July 16 2008 Native American Newsletter
Summer is here in full force and along with it came the "wildfire season"! The smoke, from all the California wildfires that turned our sun and moon blood-red for over two weeks is finally clearing out of the valley here. The days are hot, hot, hot, but we have a little relief from cool breezes in the late afternoons and evenings.
On Monday afternoon we had a surprise thunder storm that dumped a lot of rain on us. Although it rained for only a short time, there were many flash floods around the area - but, boy oh boy! that cool rain felt so good! We are still experiencing some earthquakes around the state, but none close enough to my area to alarm us.
Some exciting events around the county are:
The Brewery Arts Center Summer Stock Theater, July 24 - August 10, 2008 at the BAC Outdoor Stage, 511 W. King St. in Carson City.
From June 1 thru October 1 there are guided hikes on the Tahoe Rim Trail. I have taken this hike myself and it is wonderful, full of beautiful views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forests. Call 775-298-0231 for more information. This is well worth your time if you like to hike.
The whole month of July is a celebration of Reno Artown Downtown. This is considered one of the most comprehensive festivals in the country by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is held annually in the downtown park along the beautiful Truckee River and features many performances as well as wonderful artists from around the state. There are free events for everyone!
Farmers Market is open to everyone on Thursdays on Victorian Square in Sparks, NV. They have some of the finest fruits and vegetables in the state at the market plus wonderful foods and snacks from vendors.
All businesses and the local public are gearing up for Hot August Nights with planned events throughout Reno and Sparks. This is one of the biggest events in the country for showing off all those beautiful classic cars! And - get out your poodle skirts, bobby sox, white buck shoes, blue jeans and practice those 1950's dances because you are going to hear a lot of great bands playing songs from that era and you are going to want to get up and jitterbug with everyone else. August 2 through the 10th, 2008 - be ready for a lot of fun!
The summer events will top off with the 20th annual Best In The West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, NV. This outdoor event on Victorian Square in Sparks will feature some of the best cooks from around the country. If you love ribs - you gotta come to this event on Labor Day weekend, 2008.
There will be many other events around Washoe Valley, just too numerous to mention here, but check out the web for current events in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, Lake Tahoe and you are sure to find some exciting fun.
Be sure you have a lot of breads (fry bread, wild sage, bannock to name a few) on hand for family get togethers this summer to go with all those wonderful Native American foods you will be cooking up. Pueblo Oven Bread is traditionally baked in outdoor ovens, called 'hornos'. If you do not have any outdoor ovens, here is an adapted recipe for your indoor ovens:
Pueblo Oven Bread
1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 tbsp shortening
1/4 cup honey or sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
5 cups all-purpose flour
In 1/4 cup warm water, dissolve yeast. Add a little sugar to help those little granules grow. Mix well and set aside for now. You will want to see a lot of bubbles when the yeast is ready.
Add 1 cup hot water to the lard, honey and salt in a large bowl and stir well. When this has cooled to room temp mix it with the yeast mixture. Add just 4 cups of the flour, one cup at a time and stir well after each addition.
Sprinkle the remaining cup of flour on a bread board or your clean counter. Dump the dough out on this and knead till smooth. After about 15 - 20 minutes, hold the dough up to your cheek, if it feels as smooth as a baby's cheek and elastic it is ready to rise. Place it in a large, lightly greased bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover with a cotton towel and place in a warm spot till double in size.
Turn dough onto your floured surface and again knead well. Divide it in half and shape each into a loaf. Place on well greased cookie sheet, cover with the towel, set them in a warm place till double in size. Bake in 350 degree oven about 1 hour, till lightly browned on middle rack, placing a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack - this will give the bread enough moisture so as not to dry out.
I hope to some day soon compile a cookbook of all my favorite Native American recipes. I will let you know when it is ready.
Till next time, many blessings and may your moccasins and heart always find a happy path to follow. Phyllis
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