I picked up this copy of The Art of American Indian Cooking by Yeffe Kimball and Jean Anderson (1965) because I don't know anything about the subject. That also means I've found myself reluctant to write about it because I just don't have the cultural background to figure out if this is anything like a good representation of actual native cookery (or a fair representation of those who do/ did it).
It's an interesting book, though, and I hate keeping it to myself just because I'm not sure what to say.
The only food-related detail I remember from Ed is that he liked to eat his sandwiches crust first (in a circle) so he could end on a nice bite with plenty of filling-- the same weird way I eat mine! Clearly we would have been a great match.
The book discusses foods regionally, so I'm going to show you the sweet line drawing used to introduce each section and a recipe that seems unusual and maybe representative of each area. First up: Southwest.
Next in the book was Ed's region: the Pacific Northwest.
If the catch had extra arms, the fishers could make octopus fritters. I'm not sure what those would be like. The closest I have come to eating octopus was eating a vegan calamari substitute one time. (Yes, I know calamari is supposed to be squid, but 1. a vegan version doesn't have any sea creatures in it anyway and 2. my point is that I have not been even remotely close to eating octopus...) It tasted like deep-fried rubber bands. The breading was yummy, as any deep fried breading tends to be, but it would have been better without any filling! Hopefully this recipe is better than that one was.
Next comes the middle of the country:
The wandering hunters apparently caught more than just bison:
Keeping with the mid-western theme, I like to imagine Venison and Wild Rice Stew being brought to a potluck. (Since it's a stew and doesn't use canned soup as an ingredient, I suppose they couldn't call it hotdish. Too bad.)
I think of corn as mid-western too, but the book pictures it with the south.
Sweet potato cornbread! I'll bet someone would love to make stuffing out of that...
Finally, the book features the east:
Instead of chicken, though, the recipe I chose features "goose."
Just like the cooks of the southwest, cooks in the east would rather reach for cans than try to gather the requisite berries. I can't say that I blame them. The main pleasure of picking berries is putting about 90% in the basket and eating the rest. Gooseberries are SOUR, so that trick will be no fun unless you are a serious sour-head.
So there it is-- The Art of American Indian Cooking. I hope Ed would have approved.