"We're known as a family of hearty eatin' men and beautiful delicate women."
We are hardcore TAGS (The Andy Griffith Show) fans. We stick to watching the black and white episodes though. After Barney left it all kinda fell apart... Aunt Bee starts flying planes and Andy opens up a laundry-mat.
I love to make what I call "Mayberry Menus": Foods inspired by TAGS episodes.
I have a really neat cook book called Aunt Bee's Mealtime in Mayberry. It takes several episodes of TAGS that have food mentioned during the story line, and then includes photos, dialog, and recipes that correspond.
I came across an episode called 'The Darlings Fortune' but it wasn't quite familiar to me. Sure for the fourth time the Darlings are trying to marry off one of their kin to an unwilling Mayberrian. This time it's one of the Darling boys and it involves Old Lady Crump...hmmm... still not coming to mind. Then I realized it's a color episode! We don't watch those much. We have tried....
What got me really interested the most with this episode was Briscoe calling the blueberry muffins that Aunt Bee made "larrapin". What? I could tell it was meant as a compliment but I had never heard that term before. Was it short for something or an odd mountain way to pronounce a different word? Like "beyant" is 'beyond' or "catawampus" means 'every which a way' which means 'all jacked up'.
I looked the word up on the internet, checked out books from the library on North Carolina mountain folklore and miscellany, along with watching the episode. Nothing of real enlightenment other than it meaning 'tasty' was found. I did learn however, that if you meet a cross-eyed woman at a place where the road forks, always spit in your hand, or on the ground to ward off bad luck.
Let us get back to these larrapin muffins though.
Here is the recipe or as Briscoe would say, 'receipt':
Beyond saying 'larrapin', Briscoe may have added something like this to describe these muffins:
"I'ma talking butter-mouthed now. I got a mash on these vittles. I'm aknowin' I et every bit and grain. I'd go a whoop and a holler for another mess of 'em!"
Translation: "I speak high flattery at this present time. I have quite an admiration for these fine provisions. I concur I have devoured ever morsel. I would travel a far distance to partake of them in large quantities."
I concur that I have myself partaken large quantities of these muffins. I made a whole mess of them (3 batches) and we plowed through them in just a few days. They are larrapin!
I leave you with this last bit of mountain folklore:
Never pick up a spoon lying in the road. Women who are unlucky in household affairs sometimes throw away a spoon, believing that their bad luck will pass to the person who picks it up.
For more of my Mayberry Menus: