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WPA Mississippi Drinkways Part 1

WPA Mississippi Drinkways Part 1

 Courtesy of the US National Archives

Courtesy of the US National Archives

This week we share stories related to the fall harvest and the topic of drinkways. The term refers to the study of the reason why we drink what we drink and how that changes over time. The stories come from WPA food sources archived in the Library of Congress in Washington DC. in the Mississippi folder titled America Eats Notes, Reports, and Essays. I have attempted to produce the content in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and indirect quotes as often as possible. Here are recipes from William Wheeler of Leflore County, Mississippi:

Huckleberry Coffee and Brand Coffee

We used together huckleberries, put them in a skillet, parch [dry out with heat] them real brown. Then beat them up fine with a hammer and use this for coffee. We use to drink brand coffee too. This is made by parching corn and taking the husk and making it into a brew.

Takeaway: In looking at this folk recipe for making coffee, and the other ones I'm going to share this week, think about the number of ways, that you could create a homebrew as it were, for coffee and other beverages that you now purchase. If you took the amount of money that you spend at Starbucks and/or Dunkin' Donuts, and added it up weekly and then monthly invested the savings in a a tax free ESA or 529 plan for your child's college or vocational training savings program starting when they or an elementary school or younger, your child would not need to depend on student loans to pay for school.

More Drink-Related Stories

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WPA Mississippi Drinkways Part 2

WPA Mississippi Drinkways Part 2

Dominican Diasporas and Foodways in Metropolitan New York