Make Ohlone Salad

This article appears as part of Native America, a four-part series that explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. Reach back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Premiered October 23, 2018. Visit the Native America site for more.

The East Bay is our home; the home of my community, the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. In spite of all the hardships and challenges our people have faced (and continue to face) during colonization, no generation of my family has been born away from of this ancient, beloved place that we descend from — stretching back into our Creation time. We still live and thrive here to this day.

Continue reading “Discover a Traditional Cherokee Bean Bread”

Discover a Traditional Cherokee Bean Bread

This article appears as part of Native America, a four-part series that explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. Reach back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Premiered October 23, 2018. Visit the Native America site for more.

The traditional way to make Cherokee Bean Bread, or Broadswords (so named because of their flattened shape) is a simple list of ingredients; dried corn which has been cooked with wood ash to remove the hulls and ground into a dough, beans and their hot cooking liquid. This mixture is formed into patties, wrapped in corn blades and boiled. Bean Bread has more of a dumpling texture than what we associate with “bread” these days, and no salt is added as salt would cause the dough to crumble while cooking.

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Food, Culture, and Storytelling

This article appears as part of Native America, a four-part series that explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. Reach back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Premiered October 23, 2018. Visit the Native America site for more.

Food carries an emotional memory. Certain aromas and flavors make an imprint in our minds and have the powerful ability to return us to a particular place, person or experience much more intensely than a visual or auditory reminder. This is part of the magic and medicine in all forms of cooking, but indigenous foods, in particular, are imbued with a history of both comfort and pathos that reaches far beyond the ingredients themselves. People often ask me to share recipes for the traditional foods I cook, and I am always happy to do so. But no matter how precise, I feel these recipes always fall short of the true representation of the dish. At the heart of every traditional dish is a story.

Known as “Indian Lemonade,” this refreshing drink is made from fresh-picked Sumac that grows wild in almost all parts of North America, even in urban areas.

Known as “Indian Lemonade,” this refreshing drink is made from fresh-picked Sumac that grows wild in almost all parts of North America, even in urban areas.

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Tradition of Squash Pie

This article appears as part of Native America, a four-part series that explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. Reach back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Premieres October 23, 2018. Visit the Native America site for more.

There are plenty of fresh and dried foods, wild and locally cultivated to be found in the pantries of Northern Minnesotans.

There are plenty of fresh and dried foods, wild and locally cultivated to be found in the pantries of Northern Minnesotans. Credit: Jonathan Thunder, Duluth, MN

Last October I was invited to Oahu to cook a 5-course, multi-cultural dinner with chef Ed Kenney, host of PBS show Family Ingredients. Each course turned out to be a surprising and delicious melding of local flavors from Kenney’s region as well as mine (Northern Minnesota).

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Blue Corn, Bear Root, and Resilience

This article appears as part of Native America, a four-part series that explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. Reach back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Premieres October 23, 2018. Visit the Native America site for more.

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Credit: Andi Murphy

My first flavor memory is the spicy taste of bear root, mixed with gritty San Juan Mountain soil, on my tongue and the sweet maple aroma in my nose. The second is blue corn mush with just a hint of honey. To tell the tale of the foodscapes in these homelands, from these snow-capped, 14,000 feet peaks to the scorpions and cactus in this high desert, is to define the juxtaposition of its people. My people; resilient, strong, rooted. Our ancestral memories reside on the winds here and guide these earth-toned hands through the ceremonies of our ecosystems.

Continue reading “Blue Corn, Bear Root, and Resilience”