ROCK As Char Kruger slowly adds corn meal to the blue corn
mush on the stove, stirring it clockwise, people begin asking questions.
Should they roast corn meal before making the blue corn mush? Do
they add sugar? How long should it cook?
Saturday, Kruger gave a presentation on how to make blue corn mush
at the Navajo Nation Museum as part of activities to encourage cultural
corn mush is a traditional Navajo food. Kruger said this is the
perfect time to teach how to make it because it is a healing food.
Silversmith, fromTohlakai, never learned how to make blue corn mush
when she was growing up, so she came to learn how to make it.
got the cedar ash. The only thing we need is the corn meal,
prefers to eat blue corn mush with a little sugar added, she said
as she sampled the mush that Kruger handed out after the demonstration
Joe Silversmith said he prefers his with a little salt added.
it both ways. See which one you like, he said.
Silversmith, blue corn mush is a treat that he would have to go
to the flea market to enjoy.
I dont have to go to the flea market to buy this, he
used to know how to make it from watching his grandmother but he
forgot over the years and came to refresh his memory.
knew the ingredients. Its just putting it together,
DeChilly, from Fort Defiance, had made blue corn mush before and
learned some tips as she watched.
came out lumpy because I didnt use cold water, she said.
said she came to the presentation because she was given a lot of
corn meal when her nephew got married.
was planning on going home and trying her hand at it again. She
is also interested in learning how to make blue corn pancakes one
learned about these cooking sticks. I think Im getting a cooking
stick. It seems easier than using a whisk, she said.
meal and cedar ash are the two main ingredients in the traditional
is a very important ingredient to the mush, Kruger said about
the cedar ash.
audience member said that if the cedar ash is not used, it will
first showed the audience some of the traditional items that were
used in making blue corn mush, such as a grinding stone and a brush
made out of plants. Now, corn meal can be bought at the store already
ground and cedar ash can be purchased at the flea market.
talking about the traditional process, she took the audience into
the kitchen and went through the steps of making blue corn mush
that she learned from her grandmother.
always say were from different parts of the reservation. What
Im sharing with you today is what my grandma taught me,
cook the mush, a pot of water is put on to boil. A bowl of cold
water is filled and a spoonful of cedar ash is added for taste and
color. After she added the cedar ash, Kruger stirred the mixture
with the stirring stick.
meal is then stirred into the mixture a small handful at a time
with the stirring stick. It is also a good idea to roast the corn
meal if it isnt before adding. Some audience members said
they prefer to roast the corn meal even if it comes already roasted.
the pot of water is boiling, the bowl with the mixture in it is
slowly added. More corn meal is added by the handful as needed for
preferred consistency. The mush is stirred constantly as it cooks
for 10 to 15 minutes.
museum education curator, said she is planning to do another demonstration
on how to make blue corn bread but a date hasnt been set.
As the new education curator, she is trying to hold cultural activities
activities at the museum this month include Coyote storytelling
in Navajo only by Julia Westley at 1 p.m. on Tuesday,
humor stories told by Larson Manuelito at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 20,
and poster star constellation by Robert Johnson at 11:30 a.m. on