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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OCTOBER 2022 CHALLENGE: THE THREE SISTERS

The indigenous peoples of the Americas refer to something they call the “three sisters”: corn, beans, and squash. The corn grows tall and strong, the beans climb up the corn, and the squash shelter the ground at the bottom with their big leaves. There are many beautiful dishes that use all three, and if you think a little broadly you can probably invent some new formulations.

Any type of corn: cornmeal, popcorn, sweet corn, tamales, arepas….

Any type of beans: black, pinto, lentils, borlotti, soybeans….

Any type of squash, from zucchini/courgettes to pumpkin to kabocha.

The challenge is wide open, but you get extra credit for a story about how and why you came up with this, from “this is a spin on a classic from X country” to “this is something my grandmother used to make every Saturday” to “I decided to create something completely new, fusing several different things.” All ingredients other than corn, beans, and squash are allowed, without restriction.

One final note:

Now that the new server seems to be filtering spam reasonably effectively, please encourage others to join in the competition. Let’s get some new people involved!

The rules:
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner's bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month's challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for beans: Chris, you mentioned lentils in your sum up. But do green beans count? And peas (like chickpeas, after all, chana dal (split chickpeas) is often mentioned in the same breath as lentils ;)
Yup, all beans are good here: peas, chickpeas, chana dal, soybeans, you name it. Have fun with your pumpkin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@cheflayne Very nice! How did it taste?

The acorn flour is very on-brand, as it were. I've never used it -- what does it taste like?

I'm wondering whether the green tinge of the sauce was the photo or something else: it looks herbal, or like maybe there's pumpkinseed oil in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some beautiful, creative dishes happening here. Come on, if you're new and unsure, jump in! I'm just a schlub who cooks at home, learned watching Jacques Pépin, and I've won 3 times. Then you all see how the hardcore pros do it, and everything in between.

Hoping to see a bunch of new entries in the second half of the month!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Some impressive stuff all around. We didn't have many entrants, but you guys made up for that by putting in scads of entries -- @butzy made 3, and @cheflayne made 4.

@teamfat made the most traditional dish, I think, one of thousands of variations on something people must have made in the Americas for a thousand years. Lovely stuff!

@butzy -- despite what seemed like a lot of difficulty getting ingredients I take for granted -- pulled off mezze, chowder, and an interesting pumpkin rice dish. The dishes seemed to me resourceful and thrifty, as well as being creative approaches to bringing together varied ingredients.

@cheflayne didn't tell a lot of stories, but the food spoke for itself. A full meal, in the end! Butternut squash ravioli, a dish of brown rice and fonio, an extraordinary chicken dish with corn sauce, and even a trifle for dessert.

It wasn't an easy choice, but somehow I found myself inspired by the meticulous professional craftsmanship of @cheflayne inspiring. These were dishes made up for the challenge, but each one looked like something you'd see in a fine-dining kind of restaurant, with intricate and beautiful balances of colors, shapes, and (in my head, at least!) flavors.

@cheflayne wins!
 
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