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Andi Murphy Transcript


Kerry Diamond: Hey, Bombesquad. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe, the number one female-focused food podcast around. I'm your host, Kerry Diamond, coming to you from my apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I'm very excited for today's episode because our guest is Andi Murphy, journalist, host of the Toasted Sister Podcast, and an important voice in the Native American food community.

Andi started her award-winning podcast in 2017 to document the Native American food movement. She has since talked with dozens of Native American chefs, farmers, and individuals who are working toward indigenous food sovereignty. I'm excited for you to hear my conversation with a fellow podcaster and a force in this crucial movement.

A little housekeeping. Issue 15 of Cherry Bombe Magazine is available for pre-order. Our cover star is Paola Velez, pastry chef and one of the founders of Bakers Against Racism. Want to learn more about Paola? Of course you do. Pre-order your copy at or reserve a copy from your favorite cookbook shop or bookseller.

What else? We just announced a Very Cherry Bombe Friendsgiving happening this November. Head on over to to learn more and RSVP. It's going to be a fun celebration packed with lots of activities. Thank you to our partners, Kerrygold, Maple Hill Creamery, and Pellegrino. Speaking of Kerrygold, thank you to our pals at Kerrygold, the maker of amazing butter and cheese, for supporting today's show. We'll be right back with Andi Murphy after this message from Kerrygold.

Kerrygold Announcer: Kerrygold is delicious, all natural butter and cheese made with milk from Irish grass-fed cows. Our farming families passed their craft and knowledge from generation to generation.

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Kerry Diamond: Now for my chat with Andi Murphy of the Toasted Sister Podcast.

Let's start at the very beginning. Where did you grow up, Andi?

Andi Murphy: So I grew up in Crownpoint, New Mexico, which is a little, tiny town in the eastern side of the Navajo Nation on the New Mexico side, of course. Went to elementary school there, middle school, high school, and then left for college about 2006, I and haven't lived there since. But I live in Albuquerque, which is just a short two hour drive so I can go back whenever I want and I can have my parents and my family visit. So it's really awesome to settle down here in Albuquerque. I love the Southwest.

Kerry Diamond: So we always ask, who cooked when you were younger?

Andi Murphy: I think mostly my mom cooked. My mom and my dad, they had busy schedules. I remember being dropped off at my grandma's at 4:00 in the morning so my parents could take off to work and go to work at 6:00 in a different town. We grew up eating the breakfasts and lunches at the boarding school there in Crownpoint. Then at home, either my mom or dad would cook something really very simply.

Now I look back on it and it was a lot of poor man's food, a lot of cheap food that was easy and quick to prepare. Lots of rice, lots of potatoes, lots of simply cooked meat like fried chicken, pan fried chicken pork chops and stuff like that. Lots of spaghetti. Once we got a little bit older, around high school, middle school range, me and my sister always had my dad cook breakfast for us almost every single day.

Kerry Diamond: So let's talk about your interest in food and media. So as you started to get older, that became an interest for you. When did that start to become a thing for you?

Andi Murphy: That became something I just latched onto fresh out of college. I have a journalism degree for NMSU, New Mexico State University, and right out of the gate, I became a features writer, features reporter for Las Cruces Sun-News, which is in the same college town. I think early on when I was a new reporter there, I got an assignment to do a restaurant review because the person who usually did it couldn't at that time, at that issue.

So I got put in from the bench and went to this French restaurant. I didn't really know how to cover it so much and the editor told me, "Just go there, take notes about everything, what it tastes like, what it looks like, what the place looks like, and just write a short 400 or 500 word article about it. Take a quick picture," and I'm like, "Okay."

So I did it, and I guess I was pretty good at it because then I got put in charge of doing that every week. It became just really, really fun to do that and from there, I just needed to learn everything about food. This little town, this small city, had so many restaurants that I could go to that had food from all over the world. So I explored the world from Las Cruces, New Mexico and I wrote about it. That's when I really started to get passionate about food photography and just food stories behind what comes on the plate, what you see at a restaurant in front of you. The stories of immigration and just family stories behind the plate.

