Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Capri Cafaro, Eric Douglas Published

Reverse Engineering Potato Candy And Talking with Ohio’s Poet Laureate, Inside Appalachia

A woman in a light maroon shirt wearing a bandana on her head mashes potatoes in a mixer.
Brenda Sandoval makes her grandmother's potato candy using an old recipe and some trial and error.
Capri Cafaro/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Family recipes are a way to connect generations, but what happens when you’ve got grandma’s recipe, and it doesn’t have exact measurements? 

We also talk with Ohio poet laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour about Appalachia, poems — and getting published.

And we revisit a story about an attraction at the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers — and the man who put it there.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

A West Virginia Woman Reverse-Engineers Grandma’s Potato Candy

Old family recipes are shared and passed down through Appalachia. Sometimes, they come on fingerprint smudged, handwritten note cards stuffed in wooden boxes. Others show up in loose-leaf cookbooks. These family heirlooms can be a way to connect with the past. But not all of those hand-me-down recipes use exact measurements. So how do you know you’re getting it right? 

For Brenda Sandoval in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, it involved some trial and error — and an assist from a cousin. Folkways Reporter Capri Cafaro has the story.

A woman wearing rubber gloves rolls potato candy with peanut butter.
Brenda Sandoval rolling potato candy. Credit: Capri Cafaro/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ohio’s Poet Laureate Celebrates Appalachia

Kari Gunter-Seymour is Ohio’s third poet laureate since the state created the position in 2016.

She’s an earnest cheerleader for Appalachian Ohio, which, as she points out, represents about a third of the state.

Gunter-Seymour is the author of several poetry collections. She’s the editor of “I Thought I heard a Cardinal Sing,” which showcases Appalachian writers in Ohio, as well as eight volumes of “Women Speak,” an anthology series featuring the work of women writers and artists from across Appalachia. 

Producer Bill Lynch spoke with Gunter-Seymour about poetry, getting published, and the Appalachian part of Ohio.

When To Consider Assisted Living For Your Parents

One of the hardest parts of caring for aging parents is deciding when they need professional care. Whether that’s in-home services, assisted living, or something else. Families have to consider what’s best for their loved ones – and how to pay for it.

WVPB’s Eric Douglas spoke with Chris Braley, the owner of an assisted living and memory care facility in West Virginia.

There’s A Bus On A Rock In A River

Anna Sale. Credit: WNYC

If you listen to the popular podcast Death, Sex & Money, you know Anna Sale. Back in 2005, Anna was a reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. She got curious about an old bus that sits on a rock at the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers, just past the town of Gauley Bridge. It’s not far from one of West Virginia’s best known roadside attractions, The Mystery Hole.

In 2005, Anna traveled by boat with former WVPB Video Producer Russ Barbour to meet the man behind the mystery. With warm weather and summer travel not that far away, we brought this story back.  


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by…Kaia Kater, Jeff Ellis, Erik Vincent, Eck Robertson, Chris Knight and Tyler Childers.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.