March 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
“The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
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“It’s not a question of who will allow me to do it, it’s a question of who will stop me.” – Ayn Rand
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“The question is not whether or not change and challenge are going to happen. They are. The question is, when they do happen, how are we going to choose to look at them, contextualize them, and navigate them?” – Jeffrey R. Anderson
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“There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it’s not really there.” – Bill McKibben
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“It’s so hard to communicate because there are so many moving parts. There’s presentation and there’s interpretation and they’re so dependent on each other it makes things very difficult.” – Garth Stein, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”.
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November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Navajo Fry Bread History – Indian Tacos History
by Cynthia Detterick-Pineda
Indian fry bread is tradition to the Navajo, and comes with a story of great pain and suffering. Though the tradition of fry bread is common among many Southwestern Tribes, it is the Navajo who developed this recipe. I do not feel that I can share the recipe without sharing it’s origins and what it means to some today:
The Navajo planters lived from the Earth as their ancestors had for hundreds of years before. They also raised livestock to feed their family. The Navajo dinetah (or homeland) was bordered by the four sacred mountains, from northeastern Arizona, western New Mexico, and north into Utah and Colorado. They planted crops in the fertile valley lands, such as Canyon de Chelly known for Ansazi ruins.
The Navajo traded with the Spanish, Mexican, Pueblos, Apache, Comanche ,and even the early American pioneers. Around 1846, large numbers of pioneers moved into the area and the cavalry came with them. This is when troubles began. The troubles escalated with the murder or Narbona (1766-1849), a well-respected Navajo leader on August 31, 1849.
On this day, Narbona along with several hundred of his warriors, had come to meet and discuss peace with U.S. Colonel John M. Washington and others of the military stationed in the area. There had been trouble with the “New Men”, the New Mexican settlers who had driven Mexican settlers out of the area.
After several hours, it was believed a settlement had been agreed upon. However, a young warrior by the name of Sadoval, had plans of his own. Mounting his horse he began to ride in front of the Navajo party, attempting to have them break the treaty. A U.S. Calvary soldier began to say that one of the horses ridden by a Navajo was his, and what peace there was in the meeting that was disintegrating into battle.
Colonel Washington commanded the Navajo to stand down and return the horse to the soldier or he would fire into them. The rider and horse were now gone, and the Navajo party did not comply. A canon was fired, and Narbona was mortally wounded. It is told that he was scalped by a U.S. soldier as he lay dying.
This disastrous attempt at peace led to the “Long Walks”. In September 1863, Kit Carson (1809-1868) was dispatched into Navajo land to retrieve a surrender. When no Navajo came to meet with him, he ordered the burning of the land. Attempts were made to starve out the Navajo, and many were captured and taken to Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner. Hundreds starved on the 300 mile walk, and more would die later in the crowded and disparaging conditions. Navajo were placed with the Mescalero Apache were home peace was often not the case. The camps were meant for 4,000 to 5,000 people, yet there were now over 9,000 people, and supplies were meager.
The government supplies of lard, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder or yeast, and powdered milk were often rancid. Fry bread came from these few foods provided during the 4 years of captivity. Since that time, it has become common food at most all PowWows of numerous tribes
To some, Indian Fry Bread is a sacred tradition. It is to be consumed by the people until the earth has again become purified.
Navajo Fry Bread Recipe – Indian Fry Bread Recipe
by Cynthia Detterick-Pineda
Fry bread is wonderfully lumpy (puffed here and there). It can be served as a dessert or used as a main dish bread. Our family will often take them and stuff them, much like one might use bread or tortilla to dip into their food.
Recipe Type: Quick Bread, Native American
Yields: makes 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 min
Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.
Flour your hands. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. NOTE: You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.
Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. NOTE: Don’t worry about it being round. As Grandma Felipa would say “it doesn’t roll into your mouth.”
Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. NOTE: You can check by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large fryer.
Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Indian Taco Recipe:
Indian fry bread is the foundation of a popular dish called Indian Tacos. Originally known as Navajo Tacos, they have been adopted by other tribes. The Navajo taco was voted the State Dish of Arizona in a 1995 poll conducted by the Arizona Republic newspaper.
Indian tacos are the universal modern powwow food (see below). They are also popular attractions at many fairs, festivals, and outdoor summer shows held in the southwest. People will line up to wait their turn to buy some freshly made tacos.
Indian tacos are a combination of beans or ground beef, chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, shredded Cheddar cheese, and optional green chile atop plate-sized rounds of crispy Navajo or Indian fry bread. No plates or silverware are need, as you just fill the fry bread with your desired filling, roll it up, and eat.
Indian Taco Recipe – How To Make Indian Tacos
1 pound lean ground meat (beef, lamb, venison or pork)
1 cup diced onion
4 cooked Navajo Fry Breads (see recipe on right)
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3-ounce) can dicedgreen chiles, drained
Sour cream (optional)
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown ground meat and onions until cooked; remove from heat.
Place Fry Bread, cupped side up, on separate plates. Layer ground meat, lettuce, tomatoes, Cheddar cheese, and green chiles onto top of each Fry Brad. top with sour cream, if desired, and either roll up or serve open-faced with a fork.
Makes 4 servings.