Thanksgiving in New Mexico is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating- yes lots of eating! A truly memorable and one of a kind Thanksgiving vacation to Santa Fe wouldn’t be the same without this all of the important aspect of tantalizing New Mexico cuisine! Over 150 restaurants to choose from in the downtown area alone provided plenty of options: creative, traditional, eclectic and more! Within a short stroll from Pueblo Bonito b&b you’ll find (5 or less minutes) : Restaurant Martin, Galisteo Bistro, Rio Chama, Blue Corn Café; 10 minutes or less: La Casa Sena, Geronimos, The Compound to name just a few.
After dining with family and friends this holiday, New Mexicans can pay tribute to the spirit of the very first Thanksgiving by honoring Native American culture. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ (SWAIA) Winter Indian Market, held every year the weekend after Thanksgiving Day, features row after row of Native American art, handcrafted by more than 100 artists. (The larger Summer Indian Market, also run by SWAIA, features the work of more than 1,100 artists.) The fair, which dates back almost 100 years, also offers native cuisine, ranging from “Pueblo style oven bread and pies” to Navajo blue corn pancakes. Admission is free for this annual event, held at the Santa Fe Convention Center. November 24-25, Admission: $5.
Ski Santa Fe- The 2012/2013 Ski/Snowboard season is currently scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day. Since weather is one element mankind is unable to control, we hope that the “El Nino” weather pattern holds true for this season! An exceptional Family skiing experience begins in a city that has been in the top 10 tourist destinations for years. Ski Santa Fe appeals to snow enthusiasts who desire a great mountain experience and something more than a typical resort. Ski and snowboard in fresh powder all day, then take in world-class art, dining, and culture at night. Ski Santa Fe is conveniently located just 18 miles northeast of Pueblo Bonito b&b inn – Santa Fe (an easy 20-25 minute drive). Ski Santa Fe is in the Santa Fe National Forest; has a base elevation of 10,350′; peak elevation of 12,053′; vertical drop of 1,703′; average annual snowfall of 225″. Ski acreage is 660 consisting of 45 runs with 40% expert, 40% intermediate, and 20% novice. Snowboarding is allowed on 50% of trails. Lift lines are generally short and ticket prices affordable as compared to highly commercialized ski resorts.
The La Cienega Studio Tour. La Cienega is a lush valley about 15 miles from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn and accessed from I-25. Once a Spanish land grant, this quaint little village is home to many different kinds of artists from painters, ceramic artists to sculptors and woodworkers. Thanksgiving weekend, these artists open their studios for tours and intriguing conversations! Nov 24, 25, 2012
Hiking! A year round family activity for which notable hikes near Santa Fe, New Mexico consist of:
*Aspen Vista Trail – Popular and easy trail in Sangre de Cristo Mountains located on Ski Basin Road at the 13 mile marker.
*Dale Ball Trails – A system of interconnecting trails for hikers that connect it to the Nature Conservancy Trail, the Dorothy Stewart Trail, and the Atalaya Trail.
*Atalaya Mountain Trail – Another popular trail leading toward the summit of Atalaya Mountain (9,000 feet elevation at the peak). This is a steep trail near the summit, and provides spectacular views of Santa Fe. Access is at the St Johns College parking lot which is less than a 5 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito Inn- Santa Fe.
*The Nature Conservancy Trail – One of the closest trails to Pueblo Bonito b&b- Santa Fe and access is from parking area on Upper Canyon rd. Ruins of an old dam are notable on this trail which runs along the original route of the Santa Fe river.
*Tent Rocks Trail – One of our favorites! A beautiful 40 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn and located in Tent Rocks National Monument in Cochiti Pueblo. Prime viewing of exquisite rock formations await the moderately skilled hiker for which the park has been named.
A trail guide is available at the City of Santa Fe website.
