Tom Bias: Pepperoni rolls are not real West Virginia food
Give me a break. Pepperoni rolls? Are these people out of touch with West Virginia - particularly Southern West Virginia?
Ask Chuck Yeager: Cornbread, buttermilk, leather britches - that sounds more like home.
At my grandparents', we ate pinto beans, fried potatoes and cornbread twice a day, six days a week.
Sunday was a treat. Grandpa Bias would take me with him to the chicken house and we would pick out two fat hens.
He would kill the two hens and I would pluck the feathers.
Grandpa would cut them up, and Grandma set the table on Sundays with fried chicken, mashed potatoes (a little variety from six days of fried potatoes) and then she would add fresh green beans (canned green beans if out of season) and all manner of garden-raised produce in the summertime.
For dessert, Grandma usually baked two or three apple pies (my favorite to this day). There were homemade biscuits, sausage, bacon, fried eggs, cornmeal mush, jam, and fresh cow's milk and butter (that I had helped Grandma churn) for starters for breakfast.
The small farm had large vegetable gardens, at least one dairy cow, a horse or mule used to plow the gardens, and a pony for the kids.
There was always enough food on the table to feed a small army. On Sunday after church we might have 20 to 30 family members show up.
And you had better eat. My grandmother felt slighted if family and visitors didn't receive her hospitality.
Sorry, I got carried away.
I guess it was the pepperoni rolls that stirred me up (I like them, too).
Thanks for letting me return for a few minutes to my childhood and a bowl of pinto beans, cornbread and fried potatoes.
I wonder if the chefs at The Greenbrier can cook anything like Grandma Bias could.
On second thought, I vote for "apple pie."
Bias, who lives near Madison, is a retired social studies teacher and a longtime pastor. He grew up on Hewett's Creek.