June 18, 2015

West Virginia

Statehood: June 20th, 1863 (35/50)

Okay, yes, West Virginia did give us sales tax (they were the first to implement it back in 1921). On the other hand, they're basically the reason we have Mother's Day, which was first observed on May 10th, 1908 at Andrews Church in Grafton, WV (consider this a prompt to call your Mom if you haven't in a while; she'd probably love it, and let's face it, you probably would, too #theresnothinglikeMommaBearlove). They also give us clean air... y'know, since the state is covered 75% by trees (including a 500+ year old sycamore tree that was the victim of arson).

Really, though, they've got to have one of best statehood stories. WV is the only state to have been created by basically chopping themselves off from another state (without that state's permission); and then were granted sovereignty by a signed proclamation from a president. Yes, that happened. Go ahead and take a bow, West Virginia, you deserve it after a move like that.

(Sure, there's more to it then that, and if you're interested I would highly suggest looking up The 1861 Wheeling Convention. Or, you can always just go with the above version which might not be entirely accurate, but is - let's face it - pretty flippin' rad).

At this point it would be great to dive into something hearty like a pepperoni roll or a slaw dog, but we wont waiver, will we, West Virginians?

State Fruit: Golden Delicious Apple
The Golden Delicious apple - West Virginia's official state fruit as of February 20th, 1005 - comes from Clay Country, West Virginia. In the early twentieth century it was marketed as the counterpart to the Red Delicious.

A Very Sinful Breakfast Snack
Makes: 6 to 8 bars

1/2 18.25-oz box spice cake
3/4 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup cubed apple
1/2 cup black walnut
1/2 cup caramel sauce of choice (like any of these from Stonewall!)

Mix cake mix with apple sauce and melted butter with electric mixer until combined and creamy. Mix by hand in the apple and walnuts. Scoop half the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan. Drizzle with half the caramel sauce. Gently spread remaining mixture on top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Let cool completely before drizzling on the remainder of the caramel sauce.

West Virginia Department of Commerce.