September 22nd, 2007 by admin
Just a series of short stories, of when I was a poop butt kid. For those of you who survived the 50’s, this should be a walk back in time.
Adventures in Eating, part 1
It was kind of funny to look at all the fancy meat at the store. The butcher would work hard to rid the meat of bone and fat. We couldn’t afford the fancy meat but found a wealth of good eating in the scrap pile behind the store. Fact was all the scraps were loaded with chunks of meat. Within the pile of “scraps” was a gold mine of Native food. A most treasured item was “Indian Butter”, bone marrow. Add a hand full of flour and a cup of grease, a meal fit for a king.
With the flour and grease my ma made fry bread, Tortillas, and Sopapillas. After the bones were boiled they would be cracked open in order to extract the rich and flavorful bounty of butter. It was a treat for all of us young and old and in all actuality it was all we had to eat on more than one occasion. It was not always kewl being Native.
The smell of the bones boiling would fill the house with the distinct smell of meat, and we would pretend we were having a fancy meal like other people would have. “With all the trimmings”, we would say, and laugh at our plight since we were only eating trimming. Fat made gravy and a good meal with plenty of flavor along with our fry breads.
Neck bone was good in soup or any way it could be prepared. We used to tell the butcher the bones were for our dog. When word got out that ethnics savored these foods, a price was added almost out of meanness it would seem. In one case, the butcher poured rancid grease and garbage on all the fresh scraps rendering them useless for consumption.
People would laugh at the way I ate when we would venture outside of our world. I always ate with my hands and found great joy in sucking out the bone marrow. I would grind up chicken bones for the prized marrow also. I would eat as though it was my last meal, yea never knew back then and I enjoyed every mouth full. No matter how poor we were we always had big smiles during suppertime.
It did not occur to me back then that people were poking fun at me while I ate. As I smiled and took the bones for the marrow, they were not only making humor of me but my whole culture. They called us names and non Native people would whisper our exploits to one another. They may have laughed at me instead of with me, but I still got the prized “Indian Butter” Back then I could not understand why they did not eat the butter and I simply did not want it all to go to waste. I was very innocent back then and quite naïve to the world around me.