Food Taster Event Serves Up Traditional Tasty Treats

Melissa Young

Contemporary and authentic Native American dishes will be available for tasting at the 11th annual First Nations Food Taster. The Native American Student Association is hosting this event on Friday, Nov. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.

NASA is a student organization that plans and promotes events related to Native American heritage culture on campus.

The Food Taster is a chance for guests to sample many foods from traditional and contemporary Native American recipes.

Betsy Trudeau, sophomore media production major and president of NASA, invites anyone interested or curious about the Native American culture to come out and support the Food Taster.

This event is held every fall. NASA teams up with the hospitality management program to help prepare delicious Native American style foods.

“I hope to see a bigger and better outcome,” said Trudeau. “This is our biggest fundraiser for our annual pow wow.”

Anyone is welcome to the event and because the Food Taster is a fundraiser for the pow wow in March, it gives people a chance to come out and see what NASA and the Native American culture are all about.

This event also gives guests the opportunity to see how Native American traditions are still kept today.

Trudeau said the dishes vary from year to year, but there will always be venison turkey, wild rice, fry bread and what Native Americans consider the three sisters: corn, beans and squash.

“I think it’s a great event for new students to experience our culture’s traditional and contemporary foods,” Trudeau said. “Our menu is totally different than what is part of our usual diets, it’s nice if people step out of their comfort zones and try this.”

Austin Smith, senior social work major and involved in NASA, says this is a great way to gain experience and come out and try some of the Native American dishes.

“This is my first year involved in NASA, but I did attend pow wow last year and really enjoyed myself,” Smith said. “This is a great opportunity for Northern students and the community to learn more about the Native American culture.”

The entertainment is another big part of the event. While guests enjoy the Native American food, music professor Elda Tate will be performing the Native flute.

“Last year I was in the kitchen and I loved hearing the hand drum competition,” Smith said. “This year I hope to actually be engaged in the musical experience as well as the taster itself.”

Junior metal smithing major and NASA Vice President, Amanda Weinert said guests are encouraged to bring their own unbreakable dishware and will be entered into a raffle for a prize.

“We do this as sort of a way to keep the tradition going,” Weinert said. “Back in the day when people would go house to house for events, they would bring their own eating supplies.”

Another tradition is the establishment elders have. Elders are the most important and should be treated that way.

“Elders are entitled the utmost respect,” Weinert said. “So if there’s an elder in line, let them go before you, but most importantly enjoy the event and have fun.”

Weinert said she is excited to see how successful the Food Taster will be.

“Finally being able to eat the delicious food after months of preparation feels good,” Weinert said. “It’s nice to hear feedback from people who attended and know that the hard work really did pay off.”

Tickets are $5 for students and elders, $12 for the general public. At the door tickets are $7 for students and elders, $15 for the general public. If there are any questions contact Betsy Trudeau at [email protected].

FAVORITE RECIPES FROM FAST EVENTS:

Venison Cranberry Stew
– 2 tbsp Canola oil
– 2 lb venison meat, cut in one inch cubes or smaller
– 2 1/2 cups water
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper coarsely ground
– 1 medium sized onion, chopped
– 3 cloves minced garlic
– 1 cup dry red wine or 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tbsp paprika
– 2 bay leaves
– 8 carrots, scraped, split and cut in thirds
– 4 cups cubed potatoes
– 1 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
– 3 stalks celery
– 4 tbsp maple syrup or 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

Put canola oil in a 5 to 6 quart Dutch oven. Over medium high heat, brown venison cubes. Once the venison cubes are browned, add the water, salt and pepper to the Dutch oven. Bring contents to boil. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Sauté Venison
– Pepper for flavoring
– 3/4 cup smoked maple bacon cut into thirds
– 1/2 sliced yellow onion
– 3 tsp minced garlic
– 2 tbsp olive oil

Cut venison into medallion shaped pieces

Lay one layer of brown rounds of venison flat in skillet. Add minced garlic and olive oil. Once venison is brown, add bacon, onion and pepper for flavoring. Simmer and serve.

Wild Rice
– 1 cup of wild rice
– 1 large can of chicken broth
– 1.5 cup of dried cranberries
– 2 stalks of celery sliced
– 1 cup cashews
– 1 medium yellow onion diced
– 2 tbsp butter

Bring chicken broth to a hard boil. Once boiling drop in the wild rice (for vegetarians, use water). Let the wild rice sit at a hard boil for thirty minutes, then put on low until the rice breaks and liquid is almost gone (rice breaking is vital).

In a fry pan – sauté the other dry ingredients in the butter until the cashews are browned and the onion is soft. Mix all ingredients together and serve. Serves 20.

Baked Fish
Mix in 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of maple syrup together for a glaze over your fish. Put in fridge for a while to thicken.

Take fish (filet if possible) and cook on medium high until both sides have cooked (this will depend on size of the fish).

Put fish on baking pans and cover with glaze. Add a handful of crushed cashews. Baked at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Check often to ensure glaze is not burning on the pan. Cut and serve.

Fry Bread
– 1 1/4 cup warm water
– 1 package of Red Star Quick Rise yeast
– 2 tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1/4 cup warm milk
– 4 cups bread flour

Mix together the warm water, yeast and brown sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add the oil and milk to the mixture. Sprinkle in the flour one cup at a time. Once the dough ball is ready, coat in oil. Let rise for at least 90 minutes.

Once the dough ball is ready, fill a fryer with oil or butter flavored Crisco. Take a fist full of dough and stretch it out, be sure to punch a hole in the middle. Drop in the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.

When you take it out, be sure to set it on some paper towel and let it cool off. Eat with butter, sugar, honey or your favorite topping.