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Native Cooking

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What do you like to eat? If you live in Minnesota, it will be completely
different from someone in Maine, Tennessee or Arizona. Some people eat
pretty much the same diet on a regular basis, yet others need a great deal
of variety.

A lot of what we eat was once a very local selection. For example, where I
grew up, we relied heavily on mussels, codfish, potatoes, rice, corn bread
and homegrown vegetables. Now, one can purchase a global variety of foods
in their local market wherever they live. A Native diet is still the best.
About 75 percent of the world's foods are indigenous to either North or
South America. The rest of the world has put our foods together in
different ways, sending much of it back to us in a different form. I think
pizza is a good and simple example of what I mean.

We have tons of things coming from the garden. One almost needs to wear
armor to harvest it because of the nasty mosquitoes. Pole beans need to be
sorted into sizes. One thing I found out is that the pole beans that are
way too big to cook can be removed from the shells and cooked like any
other shell beans. And, you can dry them as well to use for next year's
planting. Lima beans also come in August. It is hardly worth eating canned
or dried limas once you have tried fresh ones. The only thing to avoid is
picking them when it is damp out because sometimes they carry a fungus when
they are wet.

Other crops that are ready besides beans in August are corn, garlic,
onions, melons, potatoes, tomatoes, squash and a wide variety of herbs.

Green Bean & Potato Cakes

1 pound green beans, diced fine

1 pound grated potatoes

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3 scallions, diced fine

3 eggs

2 tablespoons white corn meal

Oil for frying, plus a little butter

Combine everything except the oil and butter. Heat the oil and butter in a
large frying pan. Drop the batter into pan with a large tablespoon when
hot. Let the cakes get good and brown on each side. Remove and drain on
paper towels, sprinkle with some black pepper and coarse salt. Delish!

Beans, beans, beans ... Very perfect little foods of incredible varieties
plus healthful substances that help protect against cancer. They can help
lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar, as well as provide high
amounts of soluble fiber. If you really don't have time to soak, sort then
cook dried beans, canned beans are just as good for you as long as you
drain and rinse them first. This is because they have a higher amount of
sodium than other beans.