Then I came here to Native America Calling as a radio producer, so that's my current job. Native America Calling is the only live one hour radio show about indigenous issues and topics in the U.S. We produce 250 plus shows a year Monday through Friday about a different topic from our indigenous lens. So every day, all day, I talk to Native professionals and movers and shakers and artists and chefs.

AWhen I produced my first food show back in 2014, that was when really my eyes were opened up to this whole Native food movement that I really had no idea about because I was still so interested in learning about other people's food. I didn't really take time to learn about indigenous food or even my own Navajo food. So when I got to Native America Calling and did that first show on Native American food, I completely changed focus and I needed to learn more about this food movement and learn more about the history and the revitalization that's going on right now.

So I followed Native chefs when I found them on Facebook and Instagram and kept pitching shows about food at Native America Calling. The editor was like, "You can't be doing food all the time. You have to do other stuff." It was actually my co-worker who was like, "You should start a podcast. You have all the ingredients here in the studio and the skills to put together a podcast because you put together a live radio show every day. You should do it on a podcast."

I did that in January of 2017 and now it's almost four years. Yeah. I know so many Native chefs and farmers and people who are doing really, really awesome work in Native food sovereignty and that's what the Toasted Sister Podcast is all about. It's about indigenous food sovereignty.

Kerry Diamond: So tell us what that means for those who don't know what that's all about.

Andi Murphy: So food sovereignty is reclaiming food, reclaiming your food, revitalizing indigenous food knowledge and food ways. It is also very personal too for an individual to explore their own food sovereignty, remembering the foods from your family, remembering the foods from your tribe, which is something that I still like to work on myself right now. It's kind of political as well. Actual tribes fighting to keep access to foods, fighting to reintroduce their people to these foods that are so much older than a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese or spaghetti.

Kerry Diamond: It's interesting, Andi, it's not only introducing the mainstream to Native American history and food ways, but Native Americans themselves because the stories have been so erased.

Andi Murphy: I think it first starts with that sovereignty within ourselves, within our own Native communities. It's just recently that the mainstream media is poking around and just now finding out that, "Oh, Native Americans are still alive? Native Americans are still eating their Native food? Let's put the spotlight on this." So I think we saw everybody kind of discovering or rediscovering indigenous food a couple of years ago in mainstream media and now I'm seeing some really cool, awesome work from indigenous and non-indigenous food writers talking about these different areas of food sovereignty and food issues that are important to us and that affect us and our food.

Kerry Diamond: What do you think caused that change, that discovery?

Andi Murphy: I think it's kind of like the natural evolution of media. First, it's like the discovery. Like, "Native Americans are still here and they're eating." Then it's this Miꞌkmaq lobster dispute that's happening out in Nova Scotia. There's all kind of hot issues like that happening and they all boil down to access to food. The Dakota Access Pipeline put a lot of Native issues right there at the forefront. Part of that was to have access to water and to have access to those indigenous foods right there. All of these little issues, not little issues, I mean big issues, you can't help Native Americans... we can't help but include food in there because that is so precious to our community. It's not separate from Native culture. Food is part of Native culture.

Kerry Diamond: Is this discovery by mainstream media and mainstream sources helpful to the community?

Andi Murphy: Yeah, I think so, but it can also be detrimental because when people discover stuff, they want it and they monetize it. They take it all for themselves or they appropriate it. So that's kind of what we're seeing here and there with people doing those things.

Kerry Diamond: Well, in a little bit we're going to talk about some Native American food brands and companies that are doing it themselves and that you've spotlighted. But before we get to that, I would love to talk about some female chefs in the Native American food community who you admire. I've really enjoyed listening to your show and seeing more coverage about these women. I was just curious who were some of your favorites?

Andi Murphy: There are a lot of Native female chefs out there and Native female entrepreneurs who are teaching their community about indigenous foods, who are doing work in farming and gardening and seed saving to preserve and promote indigenous food and farming and gardening. So a couple of folks that I really gathered the most information from or I'm just excited to see what they're doing next are Nico Albert. I think you heard from her in one of the previous podcast episodes on Toasted Sister, but she's a Cherokee chef and she, because of COVID, didn't have a job. She was an executive chef at a restaurant in Tulsa. That seemed to really give her the time to focus on maybe what she really wanted to do. But now she has her own catering education promotion business called Burning Cedar.

