Good news: Elizabeth Warren contributed five recipes to "Pow Wow Chow"

Like Jonah Goldberg said earlier on Twitter, nothing says “bona fide Oklahoma Cherokee” like crab with mayonnaise.

The money quote from Twila Barnes, the Cherokee genealogist responsible for yesterday’s indignant plea for Warren to come clean: “Cherokees don’t even traditionally have powwows.” Yeah, full-blooded Cherokees, maybe. But what about 0/32 Cherokees?

Warren, who has been under fire for claiming Indian lineage despite a lack of documentation, is identified as “Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee” under each of five recipes she contributes in the cookbook, published in 1984 by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum located in Muskogee. Warren is not listed as an official member of the Cherokee tribe and she has been unable thus far to document her claim of any Native American heritage.

She offered a recipe on herbed tomatoes, touting them as a “great accompaniment to a plain meat and potatoes meal!” She also included a crab with tomato mayonnaise dressing dish and a Mexican oatmeal soup that included oats, onions, tomatoes and chicken broth…

Steve Russell, an enrolled Cherokee who lives in Texas and said he supports Warren, said he just wants to make sure the Senate candidate didn’t mention her roots when applying to jobs.

“If I were her I would release those employment documents,” said Russell. “I guess she thinks because she doesn’t have to release them then no one will care, but I guarantee you Indians care, and I care.”

An interesting detail: The cookbook came out two years before Warren started listing herself as “minority” in those professional directories. Does that cut for her or against her? I think the former, just because it shows she also embraced this identity in a context that didn’t involve professional advancement. But then, I’ve never thought she was out-and-out lying about believing she was part Native American. Her big sin was asserting that in the directories without, apparently, so much as lifting a finger research-wise to confirm that it was true. She knew how valuable “diversity” was as an educational credential and was only too happy to claim it without caring too much whether she rightfully could.

More pow-wow-chow fun from

Though Ms. Warren’s cousin is listed as the editor of the first edition of Pow Wow Chow cookbooks on Google Books, the third edition makes no mention of her editing contributions, though she was a prolific contributor of recipes to it.

Mrs. Rowsey was particularly fond of recipes for asparagus, a vegetable that is not indigenous to the traditional Cherokee lands in the Southeastern United States or Oklahoma, growing primarily in California and Michigan. Her asparagus recipes included Asparagus Scrambled Eggs with Croutons, Asparagus Vinaigrette, Aspargus with Hollandaise, and Fresh Asparagus Mimosa.

The Amazon reviews are … what you’d expect. As further reading, check out William Jacobson’s interview with Marisa DeFranco, who’s challenging Warren in the Massachusetts Democratic primary. Can we get some bipartisan consensus on what a hilarious fiasco this has been? My friends, I think we can. Exit quotation: “If Harvard were better at having a diverse professorship, it would not have to put someone who appears as white as I am out there as minority.”