Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

AB, 101 Fast Food Head Shot.2jpg.jpg
WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 3

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 3

 Virginia, 1935, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Virginia, 1935, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Taking a look at food stories from the Library of Congress. These are stories collected by WPA writer’s working on a project called America eats. This story looks at a fall community wide apple harvesting tradition from Frederick County, Virginia that dates back at least to the era of the Great Depression. This is a section of Virginia known for its abundance of apple orchards. The tradition called for farm families to come together and make all kinds of delicious Apple butter, baked goods, and cider from the fall harvest of apples. The host of these events served hard cider at these events:

“Not infrequently the lowly jug occupies the center of the food laden tables, for surely the menfolk will find cider a tame companion,” says WPA writer Grant Jennings Smith. He goes on to say, “songs are sung, jokes are told, younger members of the family are stretched prone upon the floor, listening to the merriment of their elders, for upon this night they are permitted to remain up long past the usual bedtime. With sufficient apples have been pared and cored, and the revelers are weary of the fund, one by one, as the occasion may be, they take their leave… with the host reminding them of the job bright and early in the morning, for then begins the boiling and stirring.” (Grant Jennings Smith)

Takeaway: Like food, beverages (and they don't have to be alcoholic) can also work to help bring communities together. I think about the tradition of  warm cider with a sprinkle of cinnamon in it on a cold fall or winter evening around a campfire. It could be as simple as one person in your neighborhood using social media as well as  handmade invitations to notify  residents that you're hosting a hot cider storytelling session around a campfire in your backyard (If you have a suitable one). Perhaps you need to host it at a nearby  park  with permission from town or city  officials.  Try it let me know how it turns out.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Fred Opie Show Podcast

Picking and Canning Fruit on the Vineyard Part 4

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 2

WPA Wilmington, Delaware's Big Quarterly Part 4

WPA Iowa Gardening Recipes and Notes Part 4

WPA California Grunion Fry Part 3

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 4

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 4

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 2

WPA Virginia Apple Butter Boiling Part 2