front of dust-jacketAuthor: Kavasch, Barrie
Title: Native Harvests : Recipes and Botanicals of the American Indians
Publisher: Random House
Place: New York
Date: (1979)
Edition: first ed
ISBN: 0394504119
Pages: 202
Binding: Hardback
Condition: VERY GOOD very good dj
Illustrator: the author
Book Id: MAIN014384I
Details: Foreword, glossary, bibliography, index
About the book: Native American cuisine was hearty and imaginative; in fact, the basis of what has become most classic in American cooking is uniquely American Indian barbeques and clambakes, steamed lobsters and stuffed oysters, clam and corn chowders, Boston baked beans, Brunswick stew. Native Harvests includes hundreds of authentic recipes for the modern cook, from soups (clover soup, Jerusalem artichoke soup, black walnut and pumpkin soup), salads (purslane salad, young milkweed spears), and vegetables (wild rice with hazelnuts and blueberries, fiddlehead stew, meadow mushroom pie) to main dishes (roast duck stuffed with apples and grapes, turkey with oyster-cornbread-raisin stuffing, fish baked in clay), breads (cattail pollen cakes, hazelnut cakes, wild strawberry bread), and beverages (everything from acorn coffee to witch hazel tea). The Indians used seasonings very different from ours butters and oils made from nuts and seeds; wild herbs; berries and tree syrups instead of sugar; vinegars making this a salt-free, low-calorie cookbook, although salt may be added to taste in any of the recipes.
The recipes in Native Harvests rely on indigenous plants and on those introduced to the Indians by the colonists. These are plants that grow wild in relative abundance; some may be found in the city, and all in the surrounding countryside. In many cases produce and seasonings available in supermarkets and health-food stores may be substituted. Barrie Kavasch an accomplished botanist as well as a resourceful cook has provided illustrations of these wild plants and easy-to-use charts specifying their many uses, which parts to use, and when and where to harvest them. In addition, she describes how best to prepare wild vegetables, which may be steamed, boiled, or eaten raw; how to make wild flours and flour extenders; and how to dry and preserve your wild harvests. Also profiled at length are the many plants that had medicinal as well as culinary uses for the Indians.
Native Harvests is the rare type of cookbook that is not only easy to use but also a pleasure to read, offering as it does a unique picture of Native American culture through its cuisine.
About the author: Barrie Kavasch is the staff ethnobotany teacher at the American Indian Archaeological Institute in Washington, Connecticut. In addition to her work on Native Harvests for the AIAI, she is also setting up their herbarium, which indexes the plants used by the Eastern Woodlands Indians. She lives with her husband and two children in Bridgewater, Connecticut.