Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips


Pumpkin season means farmers’ markets and local growers have pumpkins galore in the mountains. They’re technically a squash and extremely healthful. But combine pumpkin with chocolate chips in this delicious cake and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

In a large bowl combine with a mixing spoon:
1½ cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil

Beat in one at a time:
3 eggs

Mix in:
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups pumpkin, cooked and pureed*

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
3 cups self-rising flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

Add to wet ingredients. Pour batter into a greased tube pan. Bake for 40–50 minutes or until top is golden brown and cake tester comes out dry.

Drizzle the cooled cake with a glaze made from:
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt these ingredients together over low heat in a small saucepan. Serves 8–12.

*Or use 1 (15-ounce) can of pureed pumpkin. Sweet potato or butternut squash can also be substituted.

Recipe from The Folk School Cookbook.

You can pick up your own copy of The Folk School Cookbook here, on our Facebook page, or at the Folk School Craft Shop, Malaprops in Asheville, Highland Books in Brevard, Curiosity Shop in Murphy, Highlander Gallery in Brasstown, and City Lights in Sylva.

Stovetop Tuscan Bean Soup from The Folk School Cookbook

A classic one-pot meal from the hills of Tuscany includes a beloved Appalachian ingredient—white beans. Try serving this with a hot pan of cornbread, the Appalachian cousin of polenta.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. 

Trim and discard the stem end of:
1 pound shallots

Drop the shallots into the boiling water for about one minute, transfer them to a colander, then refresh under cold running water. Drain well. Peel, then finely chop or mince in a food processor.

In a large deep skillet with a lid, or in a dutch oven, melt and heat together:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add the shallots, stir and cook uncovered over medium low heat for about 10 minutes until very tender but not brown.

Stir in and coat well with butter and oil:
1 pound small potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups baby carrots, halved lengthwise

Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, covered tightly.

Stir in:
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced

Cover and cook over low heat for about 8 minutes.

4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups white pea or navy beans, cooked and drained (canned beans are fine, rinse them first)

Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and cook until carrots and potatoes are completely tender (about 25 minutes.) 

Salt to taste and add a good amount of:
freshly ground black pepper

Stir in:
2 to 3 cups fresh mustard greens or kale,  stems removed, chopped finely

Remove from heat. Allow soup to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, melt in a medium skillet:
1 tablespoon butter

2 cups coarse breadcrumbs
or croutons

Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs are toasted. Serve the soup hot, with a generous spoonful of breadcrumbs and ground black pepper on top. Serves 6.

Recipe from “The Folk School Cookbook.”

You can pick up your own copy of “The Folk School Cookbook” here, on our Facebook page, or at the Folk School Craft Shop, Malaprops in Asheville, Highland Books in Brevard, Curiosity Shop in Murphy, Highlander Gallery in Brasstown, and City Lights in Sylva.

Folk School Stories: Tommye Scanlin

Having grown up just 12 miles down the road from Brasstown, many of Tommye Scanlin’s earliest scanlin photoFolk School memories date back to her youth. In the mid-1960s, she and her boyfriend would often catch a glimpse of campus on their way to the drive-in movie theater in Peachtree. Since those drive-in, drive by days, Tommye’s Folk School story has come full circle.

Tommye was officially introduced to Folk School classes by Bob Owens, a potter who also happened to be the head of the Art Department at North Georgia College where Tommye taught art and textiles. “I was learning about weaving at the time,” Tommye says, “trying very hard to figure it out on my own. In the summer of 1974, I had the chance to take a weaving class.” During her week as a student, she learned to read weaving drafts and added to her growing love of the craft. “With my newly gained knowledge, I doubled down on my weaving and within a year or so began to show and sell my woven works.” Continue reading Folk School Stories: Tommye Scanlin

The Folk School Cookbook Has Arrived!

Weavers’ Work Week

In our recent letter from Folk School Director Jerry Jackson, Weavers’ Work Week was featured in Janet Davis’ story (if you missed it, read the letter online here). I thought this would be a great time to talk to Pam Howard, the Folk School’s Resident Weaver, about this special week. Weavers’ Work Week is an annual tradition at the Folk School where skilled weavers are invited to come for a week and volunteer their time to do projects around campus and make improvements in the studio. Let’s learn more from Pam…

Pam Howard at the loom

CP: What is Weavers’ Work Week, and how did it start?

PH: The idea for Weavers’ Work Week started in 1992. A weaving teacher, Betty Hancock Smith and her weaving student, Dee Richard were talking about how hard it was sitting all week on the loom benches. Those two got to talking about what if weavers were invited to come to the school and weave fabric to make the cushions. They asked Jan Davidson, former director and Ruth Truett, former programs director. It was approved, and in the spring of 1993 the first Weavers’ Work Week happened.

I was assisting Betty in her weaving class in 1992, and I was the first weaver that was asked to participate. I have been to every one since. From 1993 to 2000, Betty was in charge of organizing the yearly event. In 2000, I became the Resident Weaver and took it over organizing it. Things went on fairly smoothly till 2008 when I had health issues and inherited relatives I had to take care of. After the dust settled and things had calmed down in my life, I thought it was time to restart the tradition of WWW. So, on February 4, 2015 I sent a letter to the “powers that be” and got Weavers’ Work Week back on the schedule. Continue reading Weavers’ Work Week