Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ute Indians

Lightning Hawk of the White Mesa Utes plays at Kelly Place Bed and Breakfast
The history of the Ute Indians goes back to times unknown.  They were a powerful people with a heritage of nomadic living that pre-dates the Navajo in this region.  The Ute Mountain Ute reservation is located on the Colorado corner of the 4 Corners, with Navajos on the Arizona, Utah and New Mexico corners. 

The Utes offer guided tours of the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, the southern neighbour of Mesa Verde National Park.  When Euro-Americans decided to form the National Park, the Utes told them that, if they really want to preserve the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) ruins, they should just leave the land in the property of the Utes, because their tribe had kept the ruins in pristine, unpillaged condition for hundreds of years already.  In truth, when you visit the Tribal Park, you can see artefacts on the ground where they have lain for centuries—unlike our sterilized, collected and curated National Park.  At the Tribal Park, you can still climb into the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings to view from the perspective of those who lived there 800-1,000 years ago. 

When the West was “settled”, the Utes were assorted onto several reservations.  The Southern Utes (south central Colorado) and the Ute Mountain Utes (southwestern Colorado) each have casinos among other income-producing businesses to assist the tribe members. The White Mesa Utes on a small reservation in southeastern Utah have little to sustain their members.  They are the descendants of the participants of the “Last Indian War” and proudly inform you that they never did sign a peace treaty.  One of the esteemed leaders of this tribe, Aldean (Lightning Hawk) Ketchum was the first flute player in the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics.  He is an imposing figure of a man with a friendly, gentle voice.  Kelly Place is proud that Aldean and his Navajo wife Wanda offer programs here to visitors, not just of flute music, native dress and dance, but more importantly of stories. The stories from their lives give us an indication of how their heritage has shaped them and the unique point of view and values given by their cultures.

Friday, June 21, 2013

World Famous Kelly Place Granola Recipe

Best granola recipe from Kelly Place Bed and Breakfast
 In answer to many, many requests, here is the recipe for 
the best granola made at Kelly Place Bed and Breakfast.

Kelly Place Best Granola (makes lots!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • 16 c. old fashioned oats
  • 8 c. unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 4 c. raw sesame seeds
  • 7 c. nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts)
  • 3 T. cinnamon
  • 1 T. salt
Mix.  I use my hands with food service gloves.  Make a shallow well in the center and add:
  •  2 c. good vegetable (canola) oil
  • 3 T. vanilla
  • 2 c. honey

Mix thoroughly. Spread evenly on 2 full size, rimmed metal sheet pans. Place one in the middle of the oven, and one on the bottom rack.  After 10 min, remove the bottom pan and stir/turn with a spatula.  Do the same with the other pan, rotating their oven placement top/bottom and front/back.  Repeat after another 10 min.  And finally, after the third 10 minutes, the granola should be lightly toasted.  Variables include your oven's temperature, the darkness and thickness of your metal pan.  You may need to change the position in the oven, the temperature setting, or the times to get the toasting you want.

After removal from the oven, you must stir/turn every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes to prevent clumping.  Once the granola is cool, you can add 12 oz each of chopped dried apricots, raisins and dried cranberries.

For best freshness, we store in a airtight container in the freezer.  If the granola appears somewhat burned, taste it.  I have had some that was overdone, but the carmelization did not taste burned.  Next time modify a variable.  This is the best granola recipe I have ever found!