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Steatite bowls were important because they were watertight and able to be placed directly in a fire to cook stews and other foodstuffs. Another cooking method was to place hot stones into these bowls to cook the soup or stew. Native peoples of New England had very diverse diets. In addition to their staple, corn, groups like the Pocumtucks of present day Deerfield, Massachusetts ate a wide variety of plants including kidney beans, squash, and "Jerusalem" artichoke. Women were not only responsible for growing all food, but for preparing it as well.
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