Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
When the garden starts giving up all those wonderful gifts for your table serve up a great "Harvest Supper" for your family.
Start the day out by baking your bread early, wrap it in clean cotton flour sack towels when cool and set the loaves in a big basket on your table. Try the Cherokee Corn Pones with this supper. It has a wonderful aroma and great taste to go with the Three Sisters Stew supper. You can heat it back up just before you call the family to the table.
The Three Sisters, corn, squash and beans, have always been a mainstay to the diets of most Native Americans. When these crops were introduced to the Iroquois and other tribes, they were a great compliment to the meats provided by the hunters. The three vegetables are also a compliment to each other when growing in the garden. The eldest sister, corn, grows straight and tall and wears golden tassels. The middle sister, beans, wears beautiful leaves and leans on her elder sister for support. The youngest sister, squash, wears a golden crown and sits at the feet of her sisters and spreads out to prevent weeds from growing. These three make a delicious, thick stew.
THREE SISTERS STEW
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
1 lb. (medium size) yellow summer squash, slice into 3/4 inch pieces
2 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 lb. green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup corn kernels
2 16-oz. cans kidney beans, drain and rinse
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
Use a large dutch oven for this stew. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno. Saute until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, over low heat for 15 to 25 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add thyme leaves during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with your favorite bread, or try the corn pone recipe below.
Pumpkin Pie for dessert really tops off this supper nicely. Enjoy your Harvest Supper!
CHEROKEE CORN PONES
This recipe will serve eight
2 cups cornmeal
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
Combine cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture is like coarse meal. Add buttermilk and milk, stirring until moistened. Divide batter into eight 1/2 inch thick cakes. Place on a hot greased griddle (400°F). Cook 15 minutes. Turn and cook an additional 15 minutes. Serve hot with butter.
This will be great with Wild Onions and Eggs! The gathering of wild onions in the spring is one of the favorite rituals of the Oklahoma Cherokees. Take about a cup of the wild onions and chop into small pieces. Heat some bacon drippings, about two to three tablespoons, in a skillet over medium heat. Place the onions in the fat and add one fourth cup water. Stir constantly and simmer until the onions are tender. When most of the water has evaporated, add six to eight beaten eggs and scramble. Serve hot with the Corn Pones. This scrambled mix can be frozen and served throughout the year. Enjoy!