Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

 

Fried Breads:

Indian

Navajo

Yeast

 

Smoked Meat

 

Yam Cakes

 

Stuffed Heart: 

Elk or Moose

Deer

 

Tourti'ere

 

Campfire Ribs

 

Meat Tips

 

Fried Fish

 

Corn Bread

 

Minted Trout

 

Corn Stew

 

Venison Chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPES

This will eventually be a extensive section dedicated to native recipes both of the old ways and of 

the new ways with a brief overview describing the transitional days of free natives and then to 

reservation days and food rations.

 

Current recipes include INDIAN FRIED BREAD, NAVAJO FRIED BREAD WITH ELDERBERRY HONEY, OLD STYLE FRIED YEAST BREAD, SMOKED MEAT, CHEROKEE YAM CAKES, STUFFED HEART, STUFFED DEER HEART, TOURTI'ERE (MEAT PIE), PORK PIE, CAMP FIRE RIBS, TIPS FOR COOKING WILD GAME MEAT, CORNMEAL - FRIED FISH, MAPLE CORN BREAD, MINTED TROUT, HOPI CORN STEW, VENISON OR BUFFALO BEEF CHILI

I hope you find it interesting and even adventurous to try a few...good luck and happy eating.



THE WAYS OF OUR GRANDMOTHERS

The varieties of food kept cooking pretty simple...only since the days of the reservation period have 

the grandmothers learned to deal with and cook store bought food, so some of the following recipes 

are only from that period.  I think you will find some amusing as to the content of their diets during 

that period.

I've heard some funny stories of how the old people reacted to some of the foods given to them by 

the government, or sold to them by traders and nearby storekeepers.  I think you too will get a 

chuckle from what I am about to share with you.

For instance, when they were first given rice, they dumped it all out, because they thought the 

government was trying to feed them dried maggots.  They use to dump out their flour too so they 

could use the sacks that the flour came in for clothing.  Kids those days were real proud if they had clothes 

with pictures and writings on them.   Not too much has changed LOL.  When the people first 

got coffee beans they tried to bake them in the coals of their hearth fires, because they found them to hard 

to eat raw.  All this because they were given these new things without any directions of how to use them.

After the initial waste of flour and the government troops noticing white piles all over the plains or 

blowing about, directions were supplied and it didn't take long from there to learn how to use it.  

Since then bread has become a basic part of every Indian meal.  Yeast bread, is the preferred bread, 

but fried bread is much easier to make and to keep.  With the reservations being as crowded as they were, it didn't leave much of a area to place bread so that the dough could rise...ya know what...its still sadly much the same today in some cases.  Someone wrote once, there was a old woman who use to wrap her dough in her coat to protect it.  However, one time she forgot about it...and the dough kept rising until the arms of her coat literally filled up making the coat look alive.  Of course, natives always with a sense of humor, once the family found out about this it made for some funny camp fire stories throughout the people of the ...Coat that was Alive...

Here is a recipe for Indian fried bread the old way...and I will also include a newer recipe from the 

Navajo.  No "traditional" Indian meal is complete without a big pile of fried bread even though our ancestors never tasted any of it and didn't know about flour.  At pow-wows and other Indian 

celebrations there are as many booths for selling fried bread as there are hot dog stands at a country 

fair.  Some families earn their travel money to go from one pow-wow to the next by selling fried bread.  Just hang out a big cardboard sign "FRIED BREAD" and your good to go.  Quite often you cant make 

it fast enough to keep up with the demand and a second sign is soon to be seen "SOLD OUT".  

Sprinkle a little cinnamon or powder sugar and you just cant seem to stop at one.  Ask me...I know.


 

INDIAN FRIED BREAD

The ingredients for the basic old fried bread is as follows:

3 cups of flour...preferably not dumped out on the ground first...giggle
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a dash of salt
water

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then move them to one side before adding any water to 

the mix.  Add enough water to make it into a stiff dough, and kneed it well.  Heat some lard or good cooking oil in a fry pan and add the dough, shape into flat four inch patties.  Fry till brown, flip and do 

the same to the other side. Server plain or with jam.



NAVAJO FRIED BREAD WITH ELDERBERRY HONEY

One of the most distinctive breads of the Navajo, popular in other southwestern cultures as well. 

The honey can be flavored with any berry.

Makes about 18

5 cups of all purpose flour
4 tsp. of baking powder
2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds, coarsely crushed in mortar with pestle
1/4 cup of sunflower seed oil or corn oil
2 TBSP. of honey
2 cups... approx. of water

Sunflower seed oil for frying
Elderberry Honey*

Sift first 3 ingredients into a large bowl.
Add coriander.
Mix 1/4 cup of oil and honey.
Add enough water to form a soft, non sticky dough.
Form into a ball.
Cover with a damp towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes. (can be prepared 8 hrs ahead)
Cover tightly with plastic.

