granny Gazzie's kitchen table 'saucer and blowing' her tea. And I've seen Granny saucer and blow her coffee over the years when it was too hot for her. I never seen Pap use a saucer to cool his coffee, although he would often steal a piece of ice from someone's drink to cool it. 

B.Ruth had this to say about the technique for cooling coffee:

Dad would sometimes dip his biscuit in his hot saucered coffee, maybe that helped cool it off somewhat. Mom just hated when he would saucer and blow his coffee and then slurp it from the saucer! Not that she was so refined, she said the only one left in her family that boiled coffee, saucer, blow and slurp was her aged grandmother before she passed! We finally got some of those green Fire King cups, so Momma's china cups and saucers went to the back of the cabinet! Oh the memories!

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PinnacleCreek remembered this:

In those days coffee cups always came with a saucer, and I have seen them drink from the saucer. This was probably due to the coffee was actually boiling hot in those days. Even as a youngster nothing smelled quite as good as the aroma of coffee percolating on the stove.

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Shirla said this:

Dad always saucered and blowed his strong black coffee. It was brewed on top of a coal stove and got extremely hot.

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ncmountainwoman remembered this:

My grandpa took his coffee in a big white cup. His saucer was actually a small bowl. He poured the coffee from the cup into it and then sipped it piping hot.

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Charles Fletcher said this:

Always did this while growing up and especially for the the time in the Army from 1942 --1946 using the Aluminum cups. I did a lot of HUFFING & PUFFING. 

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Suzi Phillips said this:

I still love JFG and I remember being SHOCKED to discover saucering and blowing were "ill mannered"!

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Lois Tootle reminded me of this:

There was an episode of Gomer Pyle USMC in which Gomer asked a high ranking officer if he would like him to saucer and blow his coffee. The officer replied he hadn't heard that since he was a young man back home.

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Garland Davis had a so much to say about saucering and blowing your coffee that he wrote a guest post for me a few years back.

Saucered and Blowed written by Garland Davis

I can remember my Granny Salmons, Mama, and various Aunts and Uncles pouring a cup of boiling hot coffee from the pot that sat on Granny’s wood cook stove. They would then pour a little into the saucer, blow on it and then sip it from the saucer. I also remember us kids being given highly sugared white coffee and pouring it into the saucer and blowing it.

I was in third grade where the teacher taught a weekly session on manners. I distinctly remember her saying that no ‘lady or gentleman’ poured their coffee or tea into the saucer. I was actually embarrassed for my family because of this method of drinking coffee. I stopped drinking from the saucer. After we moved from the wood cook stove to the electric range I don't recall anyone drinking coffee from the saucer.

It was many years later, while reading a novel by the late Robert Heinlein that I came across the term “Saucered and Blowed”. He explained that it was a custom inherited from the Danish, the Scots, the Germans, et. al. He said it grew from the early use of a shallow bowl or ‘saucer’ to drink tea’.

Our pioneer ancestors cooked with wood or coal as fuel. They boiled the coffee and served it boiling hot. One source that I read said, “My Granny served coffee so hot the only reason that it didn't catch fire was because it was wet.” Pouring the coffee into the saucer created a larger surface area and permitted the coffee to cool to drinking temperature quickly.

In many trades the term “Saucered and Blowed” has come to mean the completion of a job or the thorough study of a problem, as in, “That new manufacturing process is ‘saucered and blowed.’”

That about does it. This article is "Saucered and Blowed."

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I hope you enjoyed all the comments and Garland's old post. If you have something to say about saucering and blowing coffee or tea I'd love to hear it-so please leave a comment.

Tipper

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I'm Still In Love With You

Blind pig gang playing in blairsville ga back in the day

The Blind Pig Gang playing in Blairsville GA back in the day

With the day for celebrating the one you love coming up quick I've been thinking about the songs we do that could be considered love songs. Right at the top of the list is Red is the Rose and Maggie.

As I scrolled through our youtube channel I quickly realized most of the love songs we do hightlight the fact that love affairs don't always work out the way you want them to. 

Bluegrass and Country songs are said to be synonymous with heartache and sadness. There's even been songs written about the phenomenon related to both genres. In the country realm-David Allen Coe's hit song You Don't Even Call Me By My Name comes to mind. 

Mandolin Man used to tease Paul about the songs he had written saying "Ever last one of them is sad and depressing."

One time Paul thought he'd take a cue from David Allen Coe's hit and write the most depressing song he could come up with and In The Lonesome Woods Tonight was born. The song turned out to be one of my all time favorites.

Then there's those songs that make you tap your toes even though they're talking about love gone wrong. I love Paul and Pap's version of Roy Acuff's Write Me Sweetheart. The words surely talk about a broken heart, but I don't know how anyone could listen to Paul and Pap's version and not feel at least a little hopeful that things would work out after all. See what you think. 

Did you tap your toes? I did! Outstanding flat top picking and tight harmonies-you can't beat that.

Tipper

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