Last updated 11/16/2017 at 11:21am
Dear Nidobak (friends), another year is slipping by, this time dropping changes left and right, both good and not so good. Even apple and pumpkin time is flying into eggnog and candy cane territory so fast. It begins again.
This year I plan to embrace the joy that comes with the season. A chance to catch up with myself and others. This is the perfect time to get a lot of baking done. I know now that I have no talent for making fudge or penuche with walnuts, like my mom made. People would look forward to hers every year. I like to bake various quick breads (cranberry, date, nut, pumpkin…) to make wrap and freeze. These make perfect impromptu gifts. I don’t get enough feedback to know if anyone actually looks forward to them, but I hope some do.
I also make an inventory of my few but treasured native containers, wood bowls, sea shells and utensils. Pine boughs and dried grasses make a nice backdrop for them with platters of appetizers in front of them.
Native American Antipasto
Thin sliced sunchokes, marinated in a vinegrette
Marinated roasted red bell peppers
Sautéed wild mushrooms
Marinated baby corn
A variety of shelled nuts
Raw clams and oysters on the half shell
Avocado slices or wedges, sprinkled with lemon juice
Sprigs of watercress for garnish
You don’t necessarily need to use all the foods above, but combine a healthy selection of five or six on a large platter drizzled with a light nut oil if desired. Keep hot and cold separate, but most are best at room temperature.
Dale Carson, an Abenaki Indian, captures the growing interest in native cuisine, bringing her heritage to your table with a collection of delicious recipes. She is the author of New Native American Cooking and Native New England Cooking.