Heat two inches of oil in a heavy large skillet to 370 degrees F to 390 degrees F.
Using floured hands, pinch off a two inch dough ball.
Stretch into 6 inch diameter round, making the center very thin.
Gently add dough round to oil.
Cook until golden and puffed, about 2 minutes per side.
Drain on paper towels.
Repeat with remaining dough..
Serve warm at room temperature with honey.

*Elderberry Honey*
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 lb of raw honey
1/2 cup of elderberry, blueberry, cranberry, or raspberry syrup, jelly or jam

Stir honey and syrup in heave medium saucepan over low heat 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Ladle into warm jars.
Cover, cool.
Store in refrigerator.  

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OLD STYLE FRIED YEAST BREAD

There are two ways of doing this although the results are about the same.  They both taste very good especially when served with jam and hot chocolate on a cold winter day.  If you normally make regular yeast dough simply raid your pile of risen dough for enough to fry up and eat.  As a kid this was a nice treat that mom use to make for us as part of her regular baking day of goodies.  It kept us out of the way as the more complex baking was done and we could help with doing some of the baking later.  

 

The ingredients for making fried yeast bread are as follows:

1 cup of lukewarm water
1 pkg of yeast
2TBSP of soft butter or shortening (mom used Shortening-Crisco)
1 TBSP of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
4 cups of flour (which she always sifted with a ole sifter), that was my job that I had fun with.

Put the first two ingredients into a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes or so.  Add the rest of the 

ingredients except for the flour, of which you only add 21/2 cups to start with.  Stir this in thoroughly, 

then add the rest of the flour until it is just firm enough to handle.  Kneed this mixture well and then 

let it rise for about 1 hour.  (I love to punch that dough ball...worked out a lot of frustrations...from what ...who knows but I had fun).  Heat your grease or oil in a frying pan and drop in pieces of your ready dough, and deep fry it.  Watch out the grease really has to be hot. 

Sometimes I'm told, you can use the finished pieces the way Mexicans use tortillas:  open them up 

and put in a mixture of cooked beans, shredded cheese, and vegetables.



At this point I will alternate from Old plains cooking to something more in the now of things.  

Just to give you a idea of how it was *THEN and how it is *NOW...wink


SMOKED MEAT

Dried meat, or jerky, is made simply by cutting fresh meat into slabs and hanging it up to dry.  

In the summertime this becomes difficult because of flies, so it is safer to *smoke-dry the meat.  

Not only does it dry more quickly over smoke, and without being spoiled by the flies, but it adds 

a really nice smoked flavor to the meat which is often preferred.  

 

Our ancestors use to do this in their tipi's and if you have a old one lying around this is a way to put 

it too great use.  Prepare the meat first the day before by soaking it overnight in a solution of 1/2 cup 

of coarse salt for every gallon and a half of water, making sure the salt is dissolved before putting 

the meat in. The next morning drain the meat, and wash or rinse it in clear water and sprinkle it with pepper.  

Then hang it over many strings which you will tie inside the tipe from the poles, from one side to the 

other or, make a make shift rack...believe it or not the old wooden clothes racks work nice, place at shoulder height. After you hang the meat, start a fire in the fire pit and tend till a really good bed of deep coals are made.  

 

Now, here is the trick, pile on *green wood--poplar is a good choice as it will smolder and not burn...

do not use any sap like green wood such as pine...close the tipi and leave or your eyes will burn or

in a different setting throw a old blanket or piece of canvas over the fire enclosing it...you will need 

a sort of tripod for this or squared rack, be sure its closed up as tightly as possible...its really not 

as much work as it seems and once you have your racks made its quiet simple.  

Smoke it like this for about 3 days...not bad if on a camping trip...turning it over on the rack or string 

on the second day.  Check every now and again to of course make sure your only smoking the meat 

and not burning it because the wood has caught on. 

 

Now believe it or not...after you have done this...the meat will keep for many years without spoiling.  

 

Jerky is a nice snack type of treat.


 

CHEROKEE YAM CAKES

2 cups of sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of salad oil
1/2 cup of milk

1 cup of mashed yams or sweet potatoes.  Sift flower, baking powder, sugar, salt into a bowl. 

Pour oil and milk into a measuring cup but do not stir.  Add to yams and blend well.  Add to flour 

mixture an mix lightly with a fork until mixture holds together.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface 

and knead gently until smooth, about a dozen kneading strokes.  Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick 

and cut into rounds with floured biscuit cutter.  Place rounds on a baking sheet.  

Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-20 minutes. Serve  hot or split when cold and toast.
Makes 18--3 inch cakes.  

