a big salad worth blogging

wowie wow wow. today’s lunch was inspired by working in an elderly woman’s garden plot this morning. although its still too early in the summer to see the literal fruits and vegetables of our labor, the weeds resembled a large jumbled salad. i figured i’d make my own when i returned home. after a full scrub (extreme mud), i assembled the salad seen below from just a few around the house ingredients. the salad’s contents: mixed greens from an organic safeway box, four strawberries, two carrots, half an avocado, about an ounce of goat cheese, and drizzled with balsamic “creme” i purchased in iceland. DELICIOUS FOR A HOT DAY.

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“Damned Hungry Hot”

For those of you who aren’t fans of the hi-ho-hilarious animated tv show Home Movies, you should stop reading this entry and go rent all four seasons. The title of this post pertains to one specific episode where two of the show’s stars, 8 year old chums and film makers Brendan and Jason, play severely overweight farm boys complaining about the heat while laying down in hay, hands submerged in buckets of deep fried chicken. Here, just watch the clip.

The relevance of this video is that DC was so disgustingly hot and humid today that Colin and I couldn’t help but invoke the key phrase “hungry hot” at mealtime. Today’s dinner was inspired by the heat: Cornmeal-encrusted Tilapia, Coconut Rice, and Mango Avocado Salad.

The tilapia was 7 bucks for 3 filets at Safeway, which I figured was a pretty good steal. I have always been a fan of batter and pan-frying, so this made for a logical main protein. I wanted to jazz up the carb, and I found the easiest recipe ever for coconut rice in the Mark Bittman “How To Cook Everything (Vegetarian)”. I used brown rice, so it took twice as long, but was an easy dish to just leave on the stove for 40 minutes. Making the salsa was practically as easy: pick 3-4 fruits or vegetables (I used mango, avocado, red pepper), chop them up in small cubes, dice some cilantro, squeeze with lime juice. It was wholesome and delicious, and I made enough for seconds and for tomorrow’s lunch. Hurray, budget eating!

Yes, I’m Smitten…

by Smitten Kitchen, that is! After last weekend’s somewhat successful cupcake recipe, I’ve been scouring her archives for summertime recipes. For tonight’s dinner, I chose two of her mid-summer postings from 2009: Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad and Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza. Granted, I didn’t have faux purple carrots or farmer’s market zucchini, but I definitely made the best of what I had lying around the kitchen.

In addition to trying these two recipes, the pizza dough had its own process. Using the Smitten recipe, I found that I could make the dough sans machine! I did remember that people made pizza and other creations prior to the kitchen accessories boom, but I was astounded how easy it was to sculpt a ball of dough in 5 minutes flat and have to only wash one bowl. Pretty cool, I say! As for the quality of the dough, it turned out awesome and was super easy to work with.

Both the carrot salad and the pizza required high temperatures, and I was slightly hesitant to be cooking these ultimately cool summer dishes in today’s 92 degree DC smut heat. Undeterred by the promise of a blistering kitchen, I persevered, and my tummy thanked me for it afterward. The salad was wonderful, and I added a goat cheese blog just to bridge the gap between cold avocado and straight from the oven carrots. The pizza cooked in 13 minutes and was very light. The hidden strands of basil underneath all the zucchini was blissful.

Kudos to Smitten lady Deb for her awesome blog, and for indirectly providing me with dinner tonight.

Unemployment: Bad for the Bank Account, Good for the Belly

I find myself today in a strange position. I am unemployed, and loving it. One would think that in this down economy, where talents in the humanities are especially hard hit, my confidence and my work ethic would droop. However, it is not so! I have opened a Google Doc to keep track of each volunteer or job opportunity I apply to, so I can organize my otherwise aimless life. A basic of lack of direction is not something I’m accustomed to, as I am an extreme case of Type A. I’m doing my best to embrace it for once, and I’m using baking as one of my outlets for creativity.

As recent as Sunday, I baked the Root Beer Float Cupcakes posted on Smitten Kitchen. I served them at the semi-annual Dip City event that my apartment is lovingly known to serve, and bellies were contently full by the end of the evening. To be honest, the 1 cup of cocoa powder definitely overpowered the subtlety that 2 entire cups of root beer barely succeeded to convey. Guests were polite of course, but the addition of homemade whipped cream and a mini scoop of Julie’s Vanilla Ice Cream did not convince any taste buds that these baked goods could be a substitution for this blissful summer dessert drink.

