Native American Cookery

James Adair's Book

James Adair’s Book

Early European observer, James Adair (who spent time among southeastern native peoples from 1700 to about 1735), wrote that native peoples ate little raw food beyond berries and fruits. As versatile as Europeans, they baked, boiled, fried, and roasted their food, using local ingredients to make extremely healthy dishes.

Native peoples used stones as slabs for cooking or as bowls for grinding food like maize into flour. They hollowed out and then dried gourds to use as spoons, bowls, and storage containers. Women also made cooking pots from woven materials coated with clay for insulation. They would put (usually wood) coals in the basket to roast meats; they could cook or heat other foods with hot stones.

Corn Mush in a Basket, Cooked With Hot Rocks Heated by the Fire

Corn Mush in a Basket, Cooked With Hot Rocks Heated by the Fire

A simple dish like succotash, would be easy to cook and created a complete protein from a combination of corn and beans.

Succotash Recipe:

2 cups of fresh corn

2 cups of fresh beans

1 T fat

Simple Cooking

Simple Cooking

Mix all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil until done. For additional flavor, add green onions, tomato, garlic, peppers, etc.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *