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CORN STEW

 
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tsisqua




tsisqua

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April 30, 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted:     Post subject: CORN STEW
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GRANDMOTHER MORNING FEATHER'S CORN STEW -

Cooking time about 1 1/2 hours

I use a cast iron dutch oven to cook this and I chop all the stuff while the corn is cooking.

2 1/2 Cups fresh corn cut from cobb
6-7 Cups chicken stock - I like to add about 4 Knorr Chicken Boullion Cubes to the fresh chicken stock -

8 large "Green Onions" (I have also used wild onions in the spring) or 10 smaller ones - chopped about 1/2 inch size
2 large Yucca Roots - peeled and chunked in bite size pieces
1 1/2 Cups Sunflower Roots - peeled and chunked in bite size pieces
2 Cups fresh greens - spinach (small leaf) or dandelion can be used - whole not chopped - or other greens native to your area that aren't real bitter. Just be sure if it's fresh greens to wash them clean of sand or grit.

3 large cloves garlic - minced
1 cup crisp cooked bacon (keep 2 Tablespoons of drippings)- crumbled - depending on the type of bacon (I use thick sliced) you may need to cook 8 or more pieces to make one cup - you can add also 1/2 Cup beef jerky diced as an additional meat.

Salt and Pepper to taste - I like alot of pepper

fry bacon in soup pot till crisp - drain bacon on paper towels
keep 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pot

saute the garlic and onion on medium heat till the garlic starts turning a light brown - need to stir this frequently

add the chicken broth to the cooked garlic and onions - stir well

Bring chicken stock to a slow boil over medium high heat
add corn - Cover and simmer on low boil for 40 min - stir occassionally

add Sunflower Roots, bacon (jerky if using it) ~grins~

simmer 10 min - stir very easy with spoon occassioinally

add Yucca roots and greens, salt and pepper

simmer 30 min with lid on pot - stir gently with spoon occassionally

Turn off heat and let stand for 10 min with the lid on.

***If you like your stew thicker try adding about 2 Tablespoons of corn meal while it is simmering the last 5 minutes- sprinkling it slowly stirring well so it doesn't cook into dumplings.....(grins)

This is great with fresh Fry Bread to dip in it. It feeds alot unless they are ALL very hungry - then make lots of Fry Bread!!

I've made this over an open fire at Pow Wow's as well - something about that kind of cooking that makes it even better.

Grandmother used to use the left over stew and pour it over fried corn fritters for breakfast.....YUM.

Some of the teenagers at the Pow Wow have now dubbed this "Root Stew"
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lilknobby
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Posted:     Post subject:

Thank you! This sounds delicious, Ma'am. I am going to try it this week. I do make Zuni bread and Navajo stew regularly. Are they fairly authentic Native American fare?
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tsisqua




tsisqua

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Posts: 5

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As to authenticity.... recipies alter over the years dependent on availability of ingredients. I know that, for Eastern Woodland tribes, any kind of stew was standard to have going all the time along with fresh vegetables like corn and squash. Grandmother, in her area, had many types of greens available in the woods and told my father that she was taught to grow the "three sisters" so that she always had good ingredients. The chicken in the stew used to be wild turkey or even dove or quail or all three.... Deer meat was also plentiful and used for many dishes. The sunflower roots were stored for all the stewsand are quite common in the SE. Corn fritters and stew were / are quite "traditional" foods for the East. I can't speak for the other Nations, but, browsing through their posted recipies stews are quite common with most. They vary with locale and availability of different ingredients as do the "breads" they eat.

