Apache (Indeh) Pumpkin Two Ways
We observe Meatless Monday's in our house, though we are not vegetarian strictly. We just feel that giving meat a miss once a week gives us and farm animals a break. When we do eat meat we try to support Native farms, especially with important native animals such as the Buffalo. When I can, I try to include native foods on Monday menus. This was made as two side dishes this past Monday to be served with good old fashioned Stewed Tomatoes served with brown rice, instead of the customary white rice. It's a great way to use up some of those gourds from the Fall. I used the Halloween pumpkin. For the mashed pumpkin, I toasted yellow corn meal. This "mush" could be used as a breakfast dish with some honey, maple or organic agave (another traditional Indeh food). This comes from Carolyn Niethammer's book American Indian Cooking. The fried pumpkin is customarily fried in beef suet or drippings or buffalo fat (when there is any to be had), I used corn oil--use what you have and what you like. I have to admit, that as a Southerner, I think the fried pumpkin would be great with bacon grease.... But Apache strictly do not eat pork, along with a quite a few other things that are taboo in their diet.
Mashed Pumpkin With Meal:
Halve pumpkin and remove seeds (be sure to save these!). Peel and cut into chunks. Boil until soft in plain water. Add salt to taste. Stir in ground sunflowers seeds or toasted corn meal (2 to 3 tbsp. per cup of pumpkin). Stir well a cook a further 5 minutes.
Instead of cutting the pumpkin into chunks, try to cut it into sticks. Fry into soft in grease or fat of choice.