Advice to young wives from Uncle Mountain Lion
Ask Bubba Mountain Lion
A new feature of the People of One Fire
Dear Uncle Mountain Lion,
You know the fact that Creek women have to be the boss, wherever they are, is a terrible burden on my generation. It was bad enough when we had to be the queen of the house and own all the real estate. Now I have to keep the silly white teachers at school in line. They either are lazy bubble heads, stoned most of the time on pot . . . sexual perverts, who like preadolescent boys . . . or just plumb crazy with weird political ideas. Last week, a deranged, middle aged teacher with bleached blond “Aryan” hair, was running down the hall screaming that there was a plot by the Marxists and Libruls to kill all the Real Christians in the United States. The shooting at the Republican baseball practice triggered this delusional rant. She defines “Real Christians” as only those good and decent Americans, who celebrate Adolf Hitler’s Birthday. Funny thing, just a couple of days before she was laughing at lunch break about how easy it would be to kill all the wussy Libruls and Marxists, because they don’t know one end of the gun barrel from another.
Well, anyway, I invited my new in-laws over tomorrow to celebrate the Green Corn Festival and I am in a panic. I wanted to impress my husband’s mother and grandmothers with traditional Creek foods. This weekend I frantically ran through Krogers, Publix, Walmart and Food Lion. There are NO pre-prepared Creek foods anywhere . . . except frozen hush puppies and batter-fired catfish at Krogers . . . no turtle, no possum, no alligator . . . no smoked trout or smoked venison. Publix will deep fry a turkey for you, but you have to give a week’s notice. In desperation, I went to an All-Organic food store. All they had was Brunswick stew made with tofu and synthetic soy protein. What do I do? My mother-in-law will think that I am one of those bubble heads.
Signed . . . Desperate in Tallahassee
Dear Desperate in Tallahassee:
Brunswick stew made with tofu and synthetic soy protein? . . . Honey, put your lazy hubbie to work! The Green Corn Festival is traditionally MAN’S WORK! According to our traditions, you are supposed to only cook up the veggies and fry the hush puppies. When’s school is out today, go down to the Tallahassee Farmer’s Market and get a croaker’s sack full of fresh roasting ears corn, summer squash and green beans, plus all the meats and veggies that go into Brunswick stew. Grab a turkey or some chickens from the supermarket. Your husband can slow cook them in a smoker on the Summer Solstice. They will be both traditional and delicious. Remember, POOF has proven that the South Jawja Creeks raised chickens before the coming of Europeans.
I’ll email your husband my grandfather’s recipe for Brunswick stew. He needs to turn off the TV and get his butt outside NOW. The Brunswick stew has to be cooked over hot coals for 24 hours. The fire has to burn down some before he puts the iron pot on.
Now . . . your husband must plan ahead for next year’s Green Corn Festival. Gator and fish must be fresh. Don’t buy any gators or fish that were processed in New York City. Don’t buy ANY shellfish this time of year from the Gulf. They are infested with vibrio bacteria. Vibrio is the kissing cousin of cholera. Gulf of Mexico or Georgia shrimp are fine. They live out in the brine water, whereas Gulf oysters like to live in the same type water that the vibrio bacteria love.
Whether your husband plans to cook smoked venison, possum ‘n sweet taters, Southern fried river turtle, barbecued telemarketer or deep fat fried political radical, preparation begins two weeks in advance. While still in the refrigerator, venison should be marinaded in buttermilk for three days. River turtles, possums, telemarketers, political radicals and lawyers should be penned up for two weeks and fed only cornbread and butter milk to get the wild taste out. Possums and politicians should be parboiled for at least an hour to render out the fat before being barbecued or baked. These critical steps will insure that relatives on both sides of your families will be impressed that your marriage is one that will last!
Remember . . . celebrating the Creek New Year at the Green Corn Festival is a team effort. When your children come along, be sure that they are both part of the work and the celebration. As soon as they are able, your kids should be allowed to shuck the corn. A little later the boys can start helping their dad stir the Brunswick Stew, so they will begin understanding the meaning of manhood. When a little older, both the boys and the girls can peel the peaches, scale the fish and skin the possums. That’s the Native American way of doing things.
Uncle Mountain Lion
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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