Foods are one of the most readily identifiable and easily communicable aspects of many cultures throughout the world. For centuries, Native American peoples in the Northeast would hunt animals such as deer, black bear, turkey, beaver and others for meat. Villages' gardens would yield corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, melons and other cultivated foods, while nuts, berries and tubers would be gathered in the wild. Many of the foods and ingredients we take for granted today would not have been available to Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans on this continent, such as: wheat flour; sugar; honey; butter; shortening; baking powder (or other chemical leaveners); and many others. Cornmeal or corn flour would be used in baked goods. Maple syrup or maple sugar would be used as a sweetener, as well as flavoring in savory dishes. Bear fat would be used in place of shortening. The recipes on this page make modern substitutions, but maintain the traditional spirit and flavor. We realize that allergies have made serving food in the classroom difficult in recent years, but if you do have the opportunity...enjoy!
All recipes courtesy of Dale Carson
Narragansett Strawberry Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
milk enough to make a stiff batter
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, stemmed and quartered
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and maple syrup. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Stir and add enough milk to make a stiff batter. Gently fold in strawberries and pour batter into a greased 8" x 8" baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon each allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves & nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300° F. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs and water. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until moistened. Gently fold in the dried fruit, nuts and spices. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool thoroughly before slicing.
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh lima beans
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beans, corn, water and pepper. Cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. If you like creamy succotash, stir in the cream and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring continuously. Serve hot.
1 large butternut squash
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup sweet apple cider
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
To prepare the squash: cut the squash in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the squash with vegetable oil and place cut-side-down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350° F oven until squash flesh is soft, usually around 90 minutes. Using a spoon, scrape flesh into a bowl.
To prepare the soup: In a skillet over medium-low heat, cook the onion in the butter until translucent. In a large pot, mix the squash, onions and 1/2 cup of stock into a thick puree. Stir in remaining stock, cider, seasonings and cream if desired. Cook over medium heat to desired temperature before serving.
Summer Berry Drink
4 cups water
1 cup crushed berries
honey to taste
In a large pitcher, combine water with crushed berries. Add honey to taste and stir. Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve with ice.