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Happy Naskapi Day!

I now live over 1,000 miles from where the Naskapi Day festivities are being held, in Kawawachikamach, Quebec. But I still consider the Kawawa/Schefferville area my hometown, and I often find myself missing the people, the culture, the biting cold.

To celebrate in my own way, I’m sharing my favorite bread recipe. Nothing can take me back to feeling like a little kid like a chunk of Naskapi bannock.

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Ingredients:

– 2 cups of flour
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt
– 2 tablespoons shortening (you can use olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, margarine, etc.; but a true Naskapi bannock would be made with Tenderflake or Crisco)
– 3/4 cup of water, plus more as needed

What to do:

– Mix all the ingredients together, slowly adding water until you get a doughy consistency.

– Knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic.

– Grease and heat a frying pan at medium to low heat.

– Form the dough into a large pancake and lay it into your heated pan, pressing it flat to fill the bottom of your pan.

– After about 5-10 minutes, flip the bannock. Continue flipping every 5-10 minutes until the crust is browned.

– Enjoy the bannock hot, with butter, stew, or (of course) blueberry jam!

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One last thing, since Naskapi Day is also a bit of Native American Pride Day. Check out this little sweet fact my brother brought my attention to today: Sixteen years after being forced to undergo their own starvation during the Trail of Tears, a group of Native Americans raised money among themselves and sent it to Ireland to assist those starving during the Potato Famine. That blows my mind. Especially considering that my own ancestors came from Ireland. I recommend reading the entire story here.

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