Then in the same area, Tawnya Brant. She's Mohawk. Same kind of story. This time has given her the, I guess, motivation to do her own thing and she's currently opening up a restaurant. Then, of course, Elena Terry from the Intertribal Agriculture Council. She's just doing all kind of stuff there in the Midwest. She heads this culinary mentorship group that I'm also part of, teaching indigenous folks like me to cook and understand indigenous ingredients and use indigenous ingredients and also take all of that culinary knowledge so that we can use all of that knowledge to teach other people in our own communities. So she's doing a lot of awesome work up there.

Then of course, Rowen White, she's just a very awesome, awesome seed saver. She is a really awesome person and multiple examples of her and her group rematriating seeds, which means taking seeds that have been dormant and been missing in these Native communities where they come from and bringing them back, rematriating them and giving them back to the people. So there are a couple of communities where they hadn't seen this type of squash or this type of corn for a long time because they thought it was gone, it just kind of disappeared or was taken from the community, and here she is like, "Here it is. I grew it out. Here, you guys can have it back." So that's really awesome work that she's doing and that's kind of like the most important part to all of this. But there are lots of important parts to this food movement and indigenous food sovereignty and revitalization.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. The seed saving movement is fascinating.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I never successfully gardened myself or grew something myself. I just think that's next, next level and I hope to get there maybe next year. Clean up my yard and try to do that in my back yard.

Kerry Diamond: I want to hear more about the mentorship program. So I had seen that, you're a mentee in the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance's mentorship program. I mean, I guess it's hard now that in the middle of the pandemic, everything's virtual. But how does it actually work, the program, and how did you become part of it?

Andi Murphy: If COVID-19 didn't mess up everything, part of the program would be actually meeting our mentors and getting to cook with them or getting more of that one on one sort of curriculum, but mostly being able to go to a couple of their conferences and gatherings that they host throughout the year. Like the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit and the Red Lake Nation Food Summit. Those kinds of things. We would have been able to go there and just get a crash course of education there and cooking knowledge.

How it works now, it's kind of frustrating for me because I've never done an online course before and that's exactly what it is. There are a couple of questions that she'll give to us mentees and we'll answer them. Mostly about our personal connections to food and what we want to learn in the future from either just broadly culinary knowledge or just within our own tribes, those ingredients, and that kind of culinary knowledge.

So yeah. I don't know what else to say about it because COVID has just put a stop to all that back and forth, hands on, in the kitchen sort of learning. But the program is all about knowledge sharing. They're getting us ready to go back into our own communities and just let other people know, especially other Native people know that it's possible to reconnect with these ingredients. I mean, for myself, I'm not very traditionally connected to Navajo culture, to Navajo food, because me and my sister didn't grow up that way. So we don't have too many elders in my family that I can just call up or meet because assimilation really got to my family. So yeah, it's kind of been a struggle for me to make those kinds of connections.

That's why I wanted to apply to this program and learn more about the food in my own community and just about cooking. So there's lots of cool information being shared among all us mentees and mentors about different ingredients that are very similar all across the board and they're making really cool dishes with all of these things. So that's inspiring to see.

Kerry Diamond: Now, you're not a professional chef, but you are an enthusiastic home chef, right?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Once I started learning about food after I did that first restaurant review, I just needed to learn everything about food. I was watching Food Network, reading food articles, subscribing to a couple of food magazines, and just learning how to cook. Using a knife, using different kinds of knives. Now, yeah, I'm a home chef. I regularly do cooking from all over the world in my own kitchen. One of my favorite places to cook from is the Middle East. I love cooking Afghan food in my own kitchen like that. And Korean food is my favorite kind of food. I'm at a point now where I can actually write a couple of recipes. Hours go by like nothing when I'm in my kitchen with my dirty notebook, a greasy notebook, and my pencil up until like 3:00 in the morning, just writing stuff down and cooking and taking pictures of it. That's so fun.

Kerry Diamond: I have some friends who did a project called Dirty Pages and it was all about exactly what you're talking about. The stained notebook, the stained cookbook pages. I didn't have this, but folks whose grandmothers passed down the index cards to them with recipes typed on them. You have some recipes that you've showcased when you're asked to do demos. What are some of those recipes?

