The Pine Bluff John McAlmont Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution met recently at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Regent Sandra Poore recognized Helen Campbell for having served as program chairwoman for 40 years for the chapter.
Campbell presented a program entitled “Teepee Cuisine,” which told of the history of American Indian food.
“When Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba in 1492 he sent two of his men to explore the island. When they came back to the ship they told him about a ‘sort of grain the natives called maize.’ This was the first time white men had heard of a plant that now has numerous names, but we know it as corn,” according to the presentation.
“Today this ‘sort of grain’ is one of the four most important crops grown in the entire world. It is the most valuable crop grown in the U.S. and it is grown in all 50 states. Explorers who first came to the new world hunting gold, actually found a far greater source of wealth in the corn plant,” according to the presentation.
Other foods native to the Americas included potatoes (sweet and white), tomatoes and hot and sweet peppers. The Aztecs cultivated and named one of today’s favorites, the chili pepper.
“What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkins? Pumpkins were grown by Peruvian tribes, but by the time the Pilgrims came to America, they had been cultivated by the North American Indians for hundreds of years. The lowly peanut was a favorite being called the ‘ground nut or ground pea’ as it is really a pea rather than a nut,” according to the presentation.
“When we gather each year to celebrate Thanksgiving, we enjoy an almost all American meal. It is a day set aside to remember the food and kindness that American Indians gave to the starving pilgrims, yet today many American Indian families will have little or nothing to eat as they struggle on the reservations,” according to the presentation.
Meanwhile during the meeting, chapter member, Mary Dotson, shared pictures of the oak tree planted at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center by the chapter on Arbor Day in 2013. Dotson reported that the tree is flourishing and stands as a commitment to the environment by the Daughters of the American Revolution, according to a news release.
Poore announced that the Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt will be held again this year at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. The chapter has participated as a sponsor for this event for veterans the past three years and will be taking part again this year.