2 cups whole grain corn
1/2 cup wood ash
1. Soak the corn in water for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Strain and transfer the soaked corn to a pressure cooker or other large cooking pot.
3. Add about 8 cups/2 liters of water to the pot; add wood ash (only from real wood, no particleboard/plywood/glued-together products or pressure -treated lumber). I'ts important to sift the ash as large chunks are difficult to rinse out.
4. Bring mixture to a boil. Pressure cook about an hour, or boil for about 3 hours, stirring periodically.
5. To test for doneness, rub a kernel of corn between your fingers to see if the skin is loose. If so, remove from heat; if not, continue cooking.
6. Rinse the corn, kneading and rubbing it to loosen and remove skins. Rinse until the water is clear.
7. Cook with the whole posole; it's great in chili, polenta, soups, and stews; grind it into a dough for tortillas or tamales; or ferment it as follows (Gv-No-He-Nv, Cherokee Sour Corn Drink), or as Chicha, an Andean chewed-corn beer.
Chicha sounds kinda fun. A bunch of people sit around and chew up gobs of the corn so their saliva starts breaking it down into sugars (like when you sprout barley to malt it for beer), then you make beer with it. You can do a little at a time and dry it as you go until you have enough. The merging of the spit. . . seems sort of magic, everyone is part of the brew.