Southern Agenda

Slice of the Sweet Life

From 1935 until he graduated from high school in 1950, Johnny Cash lived at 4791 W. County Road 924, in the little agrarian community of Dyess, Arkansas, and the holidays would find his mother, Carrie, in the kitchen mixing up two of her son’s favorite pies: chocolate and pineapple. On December 9, the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home will honor that tradition by partnering with the chefs at the Grange—an agricultural and culinary venue in the revived small town of Wilson—to put on Baking Pies like Mama Cash. Before a tour of Cash’s home, participants will bake desserts from Mama Cash’s own annotated recipe book. “I’ve tried many of Carrie’s recipes, and I can vouch that this is good, down-home cooking,” says director Penny Toombs. “And we will see the kitchen where she made these pies.” To whip up a Cash pineapple pie closer to home, beat a cup and a half of sugar with a half cup of butter, a cup of crushed pineapple, three tablespoons of flour, one teaspoon of vanilla, and two eggs. Pour it all into a pie shell and bake at 350°F—while listening to “Pickin’ Time” or “Five Feet High and Rising,” two Johnny Cash songs inspired by Dyess—until golden brown.