- Hardcover: 191 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.; First Printing edition (1976)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000JEW8SE
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,960,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Indian Food and Lore : 150 Authentic Recipes
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This book focuses on the customs and foods that American Indians of the southwestern desert regions of North America enjoyed. It offers 150 authentic recipes, including, "Agave Pie," "Pima Vegetable Stew," "Zuni Steamed Bread," "Pigweed Greens," and "Sweet and Sour Nopales." From the back cover: More than fifty plants of the desert are listed alphabetically, along with their habitats, common and botanical names, descriptions, seasons of flowering, historical significance, and descriptions of the different tribal rituals surrounding each. Barry M. Goldwater wrote a testimony for the book: From my long knowledge of the dishes concocted by the Southwest Indian, I know this will be a challenge to everyone who likes to try something new. Believe it or not, there are at least four delicious preparations from the saguaro cactus alone, and our old prickly pear goes on and on with provisions for food. Thanks for publishing this; I know it will be great.
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Here's a breakdown:
1. Cactus and cactuslike plants - agave, barrel, cholla, etc.
2. Nuts and seeds - acorn, grass seed, jojoba, etc.
3. Grapes, berries and cherries - chokecherry, wild currant, etc.
4. Foods of the marsh and mesa - buffalo gourd, cattail, cota, etc.
5. greens - Rocky Mountain Beeweed, Canaigre, Curly dock, etc.
6. Agriculture - beans, chili, corn, etc.
Let's take a look at page 10, Cholla. Wonderful, detailed illustration - if you can't find the plant by these pictures, you're not trying. Common name, scientific names, habitat and description. First Para.:
"Indians sometimes called early spring - March - 'the cactus moon' because food was scarce, and this plant was often the only available vegetable food." Etc.
Next page, she spells out how to harvest and clean the buds for food. Cholla buds - basic preparation. Next recipe: cholla buds and squash.
One of my favorite recipe in the book is Prickly Pear jelly - oh, yum!!!
This is the book for anyone who doesn't know a wild grape from a hackberry. It even has a recipe for Dandelion Wine. It's a wonderful blend of desert culture and how-tos. How can you go wrong with that?
My old, tattered book is filled with specimens from my own desert excursions. It's been dog-eared, noted, dirtied and loved. It will be one book I'll never give up.