acequia and clouds
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\r\n","version_id":"59f8ebb4648901d6cd725f43","author":{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f249","name":"The Staff","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.420Z","blog":"magazine","_name_sort":"the staff","updated":"2017-03-15T20:35:50.490Z","_totalPosts":77,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f249","title":"The Staff","slug":"the-staff","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/the-staff/58b4b2404c2774661570f249/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/the-staff/58b4b2404c2774661570f249/#comments","totalPosts":77},"categories":[{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2da","blog":"magazine","title":"July 1946","_title_sort":"july 1946","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.555Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.560Z","_totalPosts":1,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2da","slug":"july-1946","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-1946/58b4b2404c2774661570f2da/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-1946/58b4b2404c2774661570f2da/#comments","totalPosts":1},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","blog":"magazine","title":"July 2014","_title_sort":"july 2014","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.560Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.567Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","slug":"july-2014","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/#comments","totalPosts":15}],"teaser":"
 
\r\n","description":" ","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f99b","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/our-back-page-july-1946-87078/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/our-back-page-july-1946-87078/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/our-back-page-july-1946-87078/","metaTitle":"Our Back Pages","metaDescription":"
 
\r\n","cleanDescription":" ","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-09T11:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.653Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f99a","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1f6","title":"Growing Pains, Solved","slug":"nm-living-july-2014-87077","image_id":"58b4b24a4c2774661570f500","publish_start":"2014-07-09T11:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","58b4b2404c2774661570f2fb","58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc"],"tags_ids":["59090d4be1efff4c9916fa90","59090da3e1efff4c9916fad6","59090d23e1efff4c9916fa71"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Charles Mann","custom_tagline":"Ten tips for beautifying your property, under tough conditions.","created":"2014-07-09T11:22:04.000Z","legacy_id":"87077","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"growing pains, solved","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:32.741Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green, pine green, cholla green, and more shades appear. Put a spade into soil, add some compost, sprinkle with water, and you might even coax red, yellow, pink, and purple from trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and succulents.

\r\n\r\n

Desert gardens provide challenges only worsened by our ongoing regional drought. But this isn’t Death Valley—it’s still the Land of Enchantment. Here are a few first steps to invite beauty into your yard.

\r\n\r\n

1. XERISCAPE, DON’T ZERO-SCAPE
\r\nBorn in 1981, the word xeriscape defines a type of low-water-use landscaping (xeros means dry in Greek). As it gained popularity, a few folks went overboard, coating their yards in nomaintenance gravel.

\r\n\r\n

Rocks play an important role in defining your yard, minimizing weeds, and making a star out of the plants you fall in love with, but they shouldn’t steal the show. Xeriscape appeals to minimalists. Done right, its spare number of well-chosen species thrive on mere sips of water.

\r\n\r\n

One of the best practitioners of the art is Albuquerque-based landscape designer Judith Phillips (judithphillipsdesignoasis.com). She’s written four books with tips on mapping out designs, choosing water-wise plants, and tending them. My favorites: Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants (Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987) and New Mexico Gardener’s Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2005).

\r\n\r\n

2. HERE’S THE DIRT
\r\nUnless you’re lucky enough to live on an old floodplain, your soil has too much sand, too much clay, or too much caliche. For certain, the pH level is too alkaline; most plants seem to adore higher acid levels. To ascertain your soil’s profile and how it should be amended, collect a sample using a soil kit provided by your county’s Cooperative Extension Service, then mail it to their recommended lab at Colorado State University. Find its address, among others, at mynm.us/soillabs. (You’ll also want to bookmark aces.nmsu.edu/ aes/labs.html. This site contains an encyclopedia’s worth of advice on every agri-thing.) You can learn a lot on your own simply by spading around the yard and eyeballing your dirt. Chances are, it lacks organic matter and needs healthy helpings of aged manure, leaf mold, sawdust, straw, or store-bought compost. Dig it in at least as deep as a shovel head— or as much as your back muscles tolerate. Rule of Yard Work No. 1: The garden will bend to your abilities faster than your abilities will rise to its demands.

