Written by: Shakotah Billie
I wanted to introduce Native students to traditional recipes and this also was a big part of growing the spiral garden. We grew the corn for the kneel down bread. This experience was fun for the kids because we went back to our roots for the harvest season. We were taught the traditional way to kneel make down bread from our elder Elloise Pared. She came to my house where we were cooking the kneel down bread.
We dug a hole three feet wide and two feet deep. We started out by heating the ground by building a fire and letting it burn for two hours. As that is heating up we shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. And then we will grind it to a paste and add cornmeal to thicken it up. We use the corn husks to wrap the paste and set them all up on a pan and cover it with tinfoil. Because you cover the top with dirt and put the fire and coals on top for forty-five minutes to an hour, letting it cook. It was really fun to watch the kids grind the corn and show them how much work you have to put into it. All the kids after a while would say my arm is tired from turning the handle. And each kid made their own to eat and some for their families. This was a great experience for everyone and just to get together and learn more about the food our ancestors ate and how they made it.