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The Good Berry Cookbook

The Good Berry Cookbook: Harvesting and Cooking Wild Rice and Other Wild Foods

Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2021

The Good Berry is an intimate narrative of resilience woven together with 75+ recipes featuring manoomin (wild rice) and other wild foods of Minnesota, including recipes from Indigenous cooks from different Nations. This cookbook also serves up anecdotal “recipes” for cultivating vibrancy and connection to plants and animals, seeded by dreams and visions, much in the way of the Anishinaabeg since time immemorial. It is a praise of the plants, animals, water, and earth and was written to help foster the healing of anyone on a journey of recovering their happy, healthy, whole self.

Manoomin (wild rice) also known as “the good berry,” first drew the Anishinaabeg to the Great Lakes region in search of the prophesied “food that grows on water.” Honoring the sustenance they found in the place we now know as Minnesota (from the Dakota language, Mni Sota Makoce, ‘land where the water reflects the sky’), The Good Berry Cookbook follows an Anishinaabeg family through seasons and spaces to gather wild foods and contemplate connections between the people and their plant and animal relatives, detailed through diary entries written by the author.

The images above are from harvesting balsam for ricing push poles. Shown is Kevin Hart Jr., the author’s father and cultural advisor.

During the research process for The Manoomin Cookbook, the author conducted interviews with elders and knowledge keepers. Here is a wonderful clip from an interview with Fond du Lac (Anishinaabe) elder, artist, curator, educator, and consultant, Wendy Savage.

Comparing toasted paddy rice with toasted real wild rice.

The Manoomin Book had help with funding from the Tiwahe Foundation & an Oyate Leadership Grant in 2019.

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