Dale Carson, an Abenaki cook and author of New Native American Cooking, recently demonstrated how our ancestors handled the hardships of winter at the Massachusetts-based Old Sturbridge Village, an educational living history museum, which highlights colonial life from 1790 to 1840. She presented a Native kitchen of pre- and post-contact period artifacts and food samplings, including pumpkin bread, dill-bean salad and savory Askutasquash soup.
She recommends preparing a large pot of Askutasquash soup before a snowstorm.
1 large, or 2 medium butternut squash
1 med-large sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup sweet apple cider, or apple juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split squash lengthwise down the middle, remove seeds, and place on a baking sheet flesh side down. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft. Cool to handle. Remove flesh to a bowl or processor. Saute onion in butter until translucent. Add to squash plus ½ cup chicken broth. Puree and add more stock as needed. Pour into a large saucepan, adding remaining stock, cider and seasonings.
Dale Carson (Abenaki) is the author of three books: New Native American Cooking, Native New England Cooking, and A Dreamcatcher Book. She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for over 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with them and her husband in Madison, Conn.