Fall Harvest and the Three Sisters

“Three Sisters” is the respectful name give by the Native Americans to their staple foods – the threesome of corn, beans and squash. These simple foods were in abundance at harvest time and were their staple food crops from the earliest times. They were thought to be given as a gift to the Native Americans by the gods. Each of these foods is thought to contain a spirit worthy of special thanks and ceremony. Hence, Thanksgiving was born. Yes, Thanksgiving is a Native American Holiday that predates the colonists.

It is easy to commercialize Thanksgiving and lose its real meaning.  Engage your family in the spirit of Thanksgiving before the holiday. Take a tour of an organic farm (there are several in Santa Barbara) to learn where food comes from. Take a trip to a pick-your-own apple orchard or a cider mill.  Learn to bake apple pie from scratch like the colonists did. Go pumpkin picking or for a hayride.  These experiences are what bonds families together not the stuff-yourself-silly holiday dinners we spend endless hours to prepare only to see it vanish in 20 minutes.

Learn more about cooking the many varieties of squash way beyond the ever favorite pumpkin pie by joining us at the Winter Squash Cookery Class in Santa Barbara on Nov. 19th at 9:30 a.m. We will prepare many different squashes into soups, entrees and desserts for a warm-your-belly feast. Go to www.sbcc.edu/ce for information and registration.

So I have included here some of my favorite fall dishes which include squash, beans and corn for your enjoyment.  BTW guaranteed hit at a potluck will the Winter Roasted Vegetables and Hot Tamale Pie. Also check in the list of recipes for other holiday favorites such as Acorn Stuffed Wild Rice, Glazed Cranberry over Yam Casserole and more!

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