\r\n\r\n

3. MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST
\r\nGo on lots of hikes and study what you see. What kinds of plants bask in the sun? Which seek shelter in the shade? Do certain plants cluster around boulders? Mimic those cues in your yard and you’re one step closer to practicing permaculture—a type of ecological design that works with nature rather than against it. Good sources for purchasing native plants include Plants of the Southwest, in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and the Santa Ana Pueblo’s Native Plant Nursery.

\r\n\r\n

4. BE A BUSY-BODY
\r\nNew Mexico’s micro-zones can outsmart your plans. Plants that thrive even a few miles away may wither in your yard. Visit the neighbors to see what they have blooming. Walk around the block. Take a garden tour. Ask everyone what they did right. And wrong.

\r\n\r\n

5. GET SCHOOLED
\r\nCounty Cooperative Extension Services throughout the state offer Master Gardener trainings every year, and often the graduates hold one-day workshops on topics like pruning or dealing with pests. Check them out online or give your county’s office a jingle. Besides Judith Phillips’ books, good titles include the Sunset Western Garden Book (Oxmoor House, 2007), the basic bible for general reference; Down to Earth: A Gardener’s Guide to the Albuquerque Area, by Albuquerque Master Gardeners; and Baker H. Morrow’s Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes (University of New Mexico Press, 1995). Morrow’s book separates the state into regions, a handy tool given the vast differences in altitude. High Country Gardens puts its years of wisdom online (highcountrygardens.com).

\r\n\r\n

6. THE ESSENTIAL TOOLS
\r\nIn time, you may own a wheelbarrow, chain saw, post-hole digger, pitchfork, hoe, edger, three kinds of pruners, various spades, and more. Until then, keep it simple. You can’t do a thing without a pair of gloves and a big strong shovel. If your soil contains clay or caliche, invest in a pickax. A heavy bow rake moves soil; a leaf rake sweeps the top clean. For hand tools, a trowel and pruners will go a long way. Add a bottle of ibuprofen to soothe the muscles all that work strains.

\r\n\r\n

7. CONSIDER CONTAINERS
\r\nI’ve grown tomatoes, kale, herbs, fennel, and chile in patio pots. Santa Fe–based Grow Y’Own sells raised garden beds with hooped tops for creating year-round mini-greenhouses. The aluminum watering troughs sold at feed stores make cool pots with a sleek-but-stillcountry style. Containers offer complete control over soil, are easy to water, eliminate stoop labor, and dissuade rabbits. Drainage can be a problem, so make sure the bottom of whatever you use has holes. The deeper the container, the more soil you’ll need. Consider starting with a layer of rocks. The oft-trumpeted Styrofoam-peanut layer sounds like lightweight fun until you need to tend the soil. Rule of Yard Work No. 2: In a yard or a container, you will need to tend the soil for the rest of your garden’s life.

\r\n\r\n

8. TOP IT OFF
\r\nDesert sun and spring winds strip moisture from that modified soil. A layer of mulch slows down evaporation and suppresses weeds. A few inches of organic material, rocks, tumbled glass, or even shredded rubber will work. Organic choices include pine needles, bark, pecan shells, leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Once they decompose, you can work them into the soil. Check to see if your local landfill composts green waste and offers it for sale by the truckload.

\r\n\r\n

9. A THIRST THAT KILLS
\r\nEven if you amend the soil and pick perfect plants, rainfall alone won’t suffice. Forget sprinklers—they’re best at watering the air. Drip irrigation is the gold standard for New Mexico. Give it a helping hand when planting trees or shrubs by creating an earthen moat to hold a puddle of water. Rainwater zooms off any hard surface. Capture roof runoff in rain barrels (Tijeras Rain Barrels sells them in a variety of cheery colors and finishes), or terrace your yard so that each tier slows down the streams. Permaculturists use pumice wicks, gabions, swales, and other water tricks. Read Harvest the Rain: How to Enrich Your Life by Seeing Every Storm as a Resource, by Santa Fe’s Nate Downey (Sunstone Press, 2010), or visit sfpermaculture.com. (And see our April 2013 article “The Lush Life,” mynm.us/downey13.)