I hope you enjoy it!!
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lilknobby
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Posted:     Post subject:

Thank you, Tsisqua. The stew was delicious! Is there a certain time of year the roots should be harvested?
You sound very knowledgeble. I am going to grow some heirloom Native American beans and corn in my garden the cooming spring. Does anyone know if there is a source for heirloom Indian squash seeds? What else might have been found growing in the semi-cultivated gardens of early Native Americans?
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tsisqua




tsisqua

Joined:
April 30, 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted:     Post subject: Roots
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There are many varieties of Sunflowers ranging from the very large to hybrid small ones. Some varieties are annuals while others are perrinials (grow each year from their own seeds or bulbs). The ones Grandmother had were large ones and were annuals. A friend of mine told me that with perrinials you should not harvest the roots until the second year of growth. Dependent on where you are, the maturity of the Sunflower itself would determine when to harvest the roots. Grandmother said it is best to harvest the roots just after the first frost if the Sunflowers have not matured to harvest the seeds. She would harvest the seeds first then cut the stalk for it's properties, and then begin her dig for the roots. Keep in mind that some varieties of Sunflowers have tap roots that grow 6 ft into the ground. There are side roots that she would harvest as well as some of the tap root. The Sunflower, according to Grandmother, is a wonderful plant in that most all of it except the actual petals (which are said to be toxic/poison) can be used as a medicine source or edible. Many tribes used the seeds to make these granular oily balls. They would harvest the Sunflower tops and lay them face down on flat surfaces just when the first frost was coming. By doing this the frost seemed to bring out the wonderful oil to a more potent state in the seeds. She crushed the frost seeds into a meal and would roll the mush into balls and shake them (according to Grandmother) hard several times. She said it made the oil more liquid and would allow her to make good balls!! (keeping the balls more intact I think like dough balls) These were mainstays for many warriors in that the balls contained dense nutrients and they would eat them while out away from the villages when hunting or on raiding parties etc. when actual food/game/berries were not available, or, when they just didn't feel quite right ~grins~. There are many sites on the Inet (gardner sites and natural food sites) that have other uses. When you do plant your seeds be sure to give them plenty of room between them. Also, when placing in your garden keep in mind that the blooms of the Sunflower always face EAST in the morning at sunrise and they turn during the day and follow the sun to the WEST at night....then during the night they turn EAST again. So if you plant them in rows you might remember that little piece of knowledge so that it does not strain the large blooms to be able to do what Creator made them do.... Grandmother said her mother planted the Sunflowers spaced around the garden before they planted the corn, beans, and squash. They were pretty to look at when they were tending the garden and weeding it.....

As to the ancient squash seeds.... you might find them for sale on the Inet, but, they may not be as "advertised". Many tribes sort of keep their ancient seeds to themselves. Perhaps you might find an individual that would gift you with a few seeds then start your own collection.

I hope this helps.......and I am happy you enjoyed the stew!!
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lilknobby
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Posted:     Post subject:

Tsisqua, you sound like a fascenating person. I would bet there is so much to learn from you. The stew was very tasty. The taste is primal, really soul-satisfying. Brought my mind to fantisize sharing a bowl of it cuddled in a snug tee-pee with a beautiful Native American princess. Have you ever considered writing a book?
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tsisqua




tsisqua

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April 30, 2005
Posts: 5

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No, I've never thought on writing a book.......but have had someone ask me to write articles for them, which I did....mostly about my thoughts on life and some things to cook that were a little different ..... food for the body and spirit. But, thank you for the honor of your words.

If you enjoy unusual soups, here is something you might like to try. I made this last year for a gathering. It was in late November, like now, and was very much enjoyed around the camp fire. It's also very nutricious. There are several ways to make this - this is my way. (many Indians make this in the Fall season - The time of the pumpkin squash!)

Actual cooking time about an hour to hour and 10 min.

Ingredients:

8 cups of chicken broth (fresh is best with all the good oils in it) strained through a fine strainer so the broth is clear of the residue.

I add two of the Knorr Veggie flavor boullion squares to the broth for flavor.

3 cloves of garlic - minced fine

1 Large sweet onion - chopped well

3 cups of fresh pumpkin cut in small pieces

2 large sweet potatoes cut in small pieces

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp of Allspice

4 Tablespoons of good honey

2 cups of whole kernal corn - I like to use white corn in this - the frozen shoepeg kind. It's a good sturdy corn and looks good in this soup...~grins~.