Santa Fe , NM- the perfect place to catch that indescribably festive holiday spirit that will ring true through the 2012 New Year. Northern New Mexico travel prior to Christmas and through New Years provides guests with many opportunities to experience a magical vacation get away. Santa Fe travel in the winter months avails festive Holiday performances, winter Art Markets, outdoor activities and more for New Mexico visitors such as:
December 2011– Santa Fe Farmers Market: Every Saturday: 8am-1pm.Fresh and yummy locally grown fruits, veggies, honey, eggs, cheeses, grass-fed meats, baked goods, body care and herbal products, and so much more.
Ski Santa Fe– Open till April 8th offers a family fun ski vacation for all skill levels. Skiers & snowboarders love the short lines and convenience this ski basin offers to Pueblo Bonito b&b which offers ski/lodging packages! Click here for free lift tickets!
December 7th: Sneak preview of PBS Billy the Kid documentary. Panel discussion with producers, authors and historians at Palace of the Governors- 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
December 9th: Christmas at the Palace. Enjoy an evening with hot cider, live music, entertainment, and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Palace of the Governors. Donations encouraged.
December 10th: Light Among the Ruins. The Ruins of San Jose de los Jemez Mission Church and Giusewa Pueblo will be decorated with hundreds of farolitos. The program will included Native American flute music, Jemez Pueblo dancers, and refreshments. Free Admission
December 11th: Las Posada en Santa Fe. Traditional Christ child play and candle-lit procession around the Plaza to the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors. Free admission.
December 12th : Pojoaque Pueblo “Our Lady of Guadalupe and Matachines** Dances“. Various dances held on this Native American Pueblo only 20 minutes north of Pueblo Bonito Bed & Breakfast.
December 13th: New Mexico’s Stumble to Statehood. Presented by The School for Advanced Research by Jon Hummer 505-954-7203
December 17 & 18: Rail yard Artisans Market Special Holiday Faire: wide variety of products from herbal beauty to handmade guitars. A family friendly event complete with live music, delicious food at the café. Saturday 3pm-7:30pm; Sunday10am-4pm, in the Market Pavilion in the Rail yard- 7 minute walk from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn.
December 18th: Royal Music. Enjoy the sounds of the season at this annual free concert featuring the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and Brass with special-guest choral director Linda Raney. Lensic Performing Arts Center, just a 5 minute walk from Pueblo Bonito Bed and Breakfast inn.
December 21st: Edgar Lee Hewett and the Southwest’s Monumental Ruins- Join Adam Johnson as he speaks on “Preservation in the Early 20th Century: Edgar Lee Hewett and the Monumental Ruins of the Southwest,” at noon at Palace of the Governors. Free
December 24th: Christmas Eve Concert at the Lensic @ 5:00 pm held by Santa Fe Concert Association. A Christmas Eve program featuring Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Don’t show up without a ticket! 505-988-1234
Santa Fe’s Canyon Road Farolito Walk. The streets of the Eastside Historical District are lined with farolitos, luminarias, carolers, cheerful holiday celebration and good cheer. A must do once in your lifetime event for all ages to enjoy. Canyon Road Farolito Walk is less than a 5 minute stroll from Pueblo Bonito b&b.
Kewa Pueblo (formally Santo Domingo) Christmas Eve Mass at midnight preceded by traditional dancing 505-465-2214. Kewa pueblo is a 25 minute drive south from Santa Fe off Hwy 25 toward Albuquerque.
December 25th: Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) and Picurus Pueblos- Matachine** dancing. **The Matachines dance (Spanish matachin, or religious dancer) is very popular in Mexico and Northern New Mexico. The Matachine dance is a religious dance intended to venerate either Mother Mary, a saint, Christ, or God the Holy Trinity. Dressed in festive Native American costume, the chief characters are El Monarca, the monarch (Montezuma); the captains (Montezuma’s main generals); La Malinche, or Malintzin, the Indian mistress of Hernán Cortés; El Toro, the bull, the malevolent comic man of the play is dressed in buffalo skins with buffalo horns on his head. Characters also include Abuelo, the grandfather, and Abuela, the grandmother. The Matachine dance portrays the desertion of his people by Montezuma, Malinche luring him back with her wiles and smiles, the final reunion of king and people and the killing of El Toro, who is supposed to have made all the mischief. The most basic symbol of the dance is good vs. evil, with good prevailing. Montezuma and la Malinche represent good, and the bull represents mischief. Hernan Cortes, represents Satan or evil. Costumes, rattles, arches and bows are all blessed by a priest.
