Wednesday, November 14th, 2012...6:39 am

Native American Foods for Thanksgiving

Cherokee White Eagle Corn Cobs by unhappybrthday

This is the time of year to start thinking of recipes for Thanksgiving. There are those who like to make the traditional foods- whatever the traditions are in your family- because with a big feast, your family doesn’t want surprises; they want the comfort foods they have grown used to.

Then there are people like TheGardenLady who likes to include new or unusual foods into the menu. I belong to the ‘variety is the spice of life’ group and want surprises on the table.

One of the surprises I have been considering this year is to try to make Native American foods for the table. TheGardenLady read somewhere that the Pilgrims probably didn’t have too many sweets at their feast because they didn’t have much sugar. But surely they must have been taught to tap sugar maple trees for maple syrup. Unless whatever date at the end of November they really celebrated was too early for the tapping of the trees.  Some of the recipes I discovered are basically made from corn meal and maple syrup with or without dried blueberries and supposedly used by the Leni Lenape or Deleware Indians. (see here) (Of course, the Indians who lived near Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts were probably the Massachuset Indians; but I would imagine a similar diet.) These recipes are a variation of those recipes called Indian pudding except that they are made more frugally.

No, TheGardenLady didn’t raise the corn that I will use.  But if you want to really be authentic, perhaps next year you could raise the corn and blueberries that you will use and  harvest before the feast called Thanksgiving.

If you want authentic corn for the corn meal, check out heirloom corn seeds that were used in the past to make corn meal or corn flour. (see here) The Cherokee White Eagle Corn seed looks particularly authentic.

Then you will have to grind the corn. For a description on how to grind it, read this. You can find various grinders on line, or check out this.

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