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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to


Matthew Fuller

Eighty-four year old M.T. Fuller recalls living near his father’s Georgia grist mill until the Great Depression forced his family to move to a farm in Carroll County. In great detail Fuller can describe his sister’s undergoing the proper kitchen training and the specific steps they took each morning to get the family’s meals underway. Biscuits, cornbread, cakes, and variations of sweet potato pie were all staples in the Fuller household diet during the 1930s. The family farm often produced the ingredients needed to cook and bake, however when times were hard and money scarce, many families including the Fuller’s found ways to improvise. Seasonal availability and special events often dictated the Fuller menu, but M.T. remembers the female members of his family baking and mixing meals with ease, without the aide of a measuring cup or spoon. According to M.T. Fuller, the “old-fashioned” methods of cooking have gradually given way to more modern traditions, and although it might be easier to make frozen biscuits or purchase a cake at the bakery, the homemade version has and will always yield a “better flavor.”

Date of interview:
2002-03-19 00:00

David Albertson


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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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