Andi Murphy: One of them, which I've used, I think, three, four times because it's really pretty and it's really easy and you can make a lot of it with very little money, it's a Navajo blue corn mush with maple caramelized butternut squash and popped amaranth with maybe pumpkin seeds, also flavored with maple syrup. But I think blue corn is one of the most versatile ingredients that I see a lot of Native chefs using because it's so delicious. There's a company called Bow & Arrow. They make tons of it. They have acres and acres of their own blue corn fields and they have a mill and everything. They package it. That's something that you'll see a lot of Native chefs taking selfies with or just promoting because I think it's maybe one of just a few or maybe it's the only one Native-owned blue corn companies out there.

Kerry Diamond: I haven't cooked with blue corn, Andi. Is it similar to polenta or corn meal?

Andi Murphy: Yeah, it's very similar, but when you cook it as blue corn mush, it have a really corny flavor. You can roast it as well so then it takes on a roasted flavor as well. Since I had my first taste of really good, real maple syrup, I've been flavoring my blue corn mush with maple syrup ever since. I don't use sugar or anything, just maple syrup. So that's something that's also really versatile too. A lot of chefs are using the maple syrup. Also the amaranth as well. So it's kind of like that little dish that I mentioned, the blue corn mush with the squash and the amaranth, that's an intertribal sort of sample. It has the blue corn, which is very common across all of Native America. Then you have the squash, which is also very common across all of Native America. Then you have the maple syrup that is made in that one area.

Then my favorite one, my most recent one, is a bison and wild rice stuffed poblano pepper with a pumpkin seed sauce on top.

Kerry Diamond: Oh my God, that sounds so good and I'm so hungry right now.

Andi Murphy: It is. Yeah. It's really, really good. It's seriously good. The first time I got the sauce right and the whole dish right, I had it and I was like, "Oh my God. This is genius." It's kind of like my indigenous take on chiles en nogada. It has a lot of ingredients, but it's really, really simple. It just takes on skillet. But that's something that I wanted to write down and put out there for any future, maybe cooking demos or anything. It's something that I also took a video of just recently. The Native student organization over at Yale University asked me to do a talk and also provide a recipe. So that's one recipe that hopefully their students are going to be making pretty soon.

Because also, just the process of cooking and learning how to cook I think is one of the most important things that I learned over all of my years of focusing on indigenous food and just food in general, is Americans, people don't know how to cook and we should. I was thinking about all of this one time and thinking about how I just want people to be inspired in the kitchen. I want them to want to learn how to make these things in Native America and outside of Native America and just learn how to cook.

I was thinking how that is really important to this movement because we can have tribes make their own, grow their own food. We can have people doing food demos and stuff like that and educational programs. But all of that really doesn't mean anything if we can't bring that into our kitchens and have that really personal, literal connection with indigenous food, with just good food in general.

Kerry Diamond: Well, at least that's one thing happening in the pandemic, is that people are learning to cook because some of them are being forced to learn how to cook.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, definitely. That's one silver lining to all of this. As everybody's getting over the shock of just the changing environment because of COVID, I saw a lot of Native chefs doing cooking videos, which are pretty cool. I jumped up and I did a couple of them because I saw a lot of people just asking for help. Also, a lot of people putting in gardens in their yards for the first time. I think everybody thought they're going to need to learn how to make all that squash somehow. They're going to get a huge boom in squash or zucchini pretty soon and they're not going to know what to do with it. So I think a lot of Native chefs responded with making a lot of cooking videos and really seeing recipes and stuff like that. So that was pretty cool to see the insides of people's kitchens and to learn new stuff also from these Native chefs.