December 25-28th: Christmas Harvest Dance on Laguna Pueblo follows a 10:00 am mass at Laguna Village.
Christmas Celebration – Zia Pueblo
Holy Innocents Day (Children’s Dance) on the Picurus Pueblo on December 28th.
December 29 & 30, 2011: Brandenburg Holiday, Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra at St Francis Auditorium. Thomas O’Connor, conductor; J.S. Bach The Six Brandenburg Concertos
December 31st: New Year’s Eve Concert at the Lensic @ 5:00 pm Sponsored by Santa Fe Concert Association. Relax, enjoy and surround yourself with the joys and memories of the past year with anticipation of the New Year yet to come. A perfect beginning to an exciting future! 505-988-1234
Fire and Ice New Years Eve Celebration in Los Alamos. An evening of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and a small fireworks show at the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
Celebrate NEW YEARS EVE! Book 3 night -complimentary bubbly!
January 6, 2012: 47 Stars: Mark the Centennial. The New Mexico History Museum commemorates New Mexico’s 1912 entry into the Union with 47 Stars, a collection of exhibits that includes the officially unofficial 47-star flag. 47 Stars includes long-term exhibits and a tongue-in-cheek front-window installation to help celebrate the state’s Centennial.
Grand Centennial Ball -Once-in-a-lifetime, black tie ball to celebrate New Mexico’s Statehood. “Take a Step Back in Time for the Future of New Mexico.” All proceeds from the ball will help establish the Centennial Children’s Legacy Fund.
January 7: Shoes for Santo Nino– an expression of the fabric of northern New Mexico, its culture and its traditions. A story written in the 1930s by NM author Peggy Pond Church is brought back to life with full-color illustrations by Santa Fe artist Charlie Carrillo @ Lensic.
Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible: An epic work of art. Features portions of the first modern-day Bible entirely handwritten and illuminated in 500 years. World-renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords, serves as the project’s artistic director from his scriptorium in Wales. Also on exhibit will be a page from an original Gutenberg Bible. A series of lectures, musical performances and calligraphy workshops accompany the exhibit. New Mexico History Museum- 10 min walk from Pueblo Bonito. Thur April 7, 2012.
January 15: Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus: Viennese Joy at the Lensic. Guest Conductor Guillermo Figueroa and soloist (TBA); Strauss, Pizzicato Polka; Waldteufel’s Les Patineurs, Strauss’ Blue Danube and more…Pre-concert lecture at 3:00 p.m.
January 27: CLASSICAL WEEKEND: BRAHMS– Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra at St Francis Auditorium. Thomas O’Connor, conductor; Cecile Licad, piano Felix Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture; Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60; Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op.15
January 28: CLASSICAL WEEKEND: Classical Recital @ Lensic
January 29:CLASSICAL WEEKEND: MENDELSSOHN @ Lensic Santa Fe Pro Musica Ticket Information/Times: (505) 988-4640
January 28: Santa Fe Souper Bowl XVIII. Come, decide which of Santa Fe’s finest restaurants has the best soups! A benefit for The Northern New Mexico Food Depot. Guests will thrill in the competition, grab fabulous silent auction items and have an opportunity to buy a cookbook featuring soup recipes from Santa Fe’s finest chefs.
