February 18, 2010

Trailer Kitchen Feeds a Village, Part II

Well, not exactly gardening in the traditional sense of growing veg. It's about growing community spirit!

Here's Annie's recipe for fry bread (she was making the dough in the last post).
16 handfulls of Blue Bird Flour
3 small handfulls baking powder
2 TB salt
Knead with hot water, maybe 1-2 teapots full
When dough feels smooth and falls away from your hands, form into individual balls and place on a cookie sheet to sit covered for a couple of hours.
Be sure to scrape the remaining crumbs from the dough bowl outside the kitchen door. It's supposed to bring good luck to the kitchen!
When the dough is ready take one ball, roll it flat with a rolling pin or press flat and 'flap' between your hands to form a pancake about 1/8" thick. Make a hole in the center. Fry in oil, lard is best but not exactly heart-healthy. Use a cast iron pan outside on a grill if possible.

Southwest tribal women make various versions of fry bread. Annie is Navajo and calls her's 'Navajo Tacos.' Hopi women make the same type of fry bread. Here are some pictures of preparation of a Hopi feast.
In celebration of the raising of the roof for the Honanie's home, Beverly, her mother, and aunties made a grand meal for all of us. Her home is in Bacavi, Arizona on Third Mesa on the Hopi Reservation.
The triangles of dough will become small fry breads to be served alongside other food. The dough is rolled out and cut.
As the mutton stew boils in a pot the fry bread is almost finished. Back to Northern Cheyenne to watch how mutton stew, Someviki, and Nakviki are made. In June 2008 we built a home south of Busby, Montana. Attending this project build were two women, one Annie who is Navajo and the other, Lucy who is Hopi. They both were working in Red Feather's Indigenous Builders Exchange program. Lucy is showing two helpers the process for making corn delicacies!
The beginning of corn preparation is the shucking.
The corn is scraped off the cob and ground saving the corn and the 'milk' that comes from the corn. The young leaves surrounding the corn cob have been saved and washed. The leaves will become the enveloped wrapping for the corn. A strip of corn leaf is used to tie the bundle. This is Nakviki. Place on a baking sheet and bake slowly until the corn mixture becomes solid.
Everyone learns to wrap corn leaves around blue corn for Someviki.

The Someviki is boiled.
Both corn treats are almost completely eaten! The blue corn was a wonderful corn flavor with a bit of sweetness mixed in.

In September when Red Feather builds a home on the Hopi Reservation it is the time of harvest. Everyone hopes there has been an abundant harvest because truckloads of sweet corn get shared. The corn, straight out of the field, is roasted in a pit dug in the ground. A fire is built and brought to coals in the bottom of the pit. The truckload of corn is dumped on top of the coals. The pit is then covered with sand and a heavy metal sheet. The aroma of roasting corn brings good dreams as the pit simmers through the night.
Want to spend a week on Northern Cheyenne in June or a week on Hopi in September then go to:
to find out about Volunteer Opportunities and the Volunteer Application.
It's great fun, hard work, and makes for a Village, for 28 days!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great read. Makes me a bit hungry though :) This is amazing how everyone works together for something so wonderful. Good to have met you so I can read about this.