Kerry Diamond: Absolutely. Andi, you mentioned, the first dish that you talked about, the blue corn mush dish with the butternut squash and the amaranth, you called that an intertribal dish or recipe. Are there any dishes that are typical of the Navajo Nation or any ingredients? Or is that not even the right question to ask? Is everything intertribal?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. That's hard to say. We do have something called kneeldown bread. That kind of question's really hard for me to answer because like I said, I'm not really that connected to Navajo culture and Navajo food culture. My family's a ranching family. My grandma had sheep, but sheep are not indigenous to this area. But we really got ahold of them and just integrated them into our culture and our food culture. But Navajo foods, we have our own three sisters and I think a lot of tribes have their own three sisters, their own corn, beans, and squash. That is something that's been passed down from generation to generation with different tribes. There are thousands of variations of these too across all tribes. We traded. Some tribes raided and got ahold of different ingredients like that.

But that question is also hard to answer because we didn't really write everything down in a cookbook. So what you see now, what we call traditional is your family's traditional version of that soup. Yeah. But it seems every tribe has their own kind of soup though.

Kerry Diamond: So Andi, is one of the goals of the sovereignty movement to piece those things back together to figure out what was typical of the Navajo Nation, for example, versus other tribes?

Andi Murphy: Yeah, that's part of it. But it's also just how to integrate these things in your lives right now because my palette is definitely not the same palette as like five generations ago. I'm probably not going to like that at all. So it's not like we're just trying to bring up the past and connect to the past. I mean, yeah, we are trying to do that to a point, but we also have all these different kinds of resources available to us right now.

Kerry Diamond: So it's a very forward looking movement.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, it's forward looking, but also just honoring the cooking techniques of the past, all of that knowledge that's still here, and just using it and sprinkling it in our current indigenous food fare right now. It's a very personal journey for people. It's hard to make assumptions about everybody because my goal in my connection with food is just a lot different than somebody else who's maybe a farmer, than somebody else who works three jobs and has a bunch of kids to raise and don't have the time to stop and learn how to cook in a fire pit or forage for all of these wild ingredients and stuff like that. But I think the gist of the movement is just making those connections with food.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah, food is so intensely personal, which is, I think, why we've seen so many different things happen in the food world this year, because people are protective of their individual food ways and their family's food ways and what they love. Andi, I think that's a good segue for us to talk about your list of Native owned food companies. So I had mentioned earlier that you have a very helpful resource on your Toasted Sister website. Can you walk us through a few of the companies that you think we should check out?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Well, the list is getting bigger. Every time I shout it out to people, I'm like, "Hey, look at this list. Are there any more that I need to put on there?" I think I mentioned Bow & Arrow. They're one of the only or one of the few Native owned businesses that make available blue corn and white corn. Or is it yellow corn? Yellow corn I think. Tanka Bar is also pretty cool. I mean, they produce bison jerky. They were just involved in an issue awhile ago, a cultural appropriation issue awhile ago. That's mentioned in one of the episodes of the podcast.

Then the Quapaw Tribe, they are doing some really awesome work with creating their own meat processing company that's tribally owned and operated. A lot of tribes, especially in the West and the Southwest, we have a lot of cattle, a lot of cattle operations, lots of ranchers. But all that food, all that cattle, they have to go outside of the reservation to get processed and then sometimes that meat cycles back into. So it's just broken system. Navajo Nation is thinking about creating their own meat processing operation. But Quapaw, I think they're really moving on that and they are providing meat for their own community, especially during COVID times.

There's another one called American Indian Foods and it's under the Intertribal Agriculture Council. They also have a list of Native owned food companies there. They actually have the ability to put together a box.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, I saw that, I think, on your Instagram.

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Yeah. So they can do that and it's kind of like Blue Apron, but it's like the indigenous Blue Apron. It comes with a couple different things like the blue cornmeal from Bow and Arrow, some tepary beans from Ramona Farms, and a bag of rice from one of the Great Lakes reservations. I think I got White Earth Reservation. But yeah, they're doing some really good work and I think they also have their own podcast that just highlights all these different companies. So they're also a really good resource too if you want to actually taste indigenous food and support tribally owned Native food businesses. They're there too.

Then there's a lot of Native owned coffee companies, like coffee roasting companies, out there too and also wineries. So tribes and individual tribal members are using their resources to get food in our pantries and to let other people taste these ingredients too.

Kerry Diamond: The Séka Hills brand? Am I saying that right?

