Appalachian Cooking with Barbara Swell

Barbara Swell - Log Cabin Cooking - Mountain Made Gallery
Log Cabin Cooking by Barbara Swell

Meet American Pioneer Cooking Expert & Folklorist Barbara Swell

According to Blue Ridge Hertiage (, “Barbara Swell credits her grandmother, a West Virginia native, with inspiring her lifelong interest in Appalachian cooking and homemaking traditions.”

“She writes that her grandmother taught her how to bake, garden, and can, and “that rum doesn’t count as alcohol if it’s drenching your fruit cake.”

“A childhood interest in recording her grandmother’s and other relatives’ recipes led to many years of documenting the culinary techniques of mountain homemakers.”

In 1995, goaded on by her husband, Barbarareluctantly released her first cookbook on pioneer recipes.

Entitled “Log Cabin Cooking“,  it went on to become a local cookbook bestseller.

Barbara Swell, cookbook author
Barbara Swell, Appalachian cookbook author


Barbara went on to write 10 other historic cookbooks like “Take Two & Butter ‘Em While They’re Hot!”, “Children at the Hearth”,”Secrets of the Great Old-Timey Cooks”, “Ma’s in the Kitchen”, “Old-Time Farmhouse Cooking”, “The Lost Art of Pie Making” and “The 1st American Cookie Lady”.

Many of Barbara’s titles are available in the Mountain Made book section. These cookbooks not only detail authentic, pioneer and early 20th century recipes  but they also feature lots of Appalachian mountain folklore, cooking techniques and tips.

We invite you to come by Mountain Made and check out these wonderful cookbooks, for yourself > Mountain Made Art Gallery


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