All varieties of cooking and food preparation particularly
interested Kephart. This interest
manifested itself through his
writings. When observing life
in Southern Appalachia, he often
commented or noted food techniques
of the people. He commented
on gritted corn, making kraut,
on the preferences of food such
as the insistence of "well-cooked"
meat. In addition, Our Southern
Highlanders reflects the
basic needs of people.
When discussing camping, Kephart
was interested in ways to make
camping a more enjoyable experience.
He emphasized foods that were
light-weight, practical for
the camper, and ideally gourmet
or at the least palatable. He
wrote the book Camp Cookery,
which was incorporated into
the first volume of the 1916
revised edition of Camping
and Woodcraft. As an expert
consultant for outdoor magazines,
his advice was sought on methods
and techniques. In several letters,
he expressed a desire to learn
more about new methods, such
as dehydration, that might prove
useful to campers.
Kephart's personal research
journals and album further reflect
his fascination of the subject.
Overall, Kephart's observations
provide details on every aspect
of food processing and comments
about all types of foods and
Many artifacts related to Kephart's
cooking demonstrate his use
of simple and somewhat impermanent
cooking facilities such as camps
and small cabins.
Processing sorghum into molasses
syrup provided sweetener for
foods and an opportunity to
meet with neighbors.
While living in the Smokies,
Kephart recorded many different
ways to mill corn for human
consumption ranging from hand
methods to more complex machinery.
The sport of bee hunting captivated
Kephart. Gathering and cultivating
honey appears as a topic in
many of his publications.
Besides his interest in Appalachian
foodways and standard camp fare,
Kephart sought new food items
from unexpected places to satisfy
the palate of hungry camping
Kephart particularly excelled
in his knowledge of camp cookery.
His publications include a book
devoted to the subject. He also
served as an expert on camp
cookery for Adventure
Original spelling and
syntax retained in all quotations
within this exhibit.