Use it before it spoils. (And a bit about my adventures with the Seminole in South Florida!)

I was in south Florida for a week, near Lake Okeechobee. I had the honor and privilege of attending a workshop sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council about the Seminole Indians. They are a truly fascinating people, and I encourage you to learn more about them. In just a period of 100 or so years, they have managed to make great strides to improve the lives of their people. The question is how detrimental those strides have been on their unique and precious culture - and how they can retain it. The Pemayetv Emahakv charter school is one answer to this problem. Here, Seminole children (and non-Seminoles that live with Seminole families) follow the curriculum of any Florida school, and also take classes on the culture and language of their tribe. It is an incredible place, run by incredible people.

Anyway, I could write about the Seminoles for hours. If you're my friend on Facebook, check out my pictures from that week; I saw some amazing things! Here's a photo of a Miccosukee, not Seminole, woman. Her name is Betty Osceola, and she works on Buffalo Tiger's Airboat Tours of the Everglades. This is one of the best photos I've ever taken! She was absolutely incredible - she possessed a wealth of knowledge about her tribe, her clan, and the Everglades. We also learned quite a bit about her morals - she explained that Native Americans are required by the government to have a card saying that they are who they are (she brushed off the government benefits, saying that they didn't matter). She said (paraphrased), "Can you imagine being required to have a card to tell who you are? That's like having to have a card to say you're Jewish, or Irish." She. Was. Incredible.

When I returned from this amazing week, I had some produce that needed cooking - squash, and yum-yum peppers, to be specific. My very generous father provided my broke ass with some food as well - Gardein chipotle black bean burgers, among other things.

The squash required:
3 c. squash (Local Fare provided yellow straight-necked squash)
½ c. Sliced Onion
½ c. Sliced Peppers
1 tbsp. oil
¼ c. Water
1 ½ tsp. Minced Garlic
¼ tsp. Salt & ¼ tsp. Pepper

I sauteed the squash and onion in oil for a few minutes until starting to soften.

 Then I added the remaining ingredients including the peppers (which were simultaneously gorgeous and adorable). I cooked until the squash was tender, and the peppers still a bit firm.

We ate our black bean burgers on Publix's French Hamburger Buns, my favorite buns to go with burgers. Or anything. They're a delight. We also topped with condiments of choice, tomato, onion, kale, and meunster cheese. They were quite good. Normally, I limit my intake of overly processed vegetarian foods (the burgers score a C- on Fooducate), but they are good for a lazy night of cooking, and I'm sure fine to eat if they're not the only component of a vegetarian diet. They're quite tasty, and I'm grateful to my dad for helping a girl out!

We also had some roasted brussels sprouts. I refer to Ina Garten's recipe for temperature and duration.

Look at the delightful blend of colors on that plate!

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