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Tsalagi Recipes


Cut ripe pumpkin in rings, remove the peeling, hang on a stick before the fire near enough to dry slowly. Store this in the attic until ready for use. To prepare it should be washed and cooked the way you like pumpkin.

Cherokee Bean Balls


2 cups brown beans

4 cups cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

(soda is used in place of lye water)

Directions: Boil beans in salted water until tender. Put cornmeal, flour and soda in large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add boiled beans and some of the juice to the cornmeal/flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Roll in balls and drop into pot of boiling hot water. Let cook for 30 minutes at a slow boil.

Bean Salad - (Gu-Hi-Tli-Gi)


Sweet grass (Oo-Ga-Na-S-Di)

Old Field Creases (Oo-Li-Si)

Ramps (Wa-S-Di)

Angelica (Wa-Ne-Gi-Duhn)

Poke (Tla-Ye-De)

Directions: Parboil, salt, then cooked some more with grease (go-i). Serve hot.

Crawfish - (Ge-Dv-Nv)

Catch crawfish by baiting them with groundhog meat or buttermilk. Pinch off tails and legs to use. Parboil, remove hulls and fry the little meat that is left. When crisp, it is ready to eat. Crawfish can also be used in a soup or stew after it is fried.

Dried Apples - (Oo-Ni-Ka-Ya)

Peel and quarter ripe apples, or slice and dry in the sun. Cook the dried apples until done. If the cooked apple needs to be thickened, add cornmeal and cook until meal is done.

Cabbage - (U-S-Ge-Wi)

Directions: Wilt cabbage in a small amount of grease (go-i). Add some pieces of green peppers and cook until cabbage turns red. Serve with cornbread (se-lu ga-du).

Corn and Beans - (Se-Lu A-Su-Yi Tsu-Ya)

Directions: Skin flour corn with lye and cook. Cook colored beans. Put the cooked corn and beans together and cook some more. Add pumpkin if you like, cooking until pumpkin is done.

Add to this a mixture of cornmeal, beaten walnuts and hickory nuts, and enough molasses to sweeten. Cook this in an iron pot until the meal is done. Eat fresh or just after it begins to sour. This will not keep too long after it begins to sour unless the weather is cold.

Cornmeal Gravy

Fry some meat (4 pcs.side meat) Have enough grease to cover cornmeal. Add about 1/2 cup of meal (you may wanna salt this a bit, unless you like bland) Brown the meal in grease until light brown. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk, stir and let boil until thick. Serve hot over any kind of bread. (This was my elisi's favorite poured on top of hoe cakes)

Dried Corn Soup


1 ear dried blue and white or other corn,

removed from the cob

7 cups water (ama)

1 (2"x1") strip fat back, sliced

5 oz. dried beef

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (do qua yo di)

Directions: 1. Soak the corn in 2 cups water for 48 hours. 2. Place the corn and its soaking water in a large saucepan. Add the remaining water and the fat back, and simmer, covered, for about 3 hours and 50 minutes or until the corn is tender but not soft. 3. Mix in the dried beef and pepper, and simmer, stir for 10 minutes more.

Ganuge - (Ga-Nu-Ge)

Directions: Crack thin shelled hickory nuts. Beat hull and all in the corn beater until it can be rolled into a ball. Make whatever size balls are convenient to use. Pour boiling water over this to make a thick gruel. Pour the gruel over corn and beans that have been cooked separately, then mixed together.

Leather Breeches - (A-Ni-Ka-Yo-Sv-Hi Tsu-Ya)


1 pound fresh green beans, washed

2 quarts water

1/4 pound salt pork, diced

2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

heavy thread

darning needle

Directions: Snap the ends off the beans and string on heavy thread with needle. Hang in a sunny place to dry for about 2 months.

To cook: Soak beans for 1 hour in the two quarts of water. Add the salt pork, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer slowly, for 3 hours. Add more water if needed.

Mush - (A-Ni-S-Ta) Add to pot of salted boiling water enough cornmeal to thicken and this should cook until meal is thoroughly done and mushy. Serve with milk or butter. Or it may be sliced when cold and fried.

