I grew up in Barboursville, West Virginia. On June 20, 1863, prior to the Civil War, we were a part of Virginia. Now technically, WV broke away in support of the Union. But growing up in the lower Southwestern part of West Virginia, I never did accept the fact that we were "Yankees". As a matter of fact a lot of my friends from Tennessee think of me as being from west Virginia (Bristol, Norton, etc.) I don't know if it was because I am country or if it is because I have a southern accent. But to me it was never about being Union or Confederate, I just always assumed I was southern.
But I have learned that some people "up north" think WV is home of hillbillies and that we are a bunch of southern hicks and rednecks. While some people in the south are quick to point out that we left the south when we broke away from Virginia and that we are from up north. And still there are a few that still think when I say I'm from West Virginia that I mean west Virginia. That little w makes a world of difference. They usually always reply "Oh, I love west Virginia. We go to Bristol a lot.
So I still don't know whether I was born Southern or Northern. But I do know there are somethings that are more well known in West Virginia than they are in Tennessee.
For example, I love graham cracker pie....most people I know thinks that means any pie that has a graham cracker crust. In my family it means a graham cracker crust baked then cooled and filled with vanilla pudding, topped with homemade meringue, covered with graham cracker crumbs and browned in the oven for a few minutes.
And if you know anything about the south, you know they love their sweet tea...not ice tea but sweet tea. I was born into a family of the biggest sweet tea drinkers that ever lived. Much to their dismay I am the only member of the family that doesn't drink it. Well, I do have one granddaughter that won't either. But my Mamaw Eden used to try to get me to drink it and I tried several times, but nope...didn't like it and still don't.
And let's talk about breakfast. In my part of West Virginia, we love breakfast for supper complete with homemade biscuits. Now I don't know of anybody I have ever discussed that with from up north. But everybody I knew in WV and here in TN tells me that breakfast for supper is the best supper to have. And I have always called it supper. We had breakfast, lunch and supper. I guess the only time I ever heard dinner is if you went out some place fancy for your evening meal you went out to dinner. Otherwise, it was supper.
And if we are going to talk about biscuits, let talk about gravy. Now that is one of those items that is confusing. I don't know a lot of people who talk much about gravy and biscuits except for people in the south. Would be curious to know from any of my Northern friends if y'all ever eat biscuits and gravy with your breakfast? And on that note, in WV growing up our main gravy was made with bacon grease so it was bacon gravy. My husband and I always had bacon gravy with our biscuits and gravy. But living in Tennessee, I have only found a few people over the years who have even heard of bacon gravy. It appears sausage gravy and biscuits is the main gray around here. But it is one of my all time favorite meals for supper.
And I have also learned that potato salad is not always considered a good side dish for a meal for just anytime. We have it year round. Doesn't matter the occasion. If there is a gathering and you make potato salad people are gonna eat it. But I worked with a gentleman from Cincinnati one time who found out we made potato salad for Thanksgiving dinner and he was appalled. I remember his exact words "WHAT? That's ridiculous. Everybody knows you only eat potato salad in the summer at picnics." Hmmm, No. In my family you eat potato salad whenever you are in the mood for potato salad.
So I guess you can see why I am confused as to whether I'm from the North or the South. As for me, I have always claimed I'm from the South and I will always claim to be southern. I worked for a company one time where I talked to people all across the United States and one thing I heard over and over and over was "I love calling you because I love your Southern accent."
So when I have a question I can't realize figure the answer to, I turn to the world leading expert on answers...GOOGLE. And when I typed in Southern States. This is what I found.
And yes that little blue state on the top with the little point stick up is West Virginia. Guess that settles it. I wrote this blog Sunday night while I was pondering on the whole Northern/Southern dilemma. Then I was so hungry when I got done, that I went and fixed me some breakfast for supper. Yep, that was the Southern thing to do. Have a great Monday!