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STUFFED HEART

**Editors Note:

There is a saying among the natives...it goes..."MY HEART IS FULL"...now, this usually meant 

they felt joy or love about something...however, if they loved "STUFFED HEART" for dinner...it meant, 

all set and will soon be ready to eat...wink.

There is also a joke...another saying among the Mohawk is..."IF A MOHAWK WOULD ASK YOU 

TO DINNER...BE CAREFUL...DINNER MAYBE YOU"...so you might want to check what's on the menu...giggle.

This was favored among many of the hunters.No part of the animal was ever wasted.So this 

recipe is for elk and moose.Although there were deer and bird recipes for this, an I will get to one immediately after this one.


**Some tribal traditions require upon the killing of a animal, the heart is to be buried to honor the kill and the animals gifting of it's life so we may eat.


Elk and Moose heart can make a family dinner and this recipe is best for these animals.

1 Fresh Elk or Moose heart
1/8lb of melted butter
1 small onion chopped...wild onion if you can find it.
1 stalk celery
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper

Clean the heart out really well and cut away the insides and chop them to add with the rest of the mixture.Melt your butter, and sauté' the onion, celery, and meat pieces. Add bread crumbs , 

salt and pepper and stuff the heart with this mixture. Put it in a roaster and add one cup of water 

approx.Cook at 325 degrees for 3hours or until done.


 

STUFFED DEER HEART

1 Fresh heart
1 TABLESPOON of salt
4 TABLESPOON of flour
1/4 tsp of pepper
3 TABLESPOONS of fat drippings
Water
2 sticks each of carrot and celery
1/2 cup of chopped green pepper

Wash the heart thoroughly and soak it in salt water for at least a hour.  Preferably, overnight. 

Make sure it is completely covered.  Rinse the heart thoroughly afterward, and dry it with a towel.  

Cut it into half-inch slices and dredge these in seasoned flour.  Melt the drippings and sauté' the 

slices until they are lightly browned.  Add water to cover and let it cook like this for a hour, then 

add the vegetables.  Add more water, if needed.  Just before serving add some of the seasoned 

flour to make a gravy.  Serve with potatoes


 

TOURTI'ERE (MEAT PIE)
      
PORK PIE

2cups of flour                        2Tbls. butter
3/4tsp.salt                           1 egg beaten
3/4cup shortening                     3Tbls..cold water

Sift together flour and salt.  Cut in shortening and butter.  
Stir in egg with cold water.  Shape dough into ball. 
Chill at least 30min.
Roll out.  Makes one double pie crust.

FILLING---
1 1/2 lbs of ground pork                 1/2 tsp of cloves
1/2 ground beef                           1 clove garlic minced
2 med. onion minced                      1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbls. salt                             3/4 cup of water
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine ingredients and brown in large skillet.
Do not overcook...drain fat.
Make upper and lower crust for two pies.    
Fill with meat filling...Bake at 400 degrees...for 10mins. 
Then reduce heat to 350degrees...and bake for 40mins. more.

Eat warm as is or drizzle on your favorite gravy on top of individual servings.

Editors Note**
I, personally, do soooooo love this meat pie...unfortunately, I'm not sure why, but families would only seem to make this during the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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CAMP FIRE RIBS

Our grandmothers had two easy ways of cooking ribs right over a open fire...fish was cooked this 

way too...in fact so were a lot of things like corn on the cobs (HUSK STILL ON)...(CLAMS)...I'm 

getting carried away...back to the recipe for ribs.

**Editor Note:
After eating the corn off...the cobs would be dried and later used in a fire for heat etc.

Think BIG...get a whole side of ribs.  with stick of "green wood", spear through it like you would a 

BB-Q spit...then stick one end of this into the ground close to the fire, so the heat from the fire goes 

right into the ribs...needless to say...make this a sturdy piece of green wood...and simply turn now 

and again for even cooking.
TOO ROAST THEM THE OTHER WAY...

Cut into individual portions for each person.

Get a really good bed of coals going.

Then pile green wood on top...I always have to warn here...Don't use a pitch/resin type of wood like evergreens, pine, or birch...ash works well or maple slightly dampened too.

Now, lay the individual ribs portions on the top of the green wood, so they can cook from the heat of 

the coals and smoke...

If the flames start to rise...simply sprinkle the fire and wood with a bit of water.

You can also lay a nice piece of old canvas over the top letting air flow slightly underneath it to keep 

the coals going.


 

TIPS FOR COOKING WILD GAME MEAT

P.S.  Here is just a note of interest for you when cooking wild game meat.

First of all, there is little fat to game meat that has been dressed out well...soooooo, you always need some butter or some form of grease to cook it.

Also...With game meat...low, slow, heat or flames...work best.

For those of you who don't like the thought of a gamey flavor to your meat, as some complain about it...this is a surefire way to eliminate that each and every time.