Potato Soup - (Nu-Nv Oo-Ga-Ma)


Peel white potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Boil in water with an onion or two until potatoes and onions mash easily. After mashing, add some fresh milk and reheat the mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Ramps - (Wa-S-Di)

Directions: Gather young ramps soon after they come up. Parboil them, wash and fry in a little grease (go-i). Meal may be added if you wish. They may be cooked without being parboiled, or even eaten raw (if the eater is not social minded! *smile*)

Red Sumach Drink - (Qua-lo-ga) Sheel berries off and gently rub between the palms of your hands, being careful not to crush the berries but only the spines, drop into water, strain, sweeten to taste and chill.

Cherokee Succotash - (I-Ya-Tsu-Ya-Di-Su-Yi Se-Lu)

Directions: Shell some corn and skin it with wood ashes lye. Cook corn and beans separately, then together. If desired, you may put pieces of pumpkin in. Be sure to put the pumpkin in early enough to get done before the pot is removed from the fire.

Swamp Potatoes - (Tla-Wa-Tsu-Hi-A-Ne-Hi Nu-Nv)

Directions: Gather and wash swamp potatoes. Bake in oven or in ashes until they are done. Beat the cooked potatoes in the corn beater until they are like any other meal. Use as meal is used.

(During winter famines, many Cherokees had no other meal except that made from the swamp potatoes.)

Sweet Corn Mixture - (Se-Di Tsu-Ya Se-Lu)

Directions: Skin flour corn by putting it in lye. Cook the corn until it is done. Add beans and continue cooking until the beans are done. Add pumpkin and cook until it is done, then add walnut (se di) meal and a little corn meal. Add a little sugar or molasses if you'd like. Cook until the corn meal is done.

Wanegidv - (Angelica-Wa-Ne-Gi-Duhn)

Directions: Pick when tender, parboil, fry, and serve with eggs and bread or just bread.

Poke Salad

Poke salad is a green that has a bitter taste that is best picked when it is young, It grows near water. For this recipe, similar greens can be mixed in, or substituted. Greens that have a bitter taste are best, such as endive, escarole, rapini, or young dandilion greens.

The Recipe: Ingredients: 1 bowl of poke salad greens, or one head of escarole, bunch of rapini, head of endive, or bowl of dandilion greens. Wash several times, changing the rinse water several times. Cut into bite sized pieces. Put aside

Potatos, one per person, boil and set aside.

Bacon, milk, white flour, milk, vinegar, salt, pepper

Take as many raw potatos as you have people to feed. Clean them, Leave skins on, more vitamins this way, cut them in half. Boil until soft. Drain and put aside

Take bacon (enough to sprinkle onto each person's plate, and cook well. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet. Turn off heat under the skillet.

Take about 1 TBSP, of flour (more or less depending on how many you are cooking for), and using a whisk, mix it completely with the bacon grease sitting in the skillet. You should have a thick paste at this point. Take milk, (how much depends on how much it takes to get a smooth sauce, varies with quantity of paste you are working with. Mix in a little bit of the milk to thin the paste, Turn the heat on very low. Gradually mix in milk until you have a smooth, medium thick sauce.

Take vinegar and sugar and mix in to taste. The result should be a medium thick sauce, that has a sweet and sour flavor.

Take one potato per person, and smash it on the plate. Put a good handfull (a nice serving of greens) on top of the potato Put about 1/2 cup of sauce on each plate of greens, Sprinkle 1 or 2 pieces of bacon on each plate of greens.


Tasty things to add to this can be diced hard boiled egg chopped tomato, chopped onion, mushrooms, celery Or anything else your imagination can come up with. As you can see, there are no set measurements, it is a "little of this, a little of that, till it tastes good recipe".

This recipe is up to you and your own personal tastes and imagination.


Dandelion Jelly

1Qt. Dandelion Blossoms in full bloom,capped

2 Qts. Water

5 1/2 cups sugar

Sure Jell

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Wash and clean blossoms, put in 4 Qt.stainless steel or enamel pan. Add water. boil for 3 min. Strain and press juice out. Measure three cups of Dandelion Juice and put back in pot, Add Lemon Juice, 1 Pkg. Sure Jell, Boil for 3 minutes, Add sugar, Boil 5 minutes more. put in sterile,clean, non- chipped Jars,Cap and seal.









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