Hill-food is very simple, but with buckwheat and Indian corn, and rice and red pepper, and little fish out of the stream in the valley, and honey from the flue-like hives built in the stone walls, and dried apricots, and turmeric, and wild ginger, and bannocks of flour, a devout woman can make good things, and it was a full bowl that the priest carried to the Bhagat.
He could see the evening gatherings, held on the circle of the threshing- floors, because that was the only level ground; could see the wonderful unnamed green of the young rice, the indigo blues of the Indian corn, the dock-like patches of buckwheat, and, in its season, the red bloom of the amaranth, whose tiny seeds, being neither grain nor pulse, make a food that can be lawfully eaten by Hindus in time of fasts.
Every New Englander might easily raise all his own breadstuffs in this land of rye and Indian corn
, and not depend on distant and fluctuating markets for them.
One is clearing a spot on the verge of the forest for his homestead; another is hewing the trunk of a fallen pine-tree, in order to build himself a dwelling; a third is hoeing in his field of Indian corn
As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burdened with ruddy fruit, which surrounded the warm tenement of Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the wilderness.
In one corner stood a huge bag of wool, ready to be spun; in another, a quantity of linsey-woolsey just from the loom; ears of Indian corn, and strings of dried apples and peaches, hung in gay festoons along the walls, mingled with the gaud of red peppers; and a door left ajar gave him a peep into the best parlor, where the claw-footed chairs and dark mahogany tables shone like mirrors; andirons, with their accompanying shovel and tongs, glistened from their covert of asparagus tops; mock- oranges and conch - shells decorated the mantelpiece; strings of various-colored birds eggs were suspended above it; a great ostrich egg was hung from the centre of the room, and a corner cupboard, knowingly left open, displayed immense treasures of old silver and well-mended china.
At each, there are a great many small dishes and plates upon the table, with very little in them; so that although there is every appearance of a mighty 'spread,' there is seldom really more than a joint: except for those who fancy slices of beet-root, shreds of dried beef, complicated entanglements of yellow pickle; maize, Indian corn
, apple-sauce, and pumpkin.
I could hear him grunting like a discontented pig in the poppy field as I waited shoulder deep in the dew-dripping Indian corn
to catch him after his meal.
The mountains drew farther apart, revealing in their place numerous villages, and fields of white Indian corn
, doura, and sugar-cane.
At harvest time, though their crop was of the smallest, they made an image with the sheaves of Indian corn
, and wreathed it with autumnal garlands, and bore it home triumphantly.
It was now the latter week of May, and the crows and blackbirds had already discovered the little, green, rolledup leaf of the Indian corn
just peeping out of the soil.
But, just at the time when my story begins, the good lady was very busy, because she had the care of the wheat, and the Indian corn
, and the rye and barley and, in short, of the crops of every kind, all over the earth; and as the season had thus far been uncommonly backward, it was necessary to make the harvest ripen more speedily than usual.