Two years ago, Peggy Hill recalls, she told her husband, Lakota Sioux flautist John Two-Hawks, that she was done touring with him.
“I wanted to be in Eureka Springs and I wanted to give back to Eureka Springs,” she says. “I wanted to be home.”
Of course, Hill didn’t know that meant being quarantined over covid concerns for two years. But when it was time to reappear, she did so the same way she and Two-Hawks do everything—with joy, intent, and in partnership with Mother Earth. The result is the Three Sisters Cafe, which opened April 1 at 3 Dogwood Ridge off US 62.
“I was tired of watching ‘The Price Is Right’ and I love to cook,” says Hill, her inspiration. “Then I was offered the perfect little spot in 5,000 square feet of boutique art, jewelry and antiques. We seat 20 people max – we’re really set up for 10 – and that’s not as if I had to earn a lot of money. I only have to pay my rent and my utilities. It’s my retirement plan!
A self-described 1960s kid who loves food, music, and social activism, Hill grew up in South Bend, Indiana, with two brothers and two sisters, she explained in her 2020 book, ” Give Peas a Chance: Recipes, Nostalgia and Songs from the 60s. »
“Most of the stories in the book are related to my mother and her cooking,” she says. “I’m truly shaped by what she taught me in her kitchen about generosity, laughter and inclusion. Love flowed abundantly from my mother’s kitchen.
Hill wanted to bring those principles to the Three Sisters Cafe, she explains on her website.
“Corn, beans and squash are often called the three sisters. They are a gift from the Creator for sustenance and for teaching. In the traditional Three Sisters Garden, the three depend on and need each other. The corn stalk comes out of the ground first and grows straight and tall so its little sister, the beans, has a place to curl up and grow. Not to be outdone, the smaller sister, the squash, provides much-needed nutrients to its big sisters while spreading its magic deep in the soil.
“I too am one of the three sisters,” she continues.
“There was Christine, who left for her heavenly home in 2021. She paved the way as an elder and teacher to her two younger sisters. Then came Suzanne, the younger sister who shared life’s playground with me; always responsible and faithful, sheltering me from the difficult moments of life. And me, Peggy, the little sister, forever dancing through life, bringing joy and madness to my older sisters.
“With Three Sisters Cafe, I honor Mother Earth and her wondrous gardens, and I honor family, love, brotherhood, and friendship.”
The Three Sisters menu also honors the comfort food tradition of the Ozarks, with turkey, roast beef and Swiss cheese, ham and cheese, Italian and vegetarian paninis; chicken salad served on a croissant; corn casserole; Three bean salad; zucchini bread; crisps and salsa; and a dessert menu that includes bread pudding, a tin-roof sundae, and a root beer float.
Hill says she relies on local bakers and sources “all I can” locally.
“I want to support women and I want to support Eureka Springs,” she says.
Hill says to watch for a “big event” the weekend of May 20 to support the return of the White Street Walk.
The Three Sisters Cafe hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Monday. More information is available at 253-1732; www.threesistersgardencafe.com; or facebook.com/threesisterscafeshop.
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