Traditional Foods

"Traditional" in the context of these projects means pre-contact foods. No beef, mutton, goat, chicken, pork, milk, butter, cream, wheat flour (no fry bread), rye, barley, okra, black-eyed peas, or any other "Old World" food that many of us have lovingly incorporated into our diets and tribal cultures. No processed foods (Doritoes, Lays Chips, etc), even if the base is corn or potatoes. No chocolate unless it is unsweetened cacao or sweetened with honey from the Melipona bee, fruit, stevia, camas or agave. Be adventurous and try unfamiliar foods! There are many foods to choose from. My American Indian Health and Diet Project site lists and defines many of them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Innards of baked potatoes
Gnocchi are Italian dumplings, usually made with flour and egg to produce a plump little carbo mouthful. There are a variety of ingredients to include, such as spinach, cheese, cream sauce, other vegetables.
I attempted to make a gnocchi dish with potatoes as the base--and a separate batch with corn and potato--along with other New World ingredients: squash, zucchini, tomato, onion and green chilies. You can try to improve on this (and believe me, you can).
Read through before you start. This takes a while.
Basic recipe:
1. cook four potaotes in the oven; when done, allow to cool, then peel and put the insides in a bowl. (I looked at microfilm for a book project in between the cooking and the cooling parts).
2. mix with 1.5 cups of wheat flour, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, green chilies, chopped onions, and whatever else you like
3. knead and form into a large ball. Your hands will become sticky but it's fun.

I didn't take this picture.

4. cut into four sections

5.I might drive purists nuts because when in a hurry I get technically sloppy. You are supposed to roll the "dough" into snakes about 1/4 inch across (mine are rather large), then cut into sections about 3/4 to 1 inch long.

6. you also can use corn meal instead of flour. It will take longer to cook and falls apart easily 
7. drop the tiny sections into boiling water for about 5 minutes (that is, the ones made of the flour/potato mix, and about two minutes longer for the corn/potato mixture)
8. remove pieces with a slotted spoon and put into ice water for about a minute (to stop it from cooking). Then place the pieces in a baking dish
9. top the gnocchis with sauteed vegetables: below are mushrooms, squashes, onions, carrots, etc. I also added spaghetti sauce. Cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The corn/potato  mixture in the ice water (I made the corn into balls to tell them apart from the flour/potato mix)

Finished product. Topped with parmesian cheese sprinkles.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tosh, Baker U and Health

Baldwin Coach Mike Spielman and Baker Coach Zack Kindler (back, l-r). Josh, Tosh and me (front)
Congrats to our son Tosh, who signed to run cross country and track with Baker University. He also was selected to be a Youth Ambassador of the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, Center for American Indian Community Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center and will have a summer internship with the Center for American Indian Community Health, Way to go Little (6'2)Tosh! He'll study biology, food sustainability and environmental protection.

Tosh and the boys and girls cross country teams.

Tosh runs the first leg of the 4x800 relay at the Baker Relays.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Tomatoes, peppers, pea and fennel.
There are many sprouts in my greehouse these days. I used biodegradeable pots from Dollar General for many of them. That way the plants go right into the ground without having their roots disturbed. It's supposed to frost tonight so I'll wait another two weeks before moving anything to the outdoor gardens.
Temps in the greenhouse soar to over 100 degrees by mid-morning so I have to remember to open the doors and windows. 
Loofa gourds, peppers, more tomatoes

Various peppers

Onions in top left bag, carrots in the right one. Tomatoes in the foreground.

Catching Fish

My son decided to catch some fish yesterday. Instead of using a pole, he got out an old bow and used an arrow with a tough string tied to the end. He shot several large catfish in our pond.
 Speaking of staying active, I have to brag: Tosh won the Baldwin Invitational steeplechase last week. He broke the meet record by 7 seconds. He also won the 400m dash and his relay team won the 4x400. He has committed to Baker University to run cross country and track and plans to major in physical therapy and/or environmental issues.
Coming out of the water pit

Venison meatloaf

Made a meatloaf the other day with ground venison. I added oatmeal (instead of bread crumbs), green chilies, onions, chopped celery leaves and stalks, garlic, black pepper, and one egg. Instead of covering it with catsup I used salsa instead. I forgot to take a shot of the finished product, but the raw version is nice and colorful.