Iroquois Hominy Corn Soup (Onenhsto)

I thought I had posted this here before but I can’t find it. Since this is on the menu for this evening, I thought I would post it.

4 large ham hocks [gwis-gwis]
(or 12-16 chicken thighs with the skin left on [git-git])
1 package of salt pork (optional)
1 cup of wild rice
2 cans White Hominy corn* [o:nenhste] (or yellow, if white is not available)
1 can each of red and white kidney beans

* Available at Mexican, African or South American food stores and some grocery stores. Also available in dried form. Make sure if it is in the dried form, it has been shelled, or lyed. *

The day before:

In a large deep pot of salted water, bring the ham hocks or chicken to a boil. Cook until the skin and meat fall from the bones, adding water as needed. Let cool until room temperature.

Remove the meat and bones from the pot and break the meat apart, separating the meat from the fat, bones, and gristle. Place the large bones and meat back into the pot and refrigerate. When the fat has set on the top of the water, skim it off and remove and remaining pieces of fat that come to the surface.

Open the package of salt pork, cube the meat, and place in a bowl of cold water. Soak and rinse at least 3 times over the day, to remove the salty taste. Keep in a bowl of water until the next day.

The next day:

Put the pot of meat and bones back onto the stove and continue cooking.

In a small pot of salted water, boil the rice skimming off any foam that comes to the surface of the water. Boil until tender, but not soft. Rinse in clear cold water.

Remove the bones from the soup pot.

Add the salt pork, rice, corn and beans and cook gently for another 1/2 hour.

Serve with cornbread or scone (pron. skon).


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup milk or water
3 tbsp. cooking oil

Preheat the oven to 425 deg. F.

Pour the oil into a large iron skillet and swirl the pan around until the bottom and sides are well coated. Place in the oven to heat.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the milk or water and stir. The mixture should be thick and sticky.

Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the pan and smooth to fill the pan evenly.

Place back into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the top is set. Remove the pan from the oven.

Slip the scone out, cooked side down, onto a plate and flip back into the pan (if the scone is still too undercooked to slip easily from the pan put it back into the oven for a few minutes and try again).

Place the pan back into the oven and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanish (the scone should be moist but not wet and will continue to cook for a few minutes after it is removed from the oven).

Note: you can also add berries, leftover squash, zuccini, cheese, etc, to scone and it is excellent toasted with jam.

If you don’t have an oven or are cooking over a campfire, scone can be made in the skillet on the stove or over the fire.

* For information about “lyed” corn:

Photo Hunt: “Written”

This week’s Photo Hunt challenge is “Written”.

My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister in Dumfries, Scotland. After his death, when my mother and grandmother moved from the manse, amongst the many things in his office was a collection of documents from the General Synod. How they came into his possession, I don’t know. They were originally sent out in 1842 by The Reverend Dr. Henry Duncan to the ministers in the parishes in Dumfrieshire to collect information about incidents of “Fornication or Adultery between April 1, 1841 and April 1, 1842”.

Quite apart from their social import, the person who sent them is a fascinating historical character.

The Reverend Dr. Henry Duncan (1774-1846) was not just a parish minister (Ruthwell Parish). a few facts about Dr. Duncan

  • As a boy he met the poet Robert Burns, who visited Dr. Duncan’s father at Lochrutton Manse. Duncan was educated in Dumfries at the Academy.
  • In 1810 Duncan opened the world’s first commercial savings bank, paying interest on its investors’ modest savings. The Savings Bank Museum tells the story of early home savings in Britain.
  • In 1818 Duncan restored the Ruthwell Cross, one of the finest Anglo-Saxon crosses in Britain, now in Ruthwell church. This late 7th/early 8th century cross is remarkable for its runic inscription, which contains excerpts from The Dream of the Rood, an Old English poem.
  • In 1828 Duncan presented a paper to the Royal Society of Edinburgh describing fossil footprints found in Permian red sandstone at Corncockle Muir, Dumfriesshire. The paper, published in 1831, was the first scientific report of a fossil track. A cast of the tracks of Chelichnus duncani can be found in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • In 1839 Duncan became Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and at the time of the Disruption of 1843 became one of the founding ministers of the Free Church of Scotland.
  • Henry Duncan was visited by Robert Murray M’Cheyne during his vacations in Ruthwell

It’s snow cold!

We had snow last night (and freezing rain). Time to get out the snow shovel and by some salt ‘n sand. ‘Tis the season!

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Police Chase – Midas Commercial

It pays to ask…

This evening, while I was driving my mother and her friend to the theatre, the friend (who lives in our co-op) told me that there were certain people upset over the decorations that had been put up on the co-op office for the “Christmas” season. She stated that the Muslim people in our community, which is about half the population of the co-op, were upset that both Hallowe’en and Christmas decorations had gone up.