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste - after the soup is done - some just use fresh ground pepper.

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

..................................

Prepare all the ingredients.

In a large soup pot saute the garlic and onion in the oil. Do this on Medium heat stirring frequently until the onion is clear looking. Just before done - sprinkle the cinnamon and Allspice on the mixture and stir well for about a min. (prepare your nose for something wonderful!!)

Pour in the broth, stir well making sure all the spices are off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 min.

Add the pumpkin and sweet potatoes and honey and stir gently until mixed.

Let it soft boil for about 20 min. or until the sweet potatoes are soft - stir occassionally with a wooden spoon.

Remove the pot from the heat and use a whisk to beat the soup almost smooth.

Add the corn and stir well.

Put back on medium low or at a temp where it barely simmers. Burners are all different in heat and you don't want it searing on the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer for about 15 more minutes stirring once or twice during cooking.

Let the soup stand for about 10 min then serve it up.

I made fresh sunflower seed bread to go along with this. Just your basic bread recipe, but, I add a cup of salted / roasted sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup of raisins to the dough after the first rising - kneed as usual and let rise the second time then bake as directed. I just usually form a big circle of bread dough and bake it that way so it's easy to tear off at the fire.....~grins~

Just something a little different! Enjoy!

By the way, did you know that boiled onions are a natural source of medicine for respiratory ailments? Use yellow ones - I usually get two big ones, cut them up in chunks and pour water over them just so they are covered - let them slow simmer for three to four hours - you may have to put more water over them, but don't let it be watery. You want the broth to be rich. Strain the broth of the onion residue (keep the residue in a little jar too to use as flavoring on meats) Take a Tablespoon or two of the broth several times a day. It helps! I keep some in a glass jar the fridge all the time. It may make you burp some but that's good for you too.
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tamiasisa
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Posted:     Post subject: thank

thank you tsisqua...
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swampwytch
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Posted:     Post subject:

tsisqua wrote: By the way, did you know that boiled onions are a natural source of medicine for respiratory ailments? Use yellow ones - I usually get two big ones, cut them up in chunks and pour water over them just so they are covered - let them slow simmer for three to four hours - you may have to put more water over them, but don't let it be watery. You want the broth to be rich. Strain the broth of the onion residue (keep the residue in a little jar too to use as flavoring on meats) Take a Tablespoon or two of the broth several times a day. It helps! I keep some in a glass jar the fridge all the time. It may make you burp some but that's good for you too.

My grandfather used to make "onion syrup" for us when I was a kid. It was wonderful for a sore throat, and was made similar to your recipe in the quote. Only he would add about a cup of sugar to the mixture and simmer till it was a very thick "syrup".
I am going to try your stew recipe...It sounds delicious!
Brightest Blessings
Swampwytch
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Posted:     Post subject:

That sounds really good. I should try it. Cooking's not my thing, baking is. But, I'll give it a try one Sunday.

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pocahontas77
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Posted:     Post subject:

That recipie sounds great! I am a cook so I am always happy to get new ideas on what to cook.I have never tried native american indian food. But I have looked in tv once and it sure looks delissious . I shouldalso try to make that dish. I just hope the corn here in Finland is not that expensive!
Have to check it out! Thatks for a great recipie!

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emme2009
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Posted:     Post subject: Sounds yummy

Gosh it sounds so yummy. I have trouble in the produce section as it is.. but I guess I'll go exploring this week for whatever I can find. Thanks for sharing! :-)

Em
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snickers5359
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Posted:     Post subject:

lilknobby wrote: Thank you! This sounds delicious, Ma'am. I am going to try it this week. I do make Zuni bread and Navajo stew regularly. Are they fairly authentic Native American fare?

hey could you share a zuni bread recipe? I would love to try and make it.

Thank you =)

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