Sunday, July 14, 2013

St. Kateri's Succotash and Fry Bread

"I want you to tell me all about her!" That is what my 3 year old son said to me when I told him we were having a special lunch for the feast of St. Kateri today! I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful little boy. In three year old words I explained how she learned about Jesus and fell in love with him. I told him how some of her family and friends were very mean to her because they didn't want her to love Jesus, but she kept on loving Him anyway because she knew that it was the most important thing! We also talked about how much she loved going to mass and prayed a lot.
 She eventually moved to a colony of Christian Native Americans where she died at the age of 24. She had a great devotion to the Eucharist and to Jesus crucified and she is the patroness of  the environment and ecology. To learn more about St. Kateri (in grown up words) click here.

St. Kateri was an Algonquin-Mohwak woman and for her feast day I wanted to do my research and come up with something authentic to her culture. While doing this I came across recipes for succotash and fry bread, as well as many for cornbread and stews. From watching food related tv I had it in my mind that succotash and fry bread were more from the south and southwest regions of the U.S. respectively. However, I found a succotash recipe in Native American Cookbook by Edna Henry attributed to the Shinnecock, who were part of the Algonquin nation and also lived in New York like Kateri's tribe did. I also found a recipe for fry bread, also known as bannock, here:  This website says it is a traditional Algonquin recipe. I took what I learned about these two dishes from these and other sources, and adapted them to make my own recipes that suited my family's taste.

Even with its Algonquin roots succotash is in fact a traditional dish in the south. It typically consists of lima beans, corn, and sometimes tomato. The recipe in Native American Cookbook used cranberry beans instead of lima beans, which was fine with me because neither me or my husband likes lima beans! If you don't like or can't find cranberry beans you could substitute pinto, red, or any white bean that you like. My husband doesn't like tomatoes either, so I threw in some bell peppers. Mine was sadly a little corn deprived today because I picked up some bad ears at the store. It was still pretty tasty though! I served it on top of some tilapia that I coated in corn meal and pan fried for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Cranberry Bean Succotash

1/2 16oz bag of cranberry beans, cooked.
4 ears of sweet corn with the kernels cut off
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Put some oil in a pan and throw in your beans and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the peppers are tender. Serve as a salad or on top of fish, chicken, or pork.

     -On to the fry bread! I didn't find any fry bread recipes that used corn meal, but my husband loves corn bread so I thought I would add some in. Corn is a staple of Native American cooking after all. I started with the recipe from the link above, but found that a few tablespoons of oil was not enough to give me a dough like consistency. I'm not going to claim to be a traditional fry bread expert, especially since I've never had it before, but our little corn bread cakes turned out pretty tasty, kind of like a flat hush puppy. I'll have to try this again with straight up flour.

Cornmeal Fry Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup water

1. Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a dough like consistency.
2. Coat a pan with oil and let it get hot.
3. Take a small handful of dough and flatten it into a little pancake. Put it in the pan and let it cook until its golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
4. Take out of the pan and let them cool on a plate lined with paper towels. Enjoy!

Prayer to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, our elder sister in the Lord, discreetly, you watch over us;
May your love for Jesus and Mary inspire in us words and deeds of friendship, of forgiveness and of reconciliation.
Pray that God will give us the courage, the boldness and the strength to build a world of justice and peace among ourselves and among all nations.
Help us, as you did, to encounter the Creator God present in the very depths of nature, and so become witnesses of Life.
With you, we praise the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Amen.

Holy founders of the Church in North America. Pray for us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...