Soak or cook the meat in some lemon juice with some light brown sugar...you will never get the gamey taste this way


 

What's a Indian meal without some form of Corn... So here goes:

CORNMEAL - FRIED FISH

Preparation time 5 minutes.

Cooking time...5 to ten minutes per batch

1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. powdered bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 lbs. fish fillets (firm white fish...I love SMELTS)
1/2 CUP (APPROX.) PEANUT OIL, or corn oil for frying

Stir together flour , cornmeal, cayenne pepper, black pepper, bay leaves and salt.
Place dry ingredients on large flat plate or waxed paper.
Dip fish fillets in flour mixture and shake off the excess.

Transfer floured fillets to a clean plate.

In large skillet...(I use cast iron) heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan with a bit extra...

Fry fish in batches not overcrowding them, turning once until golden brown on both sides.

The more you fry the more oil you will need to aid but...don't add new oil to fish that hasn't heated up yet...make sure its has had time to heat before adding fish.

Drain on paper towels...place on plate and keep warm in oven until all the fish is cooked.

Now here is another variation...instead of flour...I sometimes will use a couple eggs lightly beaten to 

dip the fish fillets into first...then into the corn meal...before frying...either way...they really are very 

very good...I can make a meal out of just these and often have.  

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MAPLE CORN BREAD

1 cup plus 2 TABLESPOONS cornmeal
1 cup plus 2 TABLESPOONS whole wheat flour
1 TABLESPOON baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup maple syrup...now here is when living near Vermont where they harvest the maple for 

syrup is a real bonus.
3/4 cup of milk
3 TABLESPOONS melted shortening...(mom always liked her Crisco)

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt  
Add the egg, maple syrup, milk and shortening.
Stir until WELL blended; DO NOT BEAT
Pour into a well greased 9 inch square pan or 12 greased muffin cups.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with warm butter.

Serves...6 - 8



MINTED TROUT

LAWDY HOW I DO LOVE MY TROUT...

4 dressed whole trout  (about 10 ounces each)...some nice brownies or brookies... yeaaah
2 cups of fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons of salt, preferably coarse sea salt
4 TABLESPOONS vegetable oil...I like peanut oil
4 strips of bacon

Rinse trout and dry well.   Brush each with some of the vegetable oil.  Mash the fresh mint along 

with the salt in a mortar with pestal to release the intensity of the mint; or, use a food processor. 
Add what's left of the vegetable oil and mix well.
Spread the mint mixture ON THE INSIDE of the trout: wrap each with a strip of bacon.
Grill over hot coals,  4 to 6 inches from heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn the trout careful and repeat cooking time...until the trout flakes nicely with a fork.

Serves 4


 

HERE IS A NICE STEW

HOPI CORN STEW

1 8oz. white or yellow nibblet corn (fresh or frozen is always best)
1 cup roast beef or ground beef, chopped
1 TBSP. shortening
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of zucchini squash, cubed
2 cups plus 2 TBSP. water
2 TBSP cornmeal

Heat shortening in a large heavy skillet  (cast iron is nice)
Brown meat and add salt and pepper to taste
Add squash, corn and 2 cups of water; simmer about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are almost 

tender.

In a cup stir together cornmeal and 2 TBSP. water to make a paste.Stir thickener into stew;  stir 

gently about 5 minutes to prevent sticking.

Makes 4 servings

Instead of roast beef...VENISON can be substituted...

and I've added some light cream to this mixture in place of the water.


Venison or Buffalo Beef Chili

2lb. course ground lean meat-(venison or beef burger)
2lb. of chopped lean meat-(sausage)
2 cups of coarse chopped onion
2lg. garlic cloves minced
2Tablespoons of chili powder
1Tablespoon of salt
2Tablespoons of pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2Tablespoons of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1 12 oz can of Italian style tomato sauce
18ozs. of water
8 slices bacon chopped
1 can drained pinto or kidney beans

Render fat slowly from bacon and add onions and cook until they are just beginning to turn clear.  Add, garlic and cook until you begin to smell it.  Add the meat cook until tan not brown (brown makes the meat tough and reduces the flavor).  Add all wet ingredients and then the dry ingredients.  Cook on low heat simmering for several hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom of pan.

Serving Suggestions:
Add 1/4 cup of sugar to your favorite corn bread mixins and cook as normal. And your favorite cheese.

Note: Brown sugar takes the gamey taste from any meat. This will keep well in the freezer.

Well, hope you have enjoyed this section...I'm sure some of you curled a lip or two at reading 

some of this, however, the more modern recipes are, trust me...very good and worth trying.



There are of course many more recipes but, I've devoted enough space here to this section as it is.

BON' APPETITE  

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Kawliga

 

 

 

DSES 2004©