Welcome to Freddie Bitsoie’s pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring seven staples stocking Freddie’s Indigenous American kitchen.
I began experimenting in the kitchen when I was a kid. Maybe it was the PBS cooking shows that I loved, or maybe it was boredom that drew me, but I began to cook in secret when my family wasn’t looking. I started out with hamburger patties, working through trial and error—like a culinary detective—to figure out what tasted best. When my mom couldn’t find the chicken that she’d placed in the refrigerator one morning, I didn’t want to tell her that I’d accidentally set it on fire. Eventually I got better at not burning chicken and learned traditional Navajo (Diné) cooking techniques from my grandmother, through my travels, and from people I met on the way.