Thursday, November 5, 2015

November- Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month  
Established by former President George Bush Sr. in 1990, Native American Heritage Month, also referred to as “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month,” was created to raise awareness and pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans by providing a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts through special events, ceremonies and festivals. 
Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.

This year, in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, I will be featuring a variety of resources, special programs, books, teacher resources and recipes that highlight their heritage. I found this a helpful link. 

Thursday November 5, Jump Into A Book highlighted  Joseph Bruchae, Abenaki descent, newest book "The Hunter" It's an informative blog posting with "The Hunter's Promise" a book summary, link to an interview with the author, some teacher resources and two recipes that tie in with the book.   
In addition, Jump Into A Book celebrates diversity in children's literature January 27, 2016. Check out their site to learn more information about this event and discover some diversity book lists for parents and teachers.
I have pulled together recipes that use many Native American staples that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s a way to bring a bit of their heritage to your table in celebration of Native American Heritage month. The recipes will be spread out over the month of November.
Blue Corn Pancakes
Cook's notes: Recently I discovered in the dark abyss of my freezer a package of stone ground Blue Cornmeal. It was a purchase from a Santa Fe trip last winter. I had fully intended to make Blue Corn Pancakes after getting a recipe from a restaurant. So here I am 8 months overdue!
Blue Corn Pancakes with Blueberries and Toasted Pine Nuts
from Santa Fe
Blue corn is also known as Hopi maize grown in Mexico and the SW region of the U.S. particularly in the states of Arizona and new Mexico. It was originally developed by the Hopi and remains an essential part of Hopi dishes like piki bread. Blue corn is a cornmeal that is ground from whole blue corn and has a sweet flavor. It is also a staple of New Mexican cuisine. Blue Corn anything was frequently featured on all the menus. Whole Foods, some grocery stores and Co-ops do carry it even in the Midwest. Note: Blue cornmeal is not limited to pancakes as there are many other foods that use it as an ingredient.  

Blue Corn Pancakes 
Ingredients and Directions
1. In large bowl, mix together: ¾ cup blue cornmeal, 1/2  tsp. salt, 1 TB. sugar
2. Add 1 cup boiling water and mix thoroughly. Cover, and let stand 10 minutes.
3. Combine 
1 beaten egg, ½ cup buttermilk and add to cornmeal mixture.
4. Add 2 TB. melted butter and mix thoroughly.
5. Combine 1 cup unbleached flour and 2 tsp. baking powder and stir into cornmeal mixture. Gently fold in 1 cup blueberries.
6. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat, and grease it with a dab of oil or butter.
7. Pour batter onto griddle and sprinkle a few pine nuts onto each cake. (1/2 cup toasted pine nuts for entire recipe)
8. When the entire surface is covered in bubbles, flip over and cook until golden. It is hard to tell when blue food is cooked through; if in doubt, cook a few extra seconds.
Serve pancakes with real maple syrup. Here is what my pancakes looked like. And one of the best parts of making this recipe was having ALL the ingredients on hand even the pine nuts.
I bought my organic blue cornmeal from a grocery store in Santa Fe. I kept the package in a ziplock bag in the freezer until today. I checked the shelf life-I'm still good until 5-16 :)
Next posting: Corn, Blueberry, Wild Rice and Brown Salad with Double Cornbread


  1. Thank you so much for the Multicultural Children's Book Day mention! I truly appreciate your support :) P.S. The Blue Corn Pancakes recipe makes me DROOL :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the Joseph Bruchac post on Jump into a Book and for mentioning Multicultural Children's Book Day. I'm so appreciative for all the care and sharing you do. I agree with Franticmommy, the blue corn pancakes look so good.