For the 20th year in a row world travelers who subscribe to Condé Nast Traveler magazine have voted Santa Fe, New Mexico as one of their favorite travel destinations in the United States. Santa Fe, NM was selected as the third most popular travel city in the U.S. after Charleston and San Francisco! Santa Fe joined many desirable travel towns in this years 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards. Santa Fe held the third spot as well in 2010. More than 28,000 reader’s voted for thier favorite travel cities, islands, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, and other travel-service providers from around the world for the magazine’s 24th annual poll.
“All Santa Feans should be proud of this recognition,” said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss. “The annual poll is generated 100 percent by the magazine’s readers, meaning that each of the city’s restaurants, lodgers, retailers, galleries, performers, attractions, and service providers have a hand in the award.”
Cities were rated on Atmosphere/Ambience, Culture/Sites, Friendliness, Lodging, Restaurants, and Shopping.
Santa Fe has been included as one of the top U.S. travel destinations by the poll each year since 1992 when Santa Fe was just a write-in candidate but received enough votes from the magazine’s readers to be chosen the number one travel destination in the world!
The “Top 10 US Cities” as ranked in the 24th Annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards:
1. Charleston, SC
3. Santa Fe
6. New York
The results of the poll will be featured in the November Condé Nast Traveler, which goes on newsstands later in October, and appear on the magazine’s web site.
History Lovers delight in Santa Fe’s rich past. As New Mexico celebrates its Centennial (1912-2011), more than 400 years have passed and the oldest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe, NM continues to offer vibrant and intriguing glimpses of past lifestyles and eras. Steeped in history -Santa Fe visitors walk historic streets, visit museums boasting history lessons on the occupation of ancient Anasazi, Spanish conquistadors and missions, the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe railroad boom, the wild west, and 20th century innovations like the Manhattan project, Espionage, and Artistic influences of the southwest. Visitors are able to explore ancient Native American ruins filled with petroglyphs, a living history museum devoted to Spanish Colonial life, centuries-old adobe and European-style churches, a historic working railroad, and the distinctive architecture of old downtown Santa Fe. With such a layered and diverse history, its no wonder Santa Fe draws visitors back year after year to uncover the fascinating past and experience the unforgettable present. As 2011 draws to a close, exciting events continue to bring opportunities to enjoy this delightful historic city. Come and join us… won’t you?
Santa Fe, NM November 2011 Calendar of Events:
Santa Fe Harvest Festival: Nov 1-23 Food lovers prepare! A culinary extravaganza featuring cooking classes at over 40 restaurants; chef and bartender competitions; as well as the Restaurant Relay (Nov 5) where servers race around the Plaza with loaded trays. Proceeds go to Cooking with Kids Children’s Charity.
Santa Fe Photographic Workshop: Travel Photography Intensive: Capturing the Essence of a Place November 4 – November 6, 2011 Capture the essence of the culture, landscape and character of stunning Santa Fe. Great for amateurs to advanced amateurs.
Land of Enchantment Centennial Special: Union Pacific’s vintage steam locomotive No. 844 will be steaming through New Mexico in honor of the state’s 100th anniversary of statehood November 4-9.
Dixon Studio Tour November 5,6, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; 30th Anniversary!
Nestled in the beautiful Embudo Valley, Dixon is home to a lively group of more than 50 artists who open their studios for the annual art studio tour. Painting, photography, jewelry, stoneware, wearable art, herbal bath, beauty products, handmade chocolates, local wines and roving musicians.
Santa Fe Art Auction: November 12, 2011, 1:30pm at Convention Center in downtown Santa Fe, NM- less than a 10 minute walk from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn! Auction Previews: 11th (10 am – 8pm); 12th (9am – 1pm). The Southwest’s Largest Auction of Classic Western Art presented by Gerald Peters Gallery.
Ski Santa Fe Nov 24- March Opening Thanksgiving weekend! New for 2011/2012 Season “Richard’s Run”. A Black diamond run accessible from Highline into Highline Glade, then crossing over Sunset Trail. One of the best kept secrets- this is a top notch ski area offering lessons for all ages and skill levels, child care, equipment rental, and snow!
Enjoy an exciting month of November travel in Santa Fe at Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn with great winter specials- just in time for these exciting Santa Fe events and activities. November & December 2011- Pueblo Bonito is offering $99 Queen rooms, Sunday thru Wed evening; $109 Thursday and $129 Friday and Saturday. Just one reason we were recently voted “2011 Guests Favorite” Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast by bnbfinder.com! Offering a great value in Santa Fe lodging to make your Santa Fe visit experience the best it can be Call today 1-800-461-4599 or visit our website at www.pueblobonitoinn.com (Celebrating 25 years of serving Santa Fe visitors- Pueblo Bonito b&b inn).
Popular day trip suggestion for our Santa Fe vacation visitors who enjoy staying at Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn is to enjoy a visit to one of the nearby natural hot springs. A short scenic drive to access one of the following natural hot springs is worth the time alone, but when coupled with the therapeutic, relaxing energies these waters provide, a special and memorable experience occurs that can only be experienced when taking an enchanting New Mexico vacation.
Please note many of these springs are located in remote destinations and may require a certain amount of hiking, climbing or other physical activity to reach. You should always check with the Forest Service or local ranger station before attempting to access these pools.
Ojo Caliente, located in the foothills of the Carson National Forest, in the town of Ojo Caliente, between Santa Fe and Taos. Five different springs with different temperatures and mineral content; indoor and outdoor pools with temperatures ranging from 85-106F. Bathing suits required.
Montezuma Hot Springs, located northwest of the town of Las Vegas on the grounds of the United World College. Three clusters of concrete soaking pools of various sizes and temperatures. Bathing suits required.
San Antonio Hot Springs, located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. It is about a 10 minute walk from where you can park. Ask locals for directions. A series of rock pools built along the hillside of San Diego Canyon. The hottest pool is about 105 F with the lower ones progressively cooler. Clothing optional.
McCauley Warm Springs, located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. Accessible from either Battleship Rock (5 miles north of Jemez Springs on highway 4) or Jemez Falls Campground (14 miles north of Jemez Springs). Park at either location for the roughly 2.5 mile hike in to the springs. Large, shallow, warm pool that flows into several smaller, deeper pools with temperatures 85-90 F. Clothing optional.
Soda Dam Hot Springs, located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. A cluster of small hot spring pools with spectacular scenery not great soaking.
Spence Hot Spring, located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. An easy short hike. Ask locals for directions. Several sand-bottom pools on a steep hillside on the east side of the Jemez River. Water temperature between 100 –– 110 F. Clothing optional.
Giggling Springs Hot Springs Jemez Springs, Bathing suits required. Reservations strongly recommended. Pool temperature is 102-104.
Jemez Springs BathHouse, located in the park on the main street of Jemez Springs.
Several Pueblo Indian villages dating back between 1050 and 1150 originally inhabited Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico. One of the earliest known settlements, considered today as downtown Santa Fe, was a cluster of homes centered on the location called “the plaza”. Named Ogapoge, this Native American village spread for half a mile to the south and west. The Santa Fe river – a seasonal water way – was once a year round stream until the 1700’s. The river was recognized in 2007 as the most endangered river in the United States according to the conservation group American Rivers.
The name “Santa Fe” literally translated from Spanish means “holy faith”. The full name when founded was “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis”- translated means “The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi”.
In 1851, Jean Baptiste-Lamy arrived in Santa Fe and began construction of Saint Francis Cathedral and establishing El Colegio de San Miguel. This centrally located church, recently renovated is still a vibrant ministry of the catholic community in Santa Fe. El Colegio de San Miguel took 7 years to recruit Christian Brothers from France. A solid Catholic education was highly sought after by affluent young men from throughout the area- one of which was William H Bonney (aka Billy the kid). In March of 1862, the Confederate flag of General Henry Sibley flew over Santa Fe for a few short days until defeated by Union troops.
Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. However, as tracks were laid into New Mexico, civil engineers concluded it to be more practical to go through Lamy (a small village south of the city of Santa Fe). A branch line was completed from Lamy to Santa Fe in 1880. Three original conductor homes made from red brick were erected for Railway personnel and still stand on the corner of Galisteo Street and Manhattan just across from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroads extended a narrow gauge, called the “Chili Line” from the nearby city of Espanola to Santa Fe in 1886. The result of bypassing Santa Fe however created a gradual economic decline. This economic decline was reversed in part when the creation of a number of resources for the arts and archaeology occurred.
Santa Fe became the headquarters for the School of American Archaeology mainly because the historic Palace of the Governors was provided for its homebase. The Museum of New Mexico was then established in 1909 as an agency of the school. Thus through the museum, the school took an early interest in promoting and preserving the artistic traditions of Southwestern Indians. Edger Lee Hewett (director of the school) and Kenneth M Chapman (an artist hired by Hewett), provided extensive support for Indian artists by offering studio facilities, as well as collecting and exhibiting their work. In 1922, the School sponsored the first Southwest Indian Fair, precursor of today’s world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market which consistently features renowned artists like San Ildefonso black potter Maria Montoya Martinez.
1912 New Mexico became the 47thstate of the United State of America with Santa Fe as its capitol city. From1942-46, Los Alamos (40 minutes north of Santa Fe) was base to the Manhattan Project. Santa Fe assumed a vital role in providing support to non-essential military personnel with services, housing, provisions and entertainment. Manhattan Avenue (named after the project) is approximately three blocks south of Santa Fe’s plaza and connects to the rail yard district. This provided families with secure and convenient downtown Santa Fe housing while taking up residence in New Mexico and guarding Los Alamos. Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast located at 138 W Manhattan was at that time apartments which provided George Sanders (Robert Oppenheimers personal body guard), his wife and infant daughter a comfortable home (see photos).
Today Santa Fe, NM is a well known center for arts that reflect the multicultural character of its inhabitants and the city. Santa Fe is generally considered to be the second largest art center in the United States after New York City. The city and surrounding areas have a high concentration of artists, which have come over the decades to capture the natural beauty of the landscape and essence of Native American culture. A well known New Mexico based painter was Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived in Santa Fe, but primarily in Abiquiu (a small village 50 miles from Santa Fe in Northern New Mexico). The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe is devoted to exhibitions of her work and associated artists or related themes. Opened in 2006, it holds over one thousand of her works in all media and is funded by a private foundation. O’Keeffe’s friend, well known western nature photographer Eliot Porter, died in Santa Fe.
Canyon Road, just a 5-minute stroll from Pueblo Bonito Inn is notorious for the large number and high quality of art galleries all within a mile stretch. Described by Santa Fe visitors as “an art lovers Disney land” this is a major destination for collectors, tourists and locals. Canyon Road Art Galleries showcase a wide variety of styles from contemporary to Southwestern to experimental and include but are not limited to European, Taos, Masters, and Native American pieces. Breath taking outdoor sculptures line the street and galleries feature notable sculptors connected with Santa Fe like Allen Houser, Doug Hyde (studied under Houser), and Glenna Goodacre. Is it a wonder that Santa Fe is a designated UNESCO Creative City, and is considered one the best places in the world to shop specifically for Native American Indian arts and crafts?
In 2011 Santa Fe, NM was voted #2 Destination by Conde Nast reader’s choice award and #5 Most Popular North American Travel Cities by Travel+Leisure Magazine for the 10th consecutive year.Santa Fe is undoubtedly one of the most unique US travel destinations offered to New Mexico visitors. Santa Fe tourists enjoy numerous activities and events including high quality arts and culture, top notch native cuisine, breathtaking natural beauty, nationally ranked spas and museums, world history, US history and New Mexico history just to mention a few. Nick named “the city different” for a reason, its a unique place every American should experience at least once in their lifetime. Be warned however, the lure of the relaxed, laid back “manana” culture is intoxicating. How else better to experience the old world charm of historic Santa Fe than in a 150 yr old adobe pueblo-style compound turned Santa b&b- Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Call us today 1-800-461-4599 for a memorable historic Santa Fe vacation visit!
