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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Indian Tipi - Foods - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome back to our weekly Historical Tidbit Blog Column!

Reginald and Gladys Laubin's book is a wealth of information as they actually lived in the tipis they built and recreated the lifestyle including following the cooking methods and recipes used traditionally by nomadic Native Americans. Not all Indian tribes ate the same foods depending on where they lived, the tools they had available, etc. Once they moved onto reservations, some adopted a farming way of life while others were provided government rations, thereby changing a lot of the foods and meals with which they were familiar.

Here are some of the more common foods/meals:

Ash Cake - corn meal cake and dried berries wrapped in sweet leaves and baked in hot ashes
Bean Bread - (Cherokees/Eastern Indians) corn meal and beans wrapped in a large grape leaf then boiled
Camas - the bulbs could be eaten raw or were roasted in a pit oven, dried, and mashed into dough. The roots were edible (the ones with blue flowers only). The camas with yellow or cream-colored flowers were poisonous.
Corn Dodgers - dough rolled into cylinders and deep fried in fat
Fry Bread - plain flour dough fried to a golden color
Journey Cake - commonly mistaken for "Johnny Cake"; a corn meal cake
Marrow Guts - intestines heavily coated with fat and broiled over coals
Pumpkins
Roasting Ears - ears of corn (green) left in husks and roasted across hot coals
Scipio beans - pinkish beans; cooked
Squash - several varieties including Acorn Squash

Source:
"The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use" by Reginald and Gladys Laubin
ISBN#0-8061-2236-6

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Indian Tipi - Cooking - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome back to our weekly Historical Tidbit Blog Column!

I took a few weeks off to research some more juicy tidbits and info for you and for my current WIPs (works in progress). Hope you enjoy!

Every family cooked for themselves and sometimes for their related immediate family members who may not live in the same tipi. A warrior was responsible for feeding his family by hunting the meat (buffalo, deer, rabbits, etc).

Several different methods were used, depending on the meal and/or the food being served. Families had limited amounts of dishes as they moved place to place depending on the season. So, oftentimes, they came up with creative ways to cook food with little to no pots.

One method was cooking in the ground (a "pit oven"). A hole would be dug into the ground and lined with sweet leaves. Chicken or ham, potatoes, corn, carrots or onions would be set in the hole and covered with leaves. Hot coals from the fire were placed on top of these leaves. A canvas or skin was laid over the hole. Embers might be shoveled on top of that. Finally, a layer or dirt to "enclose" the heat. All of this was left alone for several hours to cook. One can imagine this might be a gritty meal. Interestingly, a lot of other cultures use this same method today (google cooking pig in a pit).

Another method of cooking used is broiling. A stand containing a rack of ribs or other meal was set next to a hot fire or speared onto sticks and set directly over coals.

Many families owned an iron kettle (via trade with settlers) or at least a buffalo paunch (stomach) that was tied to a frame and used like a large bowl. It was filled with water, vegetables and meat. Stones were heated in a fire then dropped into the water to cause it to boil. Food could then simmer and cook.

One of the key methods of preparing food involved drying (or jerking) meat. This was important for wandering tribes as they needed to be able to eat while they hunted and travelled. Meat was stretched out and dried in the hot afternoon sun. At night, it would be piled up on clean canvas and covered so it wouldn't absorb moisture (which could lead to mold). It could be eaten hard or softened with a little water. Old jerky could be used in soups.

Source:
"The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use" by Reginald and Gladys Laubin
ISBN#0-8061-2236-6

Western Word of the Week - Boot-Black Cowpuncher - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Boot-Black Cowpuncher - a humorous term for a man who came from the East to get into the cattle business. "Boot-Black" referred to the shiny, polished boots that weren't yet broken-in from the hard work of cattle ranching.

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Big Scissor-Bill - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Big Scissor-Bill - described someone who didn't do their work very well

Scissorbill is also a term for an incompetent person.

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9