25 CHEROKEE RECIPES
From Momfeather Erickson
I do not remember where I got these, but some of it was written in Tsalagi
Bean Bread (tu-ya ga-du)
Cook about 2 quarts of brown beans until thick and soupy, add salt to your taste Add 1/4 cup of oil or two tablespoons of pure grease. When beans are done and still boiling, place in a bowl 4-8 cups of yellow corn meal and 1/2 cup of oil, stir this until well incorporated, pour the boiling beans into the corn meal about 4-6 cups or more. Pour into a well oiled pan and bake in 350 degree oven. When it is done, cut into squares and enjoy.
Cormeal Cookies (Se-lu I-sa U-ga-na-s-da)
Add the following ingredients until smooth:
Add and mix well:
Drop dough from tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.
Crawfish - (Ge-Dv-Nv)
Catch crawfish by baiting them with groundhog meat or buttermilk. Pinch off tails and legs to use. Parboil, remove hulls and fry the little meat that is left. When crisp, it is ready to eat. Crawfish can also be used in a soup or stew after it is fried.
Cabbage - (U-S-Ge-Wi)
Wilt cabbage in a small amount of grease (go-i). Add some pieces of green peppers and cook until cabbage turns red. Serve with cornbread (se-lu ga-du).
Corn and Beans - (Se-Lu A-Su-Yi Tsu-Ya)
Skin flour corn with lye and cook. Cook colored beans. Put the cooked corn and beans together and cook some more. Add pumpkin if you like, cooking until pumpkin is done.
Add to this a mixture of cornmeal, beaten walnuts and hickory nuts, and enough molasses to sweeten. Cook this in an iron pot until the meal is done. Eat fresh or just after it begins to sour. This will not keep too long after it begins to sour unless the weather is cold.
Cornmeal Gravy (selu'si asusdi)
Fry some meat (about 4 pcs.side meat) Have enough grease to cover cornmeal. Add about 1/2 cup of meal (you may wanna salt this a bit, unless you like bland) Brown the meal in grease until light brown. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk, stir and let boil until thick. Serve hot over any kind of bread. (This was my elisi's favorite poured on top of hoe cakes)
Cornmeal Mush - (Selu'sa Anista)
(1 part corn meal to 4 parts water)
salt to taste
Put water in saucepan. Cover and let it become boiling hot over the fire; then add a tablespoon of salt. Take off the light scum from the top. Take a handful of the cornmeal with the left hand and a pudding stick in the right (or vise versa if you're a southpaw); then with the stick, stir the water around and by degrees let fall the meal. When one handful is exhausted, refill it; continue to stir and add meal until it is as thick as you can stir easily, or until the stick will stand in it. Stir it awhile longer. Let the fire be gentle.
When it is sufficiently cooked which will be in half an hour, it will bubble or buff up. Turn it into a deep basin. Good eaten cold or hot, with milk or butter and syrup or sugar, or with meat and gravy or it may be sliced when cold and fried.
Dried Apples - (Unikaya)
Peel and quarter ripe apples, or slice and dry in the sun. Cook the dried apples until done. If the cooked apple needs to be thickened, add cornmeal and cook until meal is done.
Dried Corn Soup
ear dried blue and white or other corn,
Soak the corn in 2 cups water for 48 hours. Place the corn and its soaking water in a large saucepan. Add the remaining water and the fat back, and simmer, covered, for about 3 hours and 50 minutes or until the corn is tender but not soft. 3. Mix in the dried beef and pepper, and simmer, stir for 10 minutes more.
Fried Squash Bread
cup Corn meal
Cook squash in water until soft; leave 3/4 c. water in pot. Combine other ingredients with squash and water; mix together. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Ga-Na-S-Da-Tsi (Sassafras Tea)
To make a tea, boil a few pieces of the root in water until it is the desired strength. Sweeten with honey if desired. Serve hot or cold. Note: Gather and wash the roots of the red sassafras. Do this in the spring before the sap begins to rise. Store for future use. Some natural food stores carry sassafrass root in a dried form. It will resemble wood chips (the kind used when barbequeing). The "store bought" variety work just as well. Sassafras tea tastes like watered down rootbeer and is really very good.
Greens Salad - (Guhitligi)
Sweet grass (Oo-Ga-Na-S-Di) -
Old Field Creases (Oo-Li-Si) - Ramps (Wa-S-Di) -
Parboil, salt, then cooked some more with grease (go-i). Serve hot.
Boil 1 gallon possum grapes, using just enough water to cover. Strain through a clean sack (or you can cheat and just use Welch's grape juice) *smile* Knead plain flour and some grape juice as you would when making bread dough. (About 1 cup juice to 5 cups of flour.) Roll this out on a floured dough board very thin and cut into strips and drop the dough strips into the boiling grape juice. You may put in 1/2 cup of sugar to sweeten.
Spicewood Tea - (Gv-nv-s-dv-tli)
Boil twigs in water and serve hot. Sweeten if desired. Molasses or honey makes the best sweetening. Gather spicewood twigs in the spring when the buds first appear.
Hominy Corn Drink -
Huckleberry Bread (gadu guwa)
cups self rising flour
Cream eggs, butter and sugar. Add flour, milk and vanilla. Sprinkle flour on berries to prevent them from going to the bottom. Add berries. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Leather Breeches - (Anikayosvhi Tsuya)
Snap the ends off the beans and string on heavy thread with needle. Hang in a sunny place to dry for about 2 months. To cook: Soak beans for 1 hour in the two quarts of water. Add the salt pork, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer slowly, for 3 hours. Add more water if needed.
Potato Soup - (Nu-nv Oo-ga-ma)
Peel white potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Boil in water with an onion or two until potatoes and onions mash easily. After mashing, add some fresh milk and reheat the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Ramps - (Wa-s-di)
Gather young ramps soon after they come up. Parboil them, wash and fry in a little grease (go-i). Meal may be added if you wish. They may be cooked without being parboiled, or even eaten raw (if the eater is not social minded! *smile*)
Red Sumach Drink - (Qua-lo-ga)
Shell berries off and gently rub between the palms of your hands, being careful not to crush the berries but only the spines, drop into water, strain, sweeten to taste and chill.
Cherokee Succotash - (Iyatsuyadisuyi Selu)
Swamp Potatoes - (Tlawatsuhi'anehi Nunv)
Gather and wash swamp potatoes. Bake in oven or in ashes until they are done. Beat the cooked potatoes in the corn beater until they are like any other meal. Use as meal is used.
(During winter famines, many Cherokees had no other meal except that made from the swamp potatoes.)
Sweet Corn Mixture - (Sedi Tsuya Selu)
Skin flour corn by putting it in lye. Cook the corn until it is done. Add beans and continue cooking until the beans are done. Add pumpkin and cook until it is done, then add walnut (se di) meal and a little corn meal. Add a little sugar or molasses if you'd like. Cook until the corn meal is done.
Grape Drink (
Possum Grape Drink (Oo-ni-na-su-ga Oo-ga-ma)
Gather ripe possum grapes - the kind that are still sour after they ripen when the frost has fallen on them. Hang up for winter use.
To prepare: Shell off the grapes from the stems, wash, and stew them in water. When they are done, mash in the water they were cooked in. Let this sit until the seed settle, then strain, reserving liquid. Put the juice back on the fire and and bring to a boil. Add a little cornmeal to thicken the juice. Continue cooking until the meal is done. Remove from the fire and drink hot or cold. Sweeten, if desired.
Apricot Drink (
Old Field Apricot Drink (Uwaga (Oo-Wa-Ga)
old field apricots
Pick when tender, parboil, fry, and serve with eggs and bread or just bread.