Woodland JOM students participate in Osage cooking class

Woodland High School Johnson O’Malley students learned to prepare a traditional Osage meal on Dec. 17, as well as set a table for an Osage dinner.

“It was a really good experience and to show those who don’t attend the dances to show them our culture,” said students Haley Holloway and Caitlin Cope.

The 15-20 girls were taught by Pah-Sue-Lee cooks Pam Shaw, Marville Kennedy, Joan Wooten, Donna Barrone, Vonda Hawkins and Samantha Frye Burris. The menu included grape dumplings, meat gravy, dried corn and frybread.

The ingredients were donated by the Title 7 program and JOM program. The cooking took place in the Life Skills class at the Woodland High School. The high school is located in Fairfax, five miles west of Grayhorse Indian Village. The classroom was also where the tables were set for the dinner to be served to the student’s teachers and the Osage language students.

“The food was great it was really good and they presented themselves well,” said David Webb, Osage Language instructor who teaches language classes in the school.

The students were busy with assigned tasks to make the dinner a success. They were split up to cook one of the menu items and then given the task of setting up the tables by wrapping silverware into napkins and setting up the tables with the plates, bags, cupcakes and candy canes and fruit.

“The girls did an amazing job. They were very attentive and interested. I am very excited to know the next generation of Grayhorse cooks are eager to learn,” Shaw said.

Before the meal was to be eaten Tracey Moore of the Grayhorse/Fairfax Language department gave thanks for the food and to those who prepared it in a prayer.

The girls were busy being good hostesses and lined up to greet their guests as they came in the room like they would at an Osage Committee dinner. This was a very good experience for the girls to see first hand what it takes to put on a dinner and the proper way to do so, Moore said.

For more information on the Woodland JOM program contact JOM Committee Chair Vickie Looney at (918) 373-5395 or the Osage Nation JOM coordinator Avis Ballard at (918) 287-5545.