As I am on the Board and we have a General Members Meeting coming up, she “wanted to give me a heads-up that there were people who would be bringing the matter up at the meeting”. She said that they were upset about Co-op funding going into Christian decorations on property that was for “everyone’s use”. She said that they had been particularly upset about Hallowe’en but were now “really upset” about the Christmas decorations.

I said to her that if anyone was upset, they had every right to approach the Board and let us know of their feelings. I said that the Board didn’t authorize the decorations and that no co-op money went into buying these decorations. Nor did we know who put up the decorations. She said that SHE didn’t like having the decorations up on property owned by the members. We were getting into a rather heated discussion in the car and she kept saying that “they are upset” and that “they can’t get onto the Board to change things” and that “they feel helpless”…

I fumed all the way home. Not because of the fact that someone might be upset about the decorations but that, again, no one was coming to us to express their own feelings but that I was, as usual, being approached by a third party over issues that I can’t do anything about unless someone approaches me directly.

Finally, I decided that in order to take the bull by the horns, I needed to speak directly to one of members of the supposedly offended group and find out 1) if there was any discussion about the decorations 2) if so how upset were people and 3) if people were upset, how we could rectify the problem.

I am glad I did.

This was the first she had heard about the “problem”. No one was “talking about it”. No one was “upset”. Further more, members of this same community who are on the Recreation Committee were wanting to plan a Christmas party for all the members of the co-op… Now… to make this completely clear… Muslim community members were wanting to plan a Christmas party for ALL members of the co-op…

Someone please tell FOX News that Christmas is alive and well in multicultural Ottawa!

More on 2 minutes….


Earlier today, I got a call from someone at Rexall head office about my complaint about a company directive ordering 30 seconds of silence at 11 11 11 instead of the traditional 2 minutes.

I was pleased to hear that they are taking this seriously. I had been worried when I got an email asking which store this occurred and that this was going to turn into a hunt for leaks. Instead, I found a concerned voice and a desire (at least it sounds that way) to address the issue and repair the damage done.

It helps, I think, that I don’t appear to have been the only person who complained.

The caller wanted to know what I wanted to happen as a result of this. I said that I wanted them to ensure that this was an “error in judgment” by someone and a one-off… a learning experience. I worked retail for many years and that I understand that there will always be people who will complain about having to wait 2 minutes but that this is a long-standing and important tradition that should not be compromised by a few idiots.

I made the suggestion of putting a sign on the counters at the beginning of the 2 minutes informing people that “in honour of those who gave so much…” etc. If people have a problem with that, that’s their problem. I said that it is a right that employees should have the chance to be able to take that 2 minutes like every other Canadian and that this should not be watered down to “satisfy” the few people who don’t “get” the concept.

Apparently, someone “high up” at head office is going to call to get more feedback.

I want to make a point that often decisions are made because they get a couple of complaints but that the each complain needs to be evaluated on its own merits. In this case, there are larger issues to be considered. Some things are important for their own sake and you just cannot compromise on them. While pharmacies and certain other retail businesses are “required” to be open during this time that this should not negate the responsibility of the corporation to enable employees to show their respect. There should be an official response available from management when someone complains about having been “inconvenienced” by the 2 minutes of silence. Management and staff should feel that the company has their backs when an issue like this arises.

I mentioned the fact that the video “A Pittance of Time” gets thousands of comments every day around Remembrance Day EVERY YEAR and that those comments are almost universally in support of the staff and management of the store that stood its ground and ridiculing the “complainer”.

I also made the point that this isn’t about forcing people to stop and to remain silent. This is about respecting the right of those to do so.


Is 2 minutes too much to ask?

UPDATE: I got an email from someone at Rexall wanting to know which store this was… The 30-second communique came from head office and sent to stores so I think they are looking for a store name and they are looking for the leak. I told him the region the store is in but not the city. Luckily, at least one customer complained to staff and I hope more do, as well.

A friend who works at Pharma Plus pharmacy chain (owned by Rexall Drugs) was informed that instead of observing the normal 2 minutes of silence, this Remembrance Day employees would be marking 30 seconds of silence. That’s right… 30 seconds… Apparently because “customers” become restive during the two minutes, the company decided that rather than risk losing the business of the few people who are insensitive and stupid not to know that 1) it is Remembrance Day 2) it is 11 am at time for two minutes of silence and 3) too stupid to listen to the announcements leading up to the observance they would rather deny their employees the right (who have already been denied the right to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies) to appropriately mark the 2 minutes but to insult the memory of all those who served and died for this country.


Thirty seconds homage to those who fought and died for our country. I wrote an email to the company and have sent emails to the editors of most of the top Canadian news organizations to express my indignation.

Ironically, it was another Canadian pharmacy chain store that took a stand when a “customer” took it upon himself to complain to a clerk during the 2 minutes of silence. That sparked a Canadian songwriter who was there when the incident occurred to write a song on the subject.

I would urge others to contact Rexall/Pharma Plus and express your indignation.

You can send a message on line to them by clicking on “Contact Us” at the top of their web page.

poppy image via freefoto

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