Tuesday, October 29, 2013

November Celebrations: Native Traditions

November is the month to explore Native American history, food and culture! Book: Nature's Weeds, Native Medicine by Dr. Marie J. Miczak!
NOVEMBER 2013 is Native American History Month: Now that the leaves are turning gold and red we can start to appreciate the beauty of nature and the celebrations to come. Leading up to Thanksgiving, there are lots of ways to explore nature and the history of the first Americans. Really the two are very much intertwined! Sharing these experiences with young children and family is the way to build lifelong memories. Here are some child-friendly, fun activities for November:

Visit a Working Farm
Even very young children love a hay-ride and visits to a pumpkin patch or farm market. This gives children the opportunity to see how our food grows and see varieties of Indian Corn, squash and other indigenous crops cultivated by the first Americans.
Even very little ones can appreciate being outdoors in a pumpkin patch!
Bake Something Together 
What better way to introduce little ones to new foods than including them in the preparation? I used to let my young children help with baking mulberry muffins, pumpkin and corn bread. I have authentic native recipes for these baked treats included in my book, Nature's Weeds, Native MedicineGive them a big bowl, a spoon and some flour to get them involved!  Here is an easy corn muffin recipe to try together:

Easy Indian Corn Muffins

1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsps. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 vegetable oil

Add dry ingredients to wet. Don't over-mix! Leave some lumps. Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and pop into a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.
Variations: Add 1 cup of fresh frozen corn or 1/2 cup dried cranberries to the batter. 

Dr. Marie on the set of QVC's resident foodie, David Venable. Click here to visit David's Blog for Menu Ideas.

In The Kitchen with David!
I was honored to be invited backstage with my book on the set of QVC's resident foodie, David Venable! We dished on pumpkin bread recipes and techniques while swapping signed copies of our books. Here are some of my favorite Native American History Month Menu Ideas from David's cookbook, "In the Kitchen with David, Comfort Foods that take you Home":

Skillet Corn Bread
Blueberry Muffins
Pumpkin Bread
Sage Sausage & Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash Soup
New England Clam Chowder
Grilled Salmon

DO get a copy of his book but David has many of his recipes posted at his Facebook Page so check it out!

I'm touring during the month of November and will be signing copies of Nature's Weeds, Native Medicine and doing my Native Traditions programs for preschool children. That's the way I celebrate Native American History Month!

Want to book an event or program? Contact Dr. Marie J. Miczak via email at: drmiczak@yahoo.com or call 732-610-2841.

On the set of In the Kitchen with David. PHOTO:Gina, David Venable & Dr. Marie. Read the full article and see the video interview by clicking this link.

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