Andi Murphy: Séka Hills, yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Do you know about them? They do wine and olive oil and chickpeas.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, yeah. I think they're also part of that box as well with American Indian Foods. But it's really exciting to see all of this. I mean, that's also part of this whole movement too, is creating that access to indigenous food because this whole disruption that colonization has caused in how we access food is just really detrimental to economy, to health number one, and having that kind of physical access is really great, especially for people like me who don't live on the reservation, but I can order these things online and get it in my mail. That's really awesome.

Kerry Diamond: As can everyone who is listening. Which leads me to the next question, Andi. A big conversation over the next few weeks will be decolonizing your Thanksgiving. You had mentioned to me that this conversation comes up every year and the media reaches out to you. Unfortunately sometimes those interviews air like the day before Thanksgiving so there's really not an opportunity for people to look at this in a meaningful way and make some changes. For those who are new to this concept of decolonizing Thanksgiving, can you walk us through that a little bit?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Decolonizing I think is an inside term. Like inside of our Native communities. Because it means something different if I decolonize than if you decolonize. Like if white people were to decolonize their diets, they would have to see what was available in England or France or somewhere else in the world. But when we say decolonizing our diets, me as a Native American, we mean just that. Reaching out to our traditional ingredients that have been with our families since time in memorial. Eating the wild plants and vegetables and medicines from where our homelands are. Because my indigenous food from Navajo Nation, from where I'm from, is totally different than what you would find in Midwest or you would find in any of the coasts. It's different than what you find across the state in New Mexico with the Pueblos have in their historical pantry. So it's really connecting to those ingredients and using them how you want to in your kitchen.

Kerry Diamond: So do you think it's more about how to have a more respectful Thanksgiving, how to challenge what we've been taught about Thanksgiving?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. It's about that. I mean, in Native America, we know that history already is just a yearly reminder that this is a celebration of just the whitewashed cartoon history of all of this. But we know the real history.

Kerry Diamond: I remember the first time you and I talked, you told me something about when you and your sister were first learning about Native American studies and you were taking Native American studies classes in college and how angry you were about this history that you hadn't known up until then.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, yeah. That's the messed up part about all of this, is because most of us get the same kind of education everybody else does, which always excludes Native history and Native reality, until we go to college. Like my sister and I get into American Indian studies courses and we're like, "What? What is all of this?" There were a couple years where I was just angry at how everything just rolled out.

Kerry Diamond: I'm surprised. I mean, you must still be angry.

Andi Murphy: Yeah. I'm angry, but as a reporter, you're angry when you're reporting on it right then and there, but then you go to another one and you're angry about that. You go to another topic and the culprit is colonization. You go to another topic and the culprit is colonization. So all this boils down to how colonization just completely screwed every facet of Native life up and how it's been a struggle the last couple generations to rebuild and just recapture just a piece that that's just not there.

So there's struggles, which I think everybody knows about in Native America. The poverty, the health issues, all of that kind of stuff. It's tiring. As a Native reporter, it's really, really tiring to report on all of this all the time. With food and my podcast, I like to focus on what's happening right now, who are... all the solutions that people have right now and that that's what I like to focus on. Of course, every episode, we have to go back to well, the solution is this. That's because we need a solution to all of this crap that is just so present right now.

Kerry Diamond: Well, let me ask you. What do you do on Thanksgiving? Do you just ignore the holiday?

Andi Murphy: No. With my family, we still get together and eat because gravy and mashed potatoes are delicious. So we still do that, but it's not like we take a little bit of time to just remember 400 years ago, pilgrims, and stuff like that. It's a football holiday really for my family. But I know a lot of people are like, "We're not even going to do anything." Some tribes, they just work through that day and it's not a holiday for them. Tribes like the Wampanoag up in that area who were the Indians sitting down with the pilgrims. They hold, I think, a protest every year. So there's a lot of mixed stuff, but I think a lot of people see it these days as just a football holiday and a culinary holiday where you get to binge on turkey and stuffing and stuff like that. That's how I see it now.

Kerry Diamond: Does the Navajo Nation have one response to Thanksgiving or people acknowledge it in different ways?

Andi Murphy: They acknowledge it in different ways. I know for Columbus Day, a lot of tribes including Navajo Nation, they just work through that day and it's not a holiday because it's stupid how we still celebrate Columbus Day.