I have chosen to look at this experience with optimism, and not be depressed that they didn’t turn out exactly as planned. As with my weekly job search, I am going to maintain a positive outlook and hope for the best. After all, the worst that can happen is that I give away yummies, or I grant myself more leisure than I’m used to.

Where Were the Tulalip

The largest war which ever ravaged the native populations of the Northwest was the Yakima War of 1855-56, which extended from southern Oregon to the Puget Sound, and engaged almost all of the tribes of the areas between and surrounding [1]. Most tribes fought against the Americans, but the Snohomish allied with the Americans, perhaps in an attempt to broker a deal. This may have ushered in the positive sentiments of the aforementioned Point Elliot Treaty, which secured a reservation land, fishing rights, the erection of houses for curing fish, and the allowance to gather berries and hunt on unclaimed lands.

Prior to the celebrated treaty of 1855, the colonization attempts occurred most frequently in the period of Father Eugene Casimir Chirouse’s arrival. A Catholic missionary from France, he arrived to Tulalip in 1847 with the intent to settle and spread religious doctrine [2]. The tribe welcomed him and he became quite well versed in Salish languages and customs. Despite his integration into their society, he succeeded in setting up a school which would go on to educate hundreds of Snohomish boys and girls and adults [3]. Chirouse and others, such as Myron Eels, ended up doing little to proselytize the Indians, and abandoned their religious attempts for simply doing good work for the tribes. They especially became disillusioned with their work in the area when they attempted to change the traditional livelihood from fishing, hunting and gathering to agriculture, a way of life that would have completely disrupted the worldviews and traditions of all neighboring groups [4].

The aboriginal groups who later formed in the Tulalip lived in mainly long house dwellings [5]. These homes ranged from 100 to 200 feet long and were built by chopping cedar planks of tree trunks with an adze, a multi-purpose tool for construction and art used by many native groups of the Pacific Northwest [6]. The homes were outfitted with open fire places that were typically shared between two or three families [7]. The homes were mostly open, in that there was plenty of walking space and versatility in use space.

In terms of transportation, the descendants of the Tulalip mainly employed canoes which they built themselves. There are four different types, each with unique advantages and characteristics: Trolling canoe, One man canoe, Large canoe, and Shovel-nose canoe [8]. Another piece of evidence to reflect the bounty of natural resources at their disposal is clear in their clothing. Primarily made from deerskin, the hides went through vigorous processes and were scraped, tanned, dried and rubbed. Deerskin was used for shirts, leggings and capes, and sometimes bearskin or seals was used for capes and accessories, and less often, cedar bark clothing from scraps [9]. The abundance of local fauna contributed to caps fashioned from wolves, otters, beavers and bears were also commonplace.

By the 1970s, more than half of the Tulalip Reservation had been sold to non-Indians, and they now retain just eighty acres. The tribe has long lost its virgin timber forests and now its members find income through leasing prime waterfront sites, and through a casino that they own and operate [10]. Despite the loss of land and resources, a 30% increase in population was cited, and found that 9,246 were found to be living on the Reservation [11]. This increase suggests a variety of concerns, one of which is for the environmental aspects. With a population relying on fishing rights for survival and for production, the higher rates of marine activity could lead to disaster for the industry and the people. The study conducted by the USGS helped to ensure that the Tulalip people and Reservation were well-equipped to handle and budget their supplies.

[1] Ruby, Robert H. and John Arthur Brown. Indians of the Pacific Northwest: A History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. Page146.

[2] Ruby, Robert H. and John Arthur Brown. Page 125.

[3] Ruby, Robert H. and John Arthur Brown. Page 126.

[4] Ruby, Robert H. and John Arthur Brown. Page 245.

[ 5] Bancroft-Hunt, Norman and Werner Forman. People of the Totem The Indians of the Pacific Northwest. New York: G.p. Putnam’s Sons, 1979. Print. Page 27.

[6] Eells, Myron. The Indians of Puget Sound: The Notebooks of Myron Eells. Walla Walla: Whitman College, 1986. Print. Page 132.

[7] Eells, Myron. Page 66.

[8] Eells, Myron. Page 181-183.

