Bean Bread (Tsu-Ya-Ga)


1 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 beaten egg
2 Tbs honey
4 cups drained brown beans


     Mix all of these ingredients, except beans, thoroughly, and then fold in the beans. Pour into greased, heated pan. Bake at 450F until brown (usually 30 minutes or so)

     According to Aggie Lossiah, this is the old traditional recipe: "Sure, corn meal is the main part of bean bread. Corn meal is the main part of the food eaten by us Indians. Beans are used too. If you folks will visit with me for a while, I'll show you how bean bread ought to be made. How my old Cherokee granny made it when we lived in that cave on the Tennessee River, only I have a few pots and pans like my old granny never had. Maybe I'll give you a a taste of some that I cooked yesterday, if you want it. You passed my corn patch yonder, as you came up the mountain. That's flour corn, the best kind to eat. Right in that patch is where I gathered this corn I'm going to use. I'll set the beans to cooking here by the fire in the fireplace whilst we go out to the branch to skin the corn. First, pour some water into this iron pot here over the fire. Sift in some good wood ashes. Pour in the shelled corn. Stir once in a while and let cook until the bubbles begin to come up. Take out a grain to test it with the fingers, to see if the skin is ready to slip. That is the way we tell if it has been in the lye water long enough. Wash the corn in a basket sieve to get rid of the skins. Put the corn into the wooden beater (Ka-No-Na ) and beat it with a heavy piece of wood. Yes, use the little end; the big end is to give weight. Feel the meal to see if it is fine enough. The hot beans and their soup are poured into the pan of meal, No, leave out the salt. Work quickly so the mixture will not get cold. Work the mixture into a ball. Flatten the ball because we are making "broadswords" as my granddaddy called them. Wrap the corn blades around the dumpling. The blades were pulled green and hung up by the little end to dry, then scalded to make limber. Fold the ends under to hold or tie with a strong grass. We'll cook these in the iron pot out by the branch. The clear water I left out there should be boiling by now. The bean dumplings will have to boil about an hour." Do no put any salt in Bean Bread or it will crumble.

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