Kerry Diamond: I'm shocked that it's still even called Columbus Day.

Andi Murphy: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: I don't think that holiday's going to be around much longer frankly.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, we'll see.

Kerry Diamond: So I guess one of the messages to send to people who are listening is it's great that Andi has this list of Native American owned food companies, if you do decide to shop from them, and I hope you do and I do hope you discover some of these foods and make them for yourself and your family not just on Thanksgiving. But if you do choose to do it on Thanksgiving, make sure there's a little education and history that goes along with that. Don't just make the wild rice or make the blue corn mush.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, yeah. I think if you want to take part in decolonizing your Thanksgiving, it might be uncomfortable, but just learn about the tribes in your area and learn about that history and be angry for a little bit. I mean, what's so wrong with being angry and disgusted for awhile? Because once that's over, you have a better understanding and a better look forward. I think people are just afraid to be angry for awhile.

Kerry Diamond: Yeah. Sit in your anger and your discomfort.

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Sit there at the table and think about the massacre that happened under your house and in your town. Think about how Native people today still don't have access to traditional foods like we had a long time ago. Think about how people of color are treated. Think about how they have been disconnected from their land and their food. Think about how we treat hunger today. You have this big meal in front of you. Be grateful for it, but also use that anger to just do better and have better conversations around the dinner table, and to also think about the ingredients on your food.

Most of those ingredients have indigenous origin. Most of those ingredients have been cultivated thousands of years ago from indigenous people in Mexico. Even the corn, beans, and squash that are so prevalent in tribes up here, those came from our ancient trade routes from tribes in Mexico to us. So that agricultural science was there even before anybody set foot on this land. So it's not like some kind of Nebraskan miracle that we're all having buttery corn. It's indigenous science from Mexico is why you have corn on your plate right now.

Kerry Diamond: Well, thank you, Andi. I think that gives people a lot to think about and some steps to take action-wise. So I appreciate that.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, and if I can maybe say one more thing. If this is the month that you're going to be focusing on Native Americans, you really focus on Native Americans in your own state, in your own town. Learn about those tribes that were there and that are still there. Learn about them in a contemporary way. We're not just in the history books, we're not just in your museum's pamphlet about oh, Native Americans were here and the good settlers came and settled this country. Learn about them right now and what kind of issues are important to them right now because we're, everybody says this, but it's so true, we're still here. You hear this every now and then, even me, I hear this every now and then, that, "You guys are still here? I thought we got rid of you," or, "I thought you guys were extinct."

Kerry Diamond: Wow, that has to be hard to hear.

Andi Murphy: Yeah. So if people don't know that Native Americans are still here, they're not going to know about indigenous food. They're not going to know about our food. So that's the kind of work we're doing also. It's not the main part, but it's also a part in this whole movement, is just raising awareness that we're still here and look, we have this food and it's important to us and these are the issues that affect our food. But feeding you and getting these ingredients to you is not our priority. So people should stop asking me about where are the Native restaurants. Well, they're there, but that's not the whole point. The big point is us reconnecting with our food first and then we'll give you a restaurant or so.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you for that, Andi. That's a good reminder to look in your own backyard and start there.

All right. We're going to do a wild shift now and we're going to talk about soap.

Andi Murphy: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: People are going to be like, "Okay, that's abrupt." So you do so many things. I mean, you have your day job. You have Toasted Sister. You do zines. You're so creative. You do stickers and tee shirts and all these different things. You are just a young woman with so many interests. You also have your own startup. Do I want to call it a beauty line? Will you expand it one day?

Andi Murphy: I hope to. I mean, I partnered with my friend Addie Lucero. She has this little side company called Dancing Butterfly Naturals. She grows her own ingredients for some of these beauty products like lotion and face masks and lip balm and sugar scrubs and stuff like that. She uses her indigenous ingredients, in Taos because she's Taos Pueblo, from that really beautiful area of Taos in her products. So I was curious about black soap because I have a goth aesthetic. You see it in my podcast. I have that punk rock, goth sort of feel in my podcast. So that's in my house too and my personal life. I'm always wearing black. Except this wall behind me, most walls in this house are black.

