3 sisters casserole

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Dried pinto or kidney beans
1 pinch Chili powder
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 \N Clove of garlic, crushed
1 cup Diced onion
2 cups Diced squash (up to 3)
3 cups Corn
1 cup Diced red and green peppers
1 pinch Salt

Soak the beans overnight, then drain the water, rinse and add 3 ½ cups of fresh water and the pinches of cayenne and chili powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, sautee the garlic, onion, peppers, cumin and another pinch of cayenne until the onions are soft. When the beans are soft, stir in the sauteed onions. Then add the squash on the top and cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Next, add the corn and cook for 10 more minutes. Finally, add the salt and mix the cassrole together.

Garnish with lots of chopped parsley or scallions.

Serve hot with tortillas and a salad. Makes great leftovers too! : The Native American 3 Sisters of Life Native American Indians honored their three staples - corn, beans and squash - by refering to them as the "3 Sisters of Life". These plants not only provide a balanced set of nutrients, they symbiotically nourish and protect each other when they are grown together. The beans provide nitrogen for the corn, which in turn provide poles for the beans, while the spiny squash provide protection from the racoons and deer.

As a demonstration of the true partnership between the gardner and the land, Native American crops included snap and dry beans, summer and winter squash, and corn.

According to Native American tradition, corn is called the Sacred Mother and revered as a gift from the gods. Corn, the all-nourishing sacred food, has been used in innumerable rituals to symbolize and honor fertility, renewal and power. The midsummer harvest was a time of joyful celebration. Natures many varieties of corn can be eaten fresh on the cob, roasted over hot coals, cooked in soups or stews, or ground for meal or flour.

Beans and corn form a complimentary protein so they were often used together in cooking. The many types of beans (pinto, red kidney, soldier) were cooked in a variety of ways, most commonly boiled and fried. Most of the beans that were grown were dried and stored for future use.

Both summer and winter squash were widely cultivated. Fresh and dried squash were boiled, baked, fried and cooked in stews. Native American cooks seasoned squash with nut butters or maple syrup, while colonists used butter and cinnamin or nutmeg.

Here is a colorful casserole which honors the Native American "3 Sisters of Life". Enjoy!

Posted to FOODWINE Digest 18 October 96 Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 17:00:30 -0400 From: Garry Howard <g.howard@...>

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