Friday, September 14, 2012

We Interrupt This Visit

to Santa Fe with a brief side trip to Albuquerque. We were delighted to know that our cousin Dora’s travels would be taking her through the “Duke City” while we were just a little over fifty miles north. What was Dora doing in New Mexico? This was one segment of a marathon trip to Tucson, AZ where she helped her grandson, Mitchell, move into his digs as a newly enrolled freshman at the University of Arizona. After a few days with Mitch, she drove north to Scottsdale to visit with our aunt, Evelyn. After a brief visit with Evie, it was time to return home (Springfield, IL)—via Albuquerque.

We met up at around 9:30 a.m. and headed out for the day. The first stop—the Pueblo Cultural Center. “The 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, opened the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in August 1976 to showcase the history and accomplishments of the Pueblo people from pre-Columbian to current time….The Center's focus is a 10,000 sq. ft. museum featuring the authentic history and artifacts of traditional Pueblo cultures and their contemporary art. The permanent exhibit highlights the Pueblo peoples' creativity and adaptations that made possible the survival, diversity and achievements of each of the 19 Pueblos” (

But our destination wasn’t the museum but the Pueblo Harvest Café & Bakery, whose “Native Fusion cuisine is inspired by the traditions and ingredients cultivated by our Pueblo ancestors” ( It was time for breakfast.

Both Chuck and Dora ordered the Black and Blue Zuni Blue Corn Pancakes mixed with blackberries and blueberries that were served with piñon butter, maple syrup, and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage. For Chuck the meat would be ham.
And—of course—being Chuck, he added a side of home fries.

For Dora it would be bacon.

Blue corn “was originally developed by the Hopi, and remains an essential part of Hopi dishes like piki bread. Blue corn meal is a corn meal that is ground from whole blue corn and has a sweet flavor. It is also a staple of New Mexican cuisine. In addition to its sharply different color, blue corn has several nutritional advantages over
standard yellow or white corn varieties. It contains 20% more protein and has a lower glycemic index than white corn. When used to make tortillas, blue corn produces a sweeter, nuttier taste than yellow or white corn, and is a more complete protein source” ( Was that more than you wanted to know? All one really needs to know is that when blue corn meal is mixed with regular flour the result can be pancake heaven.

I chose the “design your own” breakfast and, from four columns of choices, selected two eggs over easy, chorizo, red chile, and Indian fry bread.
“Frybread (also spelled fry bread) is a Native American food found throughout the United States. Frybread is a flat dough fried or deep-fried in oil, shortening, or lard. The dough is generally leavened by yeast or baking powder. Frybread can be eaten alone or with various toppings such as honey or hot beef. Frybread has a significant role in
Native American cultures. It is often served both at home and at gatherings. The way it is served varies from region to region, and different tribes have different recipes” ( Most of the fry breads I have encountered have been roughly the size of an individual deep dish pan. The Pueblo Harvest Café’s is medium thin crust pizza size and is light and crisp. It is the best fry bread I have eaten.

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