3 Sisters Casserole

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Title: 3 Sisters Casserole
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 c Dried pinto or kidney beans
1 pn Chili powder
1 pn Cayenne pepper
1 ts Cumin
1 Clove of garlic, crushed
1 c Diced onion
2 c Diced squash (up to 3)
3 c Corn
1 c Diced red and green peppers
1 pn Salt


Soak the beans overnight, then drain the water, rinse and add 3 1/2
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