\r\n\r\n

10. REALITY BITES
\r\nRule of Yard Work No. 3: Things go wrong. Temperatures soar, hail falls, rabbits nibble, and the lowly bark beetle lays waste to entire forests. Why bother? Like a lot of things in life, gardening is more about the process than the goal. Learn some science. Play with design principles. Spend hours outdoors working your mind, body, and spirit as you till the soil and baby the tender sprouts. Wrap your heart around the act of gardening and the actual garden will follow, beautiful and imperfect, together as one.

\r\n\r\n

Kate Nelson lives and gardens in Placitas.

","teaser_raw":"

FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green,

","version_id":"59f8ebb4648901d6cd725f27","author":{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1f6","name":"Kate Nelson","image_id":"591384b9da8f9b60115b35c5","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.335Z","blog":"magazine","_name_sort":"kate nelson","updated":"2017-05-10T21:23:12.398Z","image":{"_id":"591384b9da8f9b60115b35c5","original_public_id":"clients/newmexico/KateNelson_BW_bd3ffb62-7e95-48ab-9632-e0d990a22fb7","title":"Kate Nelson","resource_raw":{"public_id":"clients/newmexico/KateNelson_BW_bd3ffb62-7e95-48ab-9632-e0d990a22fb7","version":1494451375,"signature":"8515a455aa8d1c45cb2ea23564361315ae326164","width":734,"height":728,"format":"jpg","resource_type":"image","created_at":"2017-05-10T21:22:55.000Z","bytes":82933,"type":"upload","etag":"3e5ea89d7f98b867a4b167c98a3d55bd","url":"http://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1494451375/clients/newmexico/KateNelson_BW_bd3ffb62-7e95-48ab-9632-e0d990a22fb7.jpg","secure_url":"https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1494451375/clients/newmexico/KateNelson_BW_bd3ffb62-7e95-48ab-9632-e0d990a22fb7.jpg","exif":{"Copyright":"Copyright Minesh Bacrania (2016)"},"original_filename":"file"},"alt_text_raw":"Kate Nelson","content_owner":"magazine","title_sort":"kate nelson","updated":"2017-05-10T21:23:05.506Z","deleted":false,"created":"2017-05-10T21:23:05.507Z","id":"591384b9da8f9b60115b35c5","type":"image","resource":{"raw":{"resource_type":"image","format":"jpg","public_id":"clients/newmexico/KateNelson_BW_bd3ffb62-7e95-48ab-9632-e0d990a22fb7"}},"inAssetRequest":false,"alt_text":"Kate Nelson"},"_totalPosts":48,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1f6","title":"Kate Nelson","slug":"kate-nelson","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/kate-nelson/58b4b2404c2774661570f1f6/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/kate-nelson/58b4b2404c2774661570f1f6/#comments","totalPosts":48},"categories":[{"_id":"58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","title":"Lifestyle","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"lifestyle","updated":"2017-03-14T18:51:36.346Z","created":"2017-03-14T18:51:36.346Z","_totalPosts":72,"id":"58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","slug":"lifestyle","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/lifestyle/58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/lifestyle/58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52/#comments","totalPosts":72},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2fb","blog":"magazine","title":"NM Living","_title_sort":"nm living","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.583Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.589Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2fb","slug":"nm-living","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/nm-living/58b4b2404c2774661570f2fb/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/nm-living/58b4b2404c2774661570f2fb/#comments","totalPosts":15},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","blog":"magazine","title":"July 2014","_title_sort":"july 2014","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.560Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.567Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","slug":"july-2014","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/#comments","totalPosts":15}],"image":{"_id":"58b4b24a4c2774661570f500","legacy_id":"87075","title":"Main -nm -living","created":"2014-07-08T16:57:20.000Z","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:09.123Z","credits":"Henry Lopez","content_owner":"magazine","tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"title_sort":"main -nm -living","resource_raw":{"public_id":"clients/newmexico/main_nm_living_46e53f1c-50c2-462f-908d-6af2669e9399","version":1488237129,"signature":"d8643cb3c11d2b581c30392893bff3415dae02aa","width":490,"height":633,"format":"jpg","resource_type":"image","created_at":"2017-02-27T23:12:09.000Z","bytes":85638,"type":"upload","etag":"60cae91c61f051fbd0e8b42288b43aaa","url":"http://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237129/clients/newmexico/main_nm_living_46e53f1c-50c2-462f-908d-6af2669e9399.jpg","secure_url":"https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237129/clients/newmexico/main_nm_living_46e53f1c-50c2-462f-908d-6af2669e9399.jpg","original_filename":"main-nm-living"},"deleted":false,"id":"58b4b24a4c2774661570f500","type":"image","resource":{"raw":{"resource_type":"image","format":"jpg","public_id":"clients/newmexico/main_nm_living_46e53f1c-50c2-462f-908d-6af2669e9399"}},"inAssetRequest":false,"alt_text":"Main -nm -living"},"teaser":"

FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green,

","description":"FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green, pine green, cholla green, and more shades appear. Put a spade into soil, add some compost, sprinkle with water, and you might even coax red, yellow, pink, and purple from trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and succulents. Desert gardens provide challenges only worsened by our ongoing regional drought. But this isn’t Death Valley—it’s still the Land of Enchantment. Here are a few first steps to invite beauty into your yard. 1. XERISCAPE, DON’T ZERO-SCAPE Born in 1981, the word xeriscape defines a type of low-water-use landscaping (xeros means dry in Greek). As it gained popularity, a few folks went overboard, coating their yards in nomaintenance gravel. Rocks play an important role in defining your yard, minimizing weeds, and making a star out of the plants you fall in love with, but they shouldn’t steal the show. Xeriscape appeals to minimalists. Done right, its spare number of well-chosen species thrive on mere sips of water. One of the best practitioners of the art is Albuquerque-based landscape designer Judith Phillips ( judithphillipsdesignoasis.com ). She’s written four books with tips on mapping out designs, choosing water-wise plants, and tending them. My favorites: Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants (Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987) and New Mexico Gardener’s Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2005). 2. HERE’S THE DIRT Unless you’re lucky enough to live on an old floodplain, your soil has too much sand, too much clay, or too much caliche. For certain, the pH level is too alkaline; most plants seem to adore higher acid levels. To ascertain your soil’s profile and how it should be amended, collect a sample using a soil kit provided by your county’s Cooperative Extension Service, then mail it to their recommended lab at Colorado State University. Find its address, among others, at mynm.us/soillabs. (You’ll also want to bookmark aces.nmsu.edu/ aes/labs.html. This site contains an encyclopedia’s worth of advice on every agri-thing.) You can learn a lot on your own simply by spading around the yard and eyeballing your dirt. Chances are, it lacks organic matter and needs healthy helpings of aged manure, leaf mold, sawdust, straw, or store-bought compost. Dig it in at least as deep as a shovel head— or as much as your back muscles tolerate. Rule of Yard Work No. 1: The garden will bend to your abilities faster than your abilities will rise to its demands. 3. MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST Go on lots of hikes and study what you see. What kinds of plants bask in the sun? Which seek shelter in the shade? Do certain plants cluster around boulders? Mimic those cues in your yard and you’re one step closer to practicing permaculture—a type of ecological design that works with nature rather than against it. Good sources for purchasing native plants include Plants of the Southwest, in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and the Santa Ana Pueblo’s Native Plant Nursery. 4. BE A BUSY-BODY New Mexico’s micro-zones can outsmart your plans. Plants that thrive even a few miles away may wither in your yard. Visit the neighbors to see what they have blooming. Walk around the block. Take a garden tour. Ask everyone what they did right. And wrong. 5. GET SCHOOLED County Cooperative Extension Services throughout the state offer Master Gardener trainings every year, and often the graduates hold one-day workshops on topics like pruning or dealing with pests. Check them out online or give your county’s office a jingle. Besides Judith Phillips’ books, good titles include the Sunset Western Garden Book (Oxmoor House, 2007), the basic bible for general reference; Down to Earth: A Gardener’s Guide to the Albuquerque Area, by Albuquerque Master Gardeners; and Baker H. Morrow’s Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes (University of New Mexico Press, 1995). Morrow’s book separates the state into regions, a handy tool given the vast differences in altitude. High Country Gardens puts its years of wisdom online (highcountrygardens.com). 