armadillas



Sweetgrass

Today was such a fun day! I got to go to a pow wow! Do you know what a pow wow is? Well, I guess I’ll just have to tell you! A pow wow, sometimes pau wau or powwaw, is basically a gathering of native peoples from all over the country to dance and sing. It’s an event shared with the public to educate and celebrate Native American culture. Most of the pow wows that I’ve attended have been weekend-long events in which vendors set up tents selling handmade jewelry and crafts, skins, books, blankets, clothing, etc. Of course, there’s some pretty darn good food as well.

These here are Indian Tacos. They’re made with fry bread topped with buffalo chili,  lettuce, cheese, and salsa

These tacos were slightly different from the one’s I usually chow down on at the Chickahominy Fall Festival (the pow wow I generally travel to each September). Instead of plain ol’ shredded lettuce and cheese, they were topped with a salad mix and nacho cheese. The fry bread wasn’t quite as puffed up as I’m used to either, but boy were they good. And HUGE, too. I could only finish half of mine (though the heat might have been the culprit there). Man, I love me some Indian tacos! In the past, I’ve found that people are a little hesitant to try these when they learn buffalo is involved instead of beef. Big mistake! Buffalo is awesome. It’s delicious. Anyone who says beef is better is just downright bizarre. I promise, if you like eating cow, you will love eating buffalo. Plus, it’s so much healthier for you. Did you know that buffalo (or bison if you prefer) is way leaner, less greasy, and contains more protein and iron?  It also has fewer calories. The only downfall is the price is normally higher. Ya win some, you lose some…

Currently, I do not have a recipe for this great summer treat, but if you’re interested, I’ll share a mock recipe at the end of this entry (sans photos, sorry!) to satisfy your cravings while I work on a true recipe.

Now, back to the pow wow! Whenever I go to a pow wow, my skin tingles with pride. I may not have any tribal affiliation. I may not have grown up in the culture, but my heart sings when I hear those drums start their beat and watch the lead dancers step into that sacred arena. My grandmother started taking me to pow wows when I was a child, and to stand there in the midst of everyone dressed to the nines in regalia (not costumes!) is an amazing experience that I have always cherished. I thank my grandmother wholeheartedly for sharing my heritage with me in this small way. If you’ve never been to a pow wow, native blood or not, I sincerely encourage you to go at least once. Go enjoy yourself. Go experience the culture. Join in on a dance if you’re up to it. And don’t forget to grab a taco, by golly!

(I have a serious goal of buying a real camera!!!!!!)

My favorite dance is the jingle dance. Maybe this is because I’m attracted to shiny things and each jingle dress is covered with hundreds of little tins . Or perhaps I just love the jingle jingle sound the dresses make as the dancers move. I wish I knew how to jingle dance. If I were a dancer, that definitely would be my cup of tea. Fancy Shawl dancing, another dance performed by women, is pretty cool too, though I prefer Men’s Fancy dancing. Those guys are great athletes! Another favorite men’s dance of mine is the duck and dive dance, as well as  the grass dance. I have an idea! Rather than describe all these dances to you in boring detail…you should youtube some of them so you can see what I’m talking about.

Not Quite Right Indian Tacos

Ingredients*:

  • 1 lb ground bison (or beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • A few gloves of minced garlic depending on your taste preference
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp crush red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Small/medium size tortillas
  • Toppings (lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lime juice, etc)
*Note: Feel more than free to use any taco seasoning of your choice!

1. Brown meat, onion, and garlic. Drain grease then return to pan

2. Mix all seasonings together and stir into cooked meat. Add water and cook on low heat until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, heat generous amount of vegetable oil in a deep pan or skillet. Individually fry tortillas in hot oil until golden brown and puffed up. You can either keep the tortillas flat (like an Indian taco) or, using tongs, carefully shape them into shells while they are frying.

4. Assemble! Place meat on/in taco and then serve with your favorite toppings.

Not quite an Indian taco, but most assuredly a fun twist on your everyday taco. Enjoy!

Tijuana

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