[9] Eells, Myron. Page 122.

[10] Suttles, Wayne. Coast Salish Essays. Vancouver: University of Washington Press, 1987. Print. Page 17.

[11] Frans, L.M., and Kresch, D.L., 2004, Water resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and adjacent area, Snohomish County, Washington, 2001-03: U.S. Geological  Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5166, 86 p. Print. P. 6

Who Were the Tulalip

The modern day Tulalip descend from various coastal groups who shared many cultural affects in common, most notably the Salish family of languages [1].  These groups include but are not limited to: the Snohomish, Skyhomish, Snoqualmie, and Stillaguamish. The tribe became recognized federally and nationally through the Point Elliott Treaty in 1855, in which the federal government allotted 22,489 acres of land to the former thirteen local tribes to form a reservation [2].  In this sense, the Tulalip are a fairly new designation for a variety of groups that have flourished in the area for much longer.

The Tulalip Reservation is located in the Pacific Northwest, in the state of Washington, miles north of the town of Everett and west of Marysville, and is bounded by the Puget Sound on the east and south sides [3]. The landscape plays a crucial role in the identity of the tribe, and the abundance of waterways heavily influences their livelihoods. Aside from the Puget Sound, the Tulalip have at their disposal the Stillaguamish River, Hat Slough, Lakes Goodcraft and Shoecraft, as well as many creeks and tributaries [4]. As the USGS remarked , “they depend on their water and fisheries for subsistence, income, and ceremonial and cultural purposes” [5].

One of the strains of their culture has stayed consistent for hundreds of years is their use of the Lushootseed language. Both a language and a name for the Washingtonian native culture overall, The current web site for the Tulalip Tribes offers tutorials and word games as a way to maintain this part of their heritage [6]. Although there are many common phrases known throughout the tribe, the oral tradition has become scarce, and there are only 60 fluent speakers left to date who are qualified to recount tribal stories and lore [7].

In terms of internal social organization, the society was extremely class-based, and one’s rank within the group was highly tenuous yet of utmost importance [8]. The hierarchy went as follows: upper class, lower class and slaves, all of which were largely hereditary. However, the status of nobility was classified through factors such as genealogy,kinship networks, cleverness, and knowledge about worldly information [9]. The Coastal Salish people comprised a very hierarchical and complex system of social relationships. There was significant value placed on the awareness of the natural world and on having a broad knowledge base.

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Introduction to the Tulalip Tribes

Hey mom! (And the other four people who read my blog! I’m switching gears after a three-month long absence to begin a project for my Native American Histories class. We have learned an abundance of information during the first two months of the course, and I am fortunate to be able to focus in on one specific tribe in the United States. The next few posts will therefore be related to this group, the Tulalip Tribes, and not to my ordinary subjects of baking, sweet things, and other edibles. Hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two!

Here is my bibliography for the information I will be using:

Bancroft-Hunt, Norman and Werner Forman. People of the Totem The Indians of the Pacific Northwest. New York: G.p. Putnam’s Sons, 1979. Print.

Brown, John Arthur, and Robert H. Ruby. A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest (Civilization of the American Indian Series). Rev Sub ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. Print. Page 244-245.

Eells, Myron. The Indians of Puget Sound: The Notebooks of Myron Eells. Walla Walla: Whitman College, 1986. Print.

Davis, Marion. “Crow, Her Son, Her Daughter: A Traditional Southern Lushootseed Story”. Salish Myths and Legends: One People’s Stories (Native Literatures of the Americas). Edited by M. Terry Thompson and Steven M. Egesdal. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Print.

Frans, L.M., and Kresch, D.L., 2004, Water resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and adjacent area, Snohomish County, Washington, 2001-03: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5166, 86 p. Print.

The Power of Promises: Rethinking Indian Treaties in the Pacific Northwest (Emil and Kathleen Sick Lecture-Book Series in Western History and Biography). Edited by Alexandra Harmon. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009. Print.

Ruby, Robert H. and John Arthur Brown. Indians of the Pacific Northwest: A History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981.

Swann, Brian. Voices from Four Directions. Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures. Cambridge, MA: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2004. Print.

Suttles, Wayne. Coast Salish Essays. Vancouver: University of Washington Press, 1987. Print.

Tulalip Tribes Homepage. http://www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/