6. THE ESSENTIAL TOOLS In time, you may own a wheelbarrow, chain saw, post-hole digger, pitchfork, hoe, edger, three kinds of pruners, various spades, and more. Until then, keep it simple. You can’t do a thing without a pair of gloves and a big strong shovel. If your soil contains clay or caliche, invest in a pickax. A heavy bow rake moves soil; a leaf rake sweeps the top clean. For hand tools, a trowel and pruners will go a long way. Add a bottle of ibuprofen to soothe the muscles all that work strains. 7. CONSIDER CONTAINERS I’ve grown tomatoes, kale, herbs, fennel, and chile in patio pots. Santa Fe–based Grow Y’Own sells raised garden beds with hooped tops for creating year-round mini-greenhouses. The aluminum watering troughs sold at feed stores make cool pots with a sleek-but-stillcountry style. Containers offer complete control over soil, are easy to water, eliminate stoop labor, and dissuade rabbits. Drainage can be a problem, so make sure the bottom of whatever you use has holes. The deeper the container, the more soil you’ll need. Consider starting with a layer of rocks. The oft-trumpeted Styrofoam-peanut layer sounds like lightweight fun until you need to tend the soil. Rule of Yard Work No. 2: In a yard or a container, you will need to tend the soil for the rest of your garden’s life. 8. TOP IT OFF Desert sun and spring winds strip moisture from that modified soil. A layer of mulch slows down evaporation and suppresses weeds. A few inches of organic material, rocks, tumbled glass, or even shredded rubber will work. Organic choices include pine needles, bark, pecan shells, leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Once they decompose, you can work them into the soil. Check to see if your local landfill composts green waste and offers it for sale by the truckload. 9. A THIRST THAT KILLS Even if you amend the soil and pick perfect plants, rainfall alone won’t suffice. Forget sprinklers—they’re best at watering the air. Drip irrigation is the gold standard for New Mexico. Give it a helping hand when planting trees or shrubs by creating an earthen moat to hold a puddle of water. Rainwater zooms off any hard surface. Capture roof runoff in rain barrels (Tijeras Rain Barrels sells them in a variety of cheery colors and finishes), or terrace your yard so that each tier slows down the streams. Permaculturists use pumice wicks, gabions, swales, and other water tricks. Read Harvest the Rain: How to Enrich Your Life by Seeing Every Storm as a Resource, by Santa Fe’s Nate Downey (Sunstone Press, 2010), or visit sfpermaculture.com . (And see our April 2013 article “The Lush Life,” mynm.us/downey13 .) 10. REALITY BITES Rule of Yard Work No. 3: Things go wrong. Temperatures soar, hail falls, rabbits nibble, and the lowly bark beetle lays waste to entire forests. Why bother? Like a lot of things in life, gardening is more about the process than the goal. Learn some science. Play with design principles. Spend hours outdoors working your mind, body, and spirit as you till the soil and baby the tender sprouts. Wrap your heart around the act of gardening and the actual garden will follow, beautiful and imperfect, together as one. Kate Nelson lives and gardens in Placitas.","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f99a","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/nm-living-july-2014-87077/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/nm-living-july-2014-87077/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/nm-living-july-2014-87077/","metaTitle":"Growing Pains, Solved","metaDescription":"

FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green,

","cleanDescription":"FORGIVE THE FIRST-TIME visitor flying into New Mexico who looks down and mutters: “Sure looks gray, brown, and dry.” From the air, that may be the case. But when your feet touch ground, sage green, pine green, cholla green, and more shades appear. Put a spade into soil, add some compost, sprinkle with water, and you might even coax red, yellow, pink, and purple from trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, and succulents. Desert gardens provide challenges only worsened by our ongoing regional drought. But this isn’t Death Valley—it’s still the Land of Enchantment. Here are a few first steps to invite beauty into your yard. 1. XERISCAPE, DON’T ZERO-SCAPE Born in 1981, the word xeriscape defines a type of low-water-use landscaping (xeros means dry in Greek). As it gained popularity, a few folks went overboard, coating their yards in nomaintenance gravel. Rocks play an important role in defining your yard, minimizing weeds, and making a star out of the plants you fall in love with, but they shouldn’t steal the show. Xeriscape appeals to minimalists. Done right, its spare number of well-chosen species thrive on mere sips of water. One of the best practitioners of the art is Albuquerque-based landscape designer Judith Phillips ( judithphillipsdesignoasis.com ). She’s written four books with tips on mapping out designs, choosing water-wise plants, and tending them. My favorites: Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants (Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987) and New Mexico Gardener’s Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2005). 2. HERE’S THE DIRT Unless you’re lucky enough to live on an old floodplain, your soil has too much sand, too much clay, or too much caliche. For certain, the pH level is too alkaline; most plants seem to adore higher acid levels. To ascertain your soil’s profile and how it should be amended, collect a sample using a soil kit provided by your county’s Cooperative Extension Service, then mail it to their recommended lab at Colorado State University. Find its address, among others, at mynm.us/soillabs. (You’ll also want to bookmark aces.nmsu.edu/ aes/labs.html. This site contains an encyclopedia’s worth of advice on every agri-thing.) You can learn a lot on your own simply by spading around the yard and eyeballing your dirt. Chances are, it lacks organic matter and needs healthy helpings of aged manure, leaf mold, sawdust, straw, or store-bought compost. Dig it in at least as deep as a shovel head— or as much as your back muscles tolerate. Rule of Yard Work No. 1: The garden will bend to your abilities faster than your abilities will rise to its demands. 3. MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST Go on lots of hikes and study what you see. What kinds of plants bask in the sun? Which seek shelter in the shade? Do certain plants cluster around boulders? Mimic those cues in your yard and you’re one step closer to practicing permaculture—a type of ecological design that works with nature rather than against it. Good sources for purchasing native plants include Plants of the Southwest, in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and the Santa Ana Pueblo’s Native Plant Nursery. 4. BE A BUSY-BODY New Mexico’s micro-zones can outsmart your plans. Plants that thrive even a few miles away may wither in your yard. Visit the neighbors to see what they have blooming. Walk around the block. Take a garden tour. Ask everyone what they did right. And wrong. 5. GET SCHOOLED County Cooperative Extension Services throughout the state offer Master Gardener trainings every year, and often the graduates hold one-day workshops on topics like pruning or dealing with pests. Check them out online or give your county’s office a jingle. Besides Judith Phillips’ books, good titles include the Sunset Western Garden Book (Oxmoor House, 2007), the basic bible for general reference; Down to Earth: A Gardener’s Guide to the Albuquerque Area, by Albuquerque Master Gardeners; and Baker H. Morrow’s Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes (University of New Mexico Press, 1995). Morrow’s book separates the state into regions, a handy tool given the vast differences in altitude. High Country Gardens puts its years of wisdom online (highcountrygardens.com). 6. THE ESSENTIAL TOOLS In time, you may own a wheelbarrow, chain saw, post-hole digger, pitchfork, hoe, edger, three kinds of pruners, various spades, and more. Until then, keep it simple. You can’t do a thing without a pair of gloves and a big strong shovel. If your soil contains clay or caliche, invest in a pickax. A heavy bow rake moves soil; a leaf rake sweeps the top clean. For hand tools, a trowel and pruners will go a long way. Add a bottle of ibuprofen to soothe the muscles all that work strains. 7. CONSