|FACT SHEET ON CORN|
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Those original farmers shared their knowledge as well as seeds with other Native peoples, and corn-based agriculture spread as far south as Peru, and as far north as New York and Ontario.
In New York State, corn began to be planted starting around 500 A.D. It was just one of several plants cultivated here.
The Haudenosaunee women were the original farmers in upstate New York.
Iroquois men helped prepare the fields for planting by cutting trees and clearing brush.
After the institution of reservations and reserves men became more active farmers.
Today, flint corn also referred to as white corn continues to be grown in many Iroquois communities. It is used to make traditional cornbread, corn soup and mush.
Corn is food, but also a symbol for cultural pride.
Corn, together with Beans, and Squash are referred to as the Three Sisters who grow from Mother Earth. The Three Sisters are the staples of the traditional Iroquois diet.
* The Mohawk name for Vroomans Nose is O:nenhstekrawa (Corn Mountain). *
CORN RECIPES FROM The Iroquois Cookbook
HULLED CORN SOUP
4 qts. dry Indian corn kernels
1 lb. dry red kidney beans
3 lbs. salt pork
1 qt. hardwood ashes
Put enough water in an old kettle to cover the corn. Bring to a boil; add corn and ashes. Cook about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. This loosens the hulls or shells on the corn. When the hulls slip off the kernels by working between the fingers, drain the water and rinse corn in cold water, working corn with the fingers to remove the hulls. drain and parboil; drain, rinse and parboil again. Repeat several times until the parboiled water looks clean and clear. (A handmade basket is traditionally used for this purpose.)
When corn is good and clean, place it in a large kettle or canner with clean water. parboil washed beans separately until water is colored; add both water and beans to the corn mixture. Cut salt pork into small pieces; add to the corn and beans. Be sure to use plenty of water because the corn will swell as it cooks. Cook 3 or 4 hours, or until corn is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Makes 16 quarts of soup.
CORN BREAD (go-gai-denh-doenh)
Cooking utensils needed:
Fill cast iron kettle 3/4 full of water and put on to boil. When water boils, put in corn and sifted ashes. Stir with paddle until well mixed. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Clean beans and put on to simmer in saucepan for approximately 1 hour.
Test corn by putting in cold water and see if outer hull comes off. If it does, drain corn into sifter basket and rinse in tepid water until clean. Use towel to absorb water in corn. Grind corn in food chopper, finest grind, sift 2 or 3 times.
Fill aluminum kettle 3/4 full, put on to boil. Drain beans when cooked, rinse twice. Pour into sifted corn flour. Mix with the paddle. Add boiling water until well mixed (approximately 4 dippers full). To much water it will get mushy, too little water dough will get hard. Fill dish pan with cold water. Hands should be clean, dip hands in cold water; then pick up enough dough, make it into a ball, then pat into a smooth wheel about 2" thick, dipping hands into cold water as often as necessary to keep hands from sticking to the dough.
Place wheel on wooden paddle and put into boiling water and cook approximately 50 minutes. Check every few minutes and separate wheels (which are standing) so they won't stick. Wheels are done when they float and the water in which wheels were boiled can be drunk.
(from “Midge” Dean Stock)
(from “Midge” Dean Stock)
3 cans whole kernel corn
1) Cut bacon into small slices and put in large pot with about ½ gallon of water. Cook on medium heat to boiling.
2) Let bacon & water boil together for a while, so bacon will cook.
3) Reduce heat. Add kidney beans with their liquid & cook with bacon for about 20 - 30 minutes.
4) Add cream corn with liquid & repeat step 3.
5) Add whole kernel corn with liquid & cook all together for another 20 minutes or longer.
Ready to eat! If soup seems too thick during cooking, add more water.