The original Thanksgiving meal

Beverly Cox

This year, let’s give it up for the originators of our favorite meal of the year: the Native Americans.

“Most all of the foods that we associate with Thanksgiving are Native American foods,” says Beverly Cox, the co-author of the recently reissued “Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking.”
“Sweet potatoes, corn (like cornbread stuffing), the turkey (a native animal to the Americas), cranberries, green beans, pumpkin pie — pumpkins originated in the Americas as well — virtually our whole dinner came from the Indians.”

And while we celebrate Thanksgiving just once a year, in earlier times, giving thanks was a regular occurrence.

“Thanksgiving ceremonies, for most Native American tribes, were very much a part of their lives,” she continues. “There were Thanksgiving ceremonies periodically throughout the year to punctuate the different harvests. There would be a Thanksgiving ceremony for the first buffalo, or the first salmon that were caught — they’d treat it with a great ceremony to thank the salmon for giving themselves to feed the people.”

So before you stuff your face this year, we recommend giving thanks to the Native Americans for helping your mom come up with that awesome pie.

Weekend Recipe

Hidatsa stuffed sugar pumpkin

Serves 6

Many of the Plains tribes originated near the Great Lakes and in the northern woodlands, and thus were familiar with wild rice. It became and important trade item, finding its way from Woodland to Prairie tribes. It was then traded for buffalo hides and dried meat from the hunting peoples on the plains, who were long removed from their ancestral rice marshes.

The Mandan and Hidatsa villages along the Missouri River in what is now central North Dakota were major trading centers for both indigenous and non-Indian foods. These tribes raised pumpkins and squash and also traded with tribes to the east and the north, and thus had a more varied diet than their nomadic neighbors.

Ingredients
1 4- to 5-pound sugar pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered fat
1 pound ground venison, buffalo or beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup wild rice, cooked
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon crushed dried sage
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut the top from the pumpkin and remove seeds and strings. Prick cavity with a fork and rub with 1 teaspoon of salt and the mustard. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meat and onion and saute over medium-high heat until browned. Off the heat, stir in wild rice, eggs, remaining salt, sage and pepper. Stuff pumpkin with this mixture.  Place ½ inch of water in the bottom of a shallow baking pan.

2. Put pumpkin in the pan and bake for 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Add more water to the pan as necessary to avoid sticking. Cut pumpkin into wedges, giving each person both pumpkin and stuffing.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.