The Great Outdoors Cracker Style was created to provide a picture, and video record of the Florida Cracker life style.
A Guide to Crackerese
Here are words and phrases used by Crackers over the centuries.
Catchdogs — Cracker cattle-herding dogs trained to literally "catch" a cow and hold its ear or nose in its teeth until a cowman arrived.
Chittlins — Cracker version of chitterlings, or hog innards, cleaned and cooked.
Conchs — Key West Crackers.
Cooter — A freshwater soft-shell turtle eaten by Crackers.
Corn Pone — A "dressed-up" hoecake, made from the standard cornmeal, but with milk instead of water used in the batter. Cone pone differs from cornbread in that the former is fried and the latter is baked.
Cracklin — Fried hog fat used for food, sometimes mixed into meal to make cracklin cornbread.
Croker sack — Burlap gunny sack sometimes used for clothing.
Curlew — Pink spoonbills hunted for food and for their plumes.
Drag — A rawhide whip used by Crackers for driving cattle or wagon oxen.
Fatback — Called fatback because this is exactly where it comes from — off the back of a hog. It was cut in small squares and put in cooking pots to flavor beans and other vegetables. Sometimes, it was roasted until it became crunchy and eaten like popcorn for a snack. Lard was made by boiling the fatback and straining it through fine cloth.
Fetch — To get, as in to "fetch" some water.
Grits — A principal Cracker staple made from dried and coarsely ground corn, used in place of potatoes, never as a cereal. Hominy grits, not to be confused with hominy corn, is a Northern label for a coarser grain of ground corn.
Hoecake — Primitive bread cake made of cornmeal, salt and water and cooked in an iron griddle or skillet. It is said that these cakes were once baked on a hoe held over an open fire.
Hominy — Whole grains of white corn treated with lye and boiled for food.
Literd — A hot fire started with fat pine.
Low-bush lightning — Cracker term for moonshine–liquor made and smuggled during Prohibition.
Marshtackie — A small horse with a narrow chest, prized by cowmen for their smooth ride, durability and quick maneuverability. Descendants of the horses brought to Florida by the Spanish, they are adapted to the Florida wilderness.
Pilau — Any dish of meat and rice cooked together, like a chicken pilau. Pronounced "per-loo" by Crackers.
Piney-woods rooter — Wild hog and a regular part of the Cracker diet.
Poultices — Medicinal salves made with materials such as soap, fat meat, chewing tobacco, chopped onion, scraped Irish potato and wet baking soda.
Pull — To take a hard drink from a liquor jug.
Rot gut — Bad whiskey.
Sawmill chicken — Salt pork.
Scrub chicken — Gopher tortoise, once a Cracker delicacy, now illegal to take.
Scrub cows — Cracker cattle bred to withstand the tough conditions of the Florida range. They are descendants of original Spanish cattle introduced to Florida in 1521.
Swamp cabbage — The tender heart of Sabal palm, cut and boiled like cabbage.
Store-boughten — Cracker materials which could only be purchased from a store.
Truck garden — A plot garden which was grown to produce a surplus of vegetables for sale to local grocery stores, etc.
Varmit — The Cracker version of varmint, or any small animal, especially rodents.
Courtesy Dana Ste. Claire, curator, The Cracker Culture in Florida History. Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences.
"Cracker Cowmen" painting by Robert Butler