Credits: wikitravel.org as directly connected to pages from hot links provided; Santa Fe Countys Talk of the Town (Sea Bird Publications inc).
New Mexico Chile Facts
Did you know 7,000 years ago chile originated in Bolivia & Peru? Or that Columbus introduced chile into Europe around 1650? Did you know Europeans thought it was a spice, something like black pepper then ingeniously named it Red Pepper? The spicy unique flavor of chili has taken hold of palates across the world and particularly those in America. Did you know the state of New Mexico leads the US in the production of chile? Well, if you didn’t and want to learn more- read on!
Chile is classified as a vegetable when green and as a spice when dried and ground into a powder. Green chile can contain up to 6 times more vitamin C than a Florida orange, while Red chile can contain two times more Vitamin A than a carrot. Red chile is said to be hotter than green because of its extended exposure to the sun.
People once traditionally dried chile on the ground or on roof tops (which can still be observed today). Approximately 100 year ago experimentation with methods to keep chile pods cleaner and away from birds resulted in today’s version of the Chile Ristra (chile pods hung on a string). This method proved beneficial to elongating the shelf life of the delightful crop. Thus began the tradition of hanging the ristra in front of ones home, which soon turned into the popular belief that this was a welcome sign to visitors. It’s also believed that hanging a chile ristra in front of your door brings good health and fortune to those who occupy the home. Chile has more recently become a popular decorative element inside the home. Creativity has spawned many craft item in various shapes, sizes and colors (red, green and yellow). Popular chile rista shapes consist of wreaths, crosses, and hearts that are frequently paired with colored corn, shredded husks and dried flowers to make beautiful home décor.
New Mexico Chile Traditions
End of August ushers in harvest time for chile farmers in New Mexico. Cities and communities throughout the state celebrate this important harvest with diverse, yet always tasty festivals like the popular Hatch Chile Festival in Hatch New Mexico held over Labor Day Weekend; the Whole Enchilada Festival held in Las Cruces late September; Santa Fe’s Wine & Chile Festival as well as the Fiesta de Santa Fe held in the Capitol city mid to late September to name a just few. Though chile peppers are small in stature they are a huge part of New Mexico’s heritage, culture and are a central part to most loved New Mexico traditions and celebrations. The sweet fiery scent of roasted chilies filling the late summer and crisp fall air bring welcomed comfort to visitors and locals alike.
Sample of a typical New Mexico Chile Recipe that is simple and freezes well follows: Note: *This recipe and others can be found in the “Red Chile Bible” a book available for purchase from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast for $13.00 plus shipping/handling. Limited supplies available so order yours today 1-800-461-4599. Enjoy!
Pork with Chile Colorado*
3 Tbs. lard or vegetable oil 4 New Mexico chilies
1.5 lbs. boned pork shoulder, cut into 1” chunks
2 lg cloves garlic 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted & grounded
1 tsp. Mexican oregano ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt 2 cups rich chicken broth
Heat oil in large heavy pot and brown pork in batches over high heat. Remove to a plate. Wipe the dried chile with a damp cloth, discard the stems and seeds, and tear into pieces. Fry the chile in the hot oil until fragrant (about 5 minutes), stirring to prevent scorching. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, and soften (20 or 30 minutes). Put chile in a blender with about ½ cup of the soaking water and the garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Blend to a puree. Reheat the oil in the pot, and pour the puree into the hot oil. Sauté the puree, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir the stock into the puree, and then return the pork to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and stew the meat slowly for about an hour. Remove the cover and continue simmering 30 minutes to an hour until the pork is very tender. Add more chicken stock, if necessary, to keep the meat moist. Serves 4.