Kerry Diamond: Your cat's name is Lucifer as we established.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, so that's my personal aesthetic. I was looking around for Native owned soap companies that had a black soap and I couldn't really find any. So I thought, "I should make one myself," and Addie was like, "I can make you some." That idea popped in my head like a light bulb, like we should do a goth soap line.

Kerry Diamond: So wait, what is black soap?

Andi Murphy: It's just soap that's colored black.

Kerry Diamond: What makes it black? Charcoal?

Andi Murphy: Well, for this one, yeah, the activated charcoal.

Kerry Diamond: Okay.

Andi Murphy: But it's just the color black because my bathroom is black and I like artisanal soap, so I wanted a black bar in my bathroom. We're wanting to do another batch for the holidays coming up.

Kerry Diamond: So that leads me to the next question. In addition to buying your black soap when the next drop comes, there are lots of different ways that people can support you and Toasted Sister. Can you walk us through those?

Andi Murphy: Yeah. Well, you can become a patron on Patreon and that's been so awesome. I just started that a couple of months ago. Since the beginning, I've been afraid to monetize any of this or ask for money. It was just a hobby. It was just a little hobby. I thought, "Oh, I'll just do it for as long as I can." Now it's four years and now it's a really awesome, useful resource. I just got a message just today from a student at NMSU, my alma mater, who is like, "Hey, Andi. I just want to let you know that our food and feminism class got a cool assignment to listen to your podcast-"

Kerry Diamond: Oh, I love it.

Andi Murphy: "... and that's our assignment." I'm like, "Wow. Well, that's pretty cool." Also, I've been dealing with that imposter syndrome for the longest time and I finally just decided to just go for it and do that Patreon page. Now that I have a couple patrons and some money coming in monthly, I feel like I can just focus on Toasted Sister and not have to hustle so hard for everybody else. Because I was freelancing for a lot of other people and hustling for other people, telling Native stories for other publications. Now I feel like I can do it, quit that a little bit and just focus on Toasted Sister.

So if you want to help me out there, you can become a patron on Patreon. I also have a whole line of stickers with a little bit of my artwork on there. Then I have a tee shirt with a corn man on there. Everybody loves that logo, the corn man with the leather jacket and the sunglasseses. He's so badass. I have just a couple of coffee cups left. But yeah, you can also just listen to these stories because that's what I do it for.

Kerry Diamond: Your podcast is fantastic, Andi. I mean, not to fan girl too much, but I just think you're a dynamite podcaster and I'm thrilled you put these stories out into the world. It's so clear that you have so much empathy and curiosity for the people you put on your show.

Andi Murphy: Yeah, definitely, definitely. Share these episodes. Because like I said, if some people are still like, "You guys are still alive?" they definitely don't know that there are Native chefs out there, there are Native farmers out there, that there are Native food issues out there. So that's also one where you can support this podcast and support everybody, all the voices in the podcast, and the voices still to come. Oh my gosh, there's so much I want to do!

Kerry Diamond: That's it for today's show. I always hate when they're over. Thank you so much to Andi Murphy for sitting down with me to share her mission and her story. Be sure to subscribe to Andi's podcast, Toasted Sister, and consider heading on over to Patreon and becoming a patron. You can also visit the Toasted Sister website for Andi's list of Native American owned food businesses. Be sure to support them with your dollars.

Thank you to Kerrygold for supporting today's show and providing us with their delicious butter and cheese. Radio Cherry Bombe is edited by Kat Garelli. Our theme song is All Fired Up by the band Tralala. Radio Cherry Bombe is produced by Cherry Bombe Media. Hang in there, everybody, especially this week, oh, boy and thank you for listening. You are the Bombe!

When Harry Met Sally Clip: I'll have what she's having.

DeAndra Bailey: Hey, it's DeAndra Bailey, one of the pastry chefs at Compass Rose in D.C. You want to know who I think is the Bombe? Her name is Tierra Taylor. She's a postal worker here in Maryland and I like to think through our present climate and knowing that we almost lost our USPS services, Tierra has remained super optimistic and putting a little extra overtime to guarantee that we receive all the service and care that we deserve. I think she's the Bombe!