I have this wild and passionate foody problem about a fry bread fixation. I have hungered for it nearly forty years. Navajo Fry Bread. Nita a missionary lady married a Navajo man, Dennis Johnson. We met them in seminary. At one of our get-togethers (happened to be in the parsonage of our pastor, another Dennis Johnson, where we were house-sitting) Nita made us the traditional Navajo fry bread. It was SO good. I have tried and have not succeeded in making it as good as the ones in my memory.
Last time we were traveling cross country, we spent the night on the reservation in Arizona. However, the hotel that served its patrons an afternoon snack of fry bread in the lobby had no vacancies. Oh, such cruelty at being turned away from the place of authentic fry bread. To add insult to injury, we had to stay across the highway at the place where the door had been practically kicked in with blood stains on the carpet. Hmm. No fry bread was included. Unmet hunger is no fun after raised great expectations. I was near tears and not just over the raunchy lodgings. Now, my recent attempt at a gluten free version has not been very successful tasting like smashed biscuits fried in oil. It's as close as I'm probably going to ever get, so I'll live in my memories and dream on, thank you.
I'll try to remember all the facts of the history of Navajo fry bread. In 1849 the huge territory that the Navajo tribe subsisted on was being threatened by the New Men who ran off Mexicans (thus, New Mexico). The U.S. Government sent soldiers to form a treaty with the Navajo of which the chief was favorably considering. However, one brave named Sandoval was opposed and rode a horse back and forth trying to rile up support against the treaty. A soldier accused the brave of stealing his horse. The general in charge, named after George Washington, threatened to shoot into the crowd if none came forward to settle the dispute. He fired a canon which killed the Navajo chief who was planning for a peaceful settlement. The result was a rounding up of the tribe for the "Long Walk" of 300 miles to the reservation or a holding place meant for 3,000 where 9,000 were forced to live. Many starved on the walk and more while in custody there. Government rations consisted of lard, flour, salt, sugar, and powdered milk, which were often rancid. Fry bread for sustenance was the result. It became the symbol of suffering and survival. Since diabetes is now so rampant among the tribe, over fifty per cent, and with nearly a majority living under the poverty line, this is not a healthy choice with its 700 calories and 28 grams of fat per serving. Some say it has killed more Navajos than the soldiers in that diabetes and fry bread don't mix. However, it is still a favorite at pow wows and on the reservation and symbolic of the struggle.
Psalm 7 is called a wild and passionate hymn. It is also translated as a wandering song composed when David had to hide himself from Saul whose code name was probably "Cush, the Benjamite." I wonder if David ate a version of fry bread for his sustenance? This Psalm is about crying out to God for help against the enemy. This kind of cry throughout history sadly has been the norm, rather than the exception.