Strawberry season is upon us and I’m sure that many of you, like me, will be picking, canning and just plain eating the delicious berries. For us Anishnaabe, strawberries play an important role in our communities and ceremonies.
For adolescent girls, it is part of a rite of passage to do a berry fast after the first Moontime. During this year-long fast, the young girl abstains from eating berries and will learn the traditional ways of being an Anishnaabe woman. When the year passes, there is a feast in honour of the young woman, along with a giveaway.
Here is a simple recipe that has been in my family for a long time, our version of a strawberry shortcake.
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat your oil, to medium high in a shallow frying pan and roll your dough to about 1/2 an inch thick circles. Fry bread until golden brown and set aside.
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip the ingredients on medium speed until light and fluffy.
1 quart strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Slice frybread in half, spread whipped cream on top, add some strawberries, top with the other half of frybread, add whipped cream and more strawberries.
This is a nice treat that we have once a year but we also make jam, smoothies, strawberry loaf/bread and juice. Enjoy!
Emilie Corbiere is a citizen of Walpole Island and is also an author of children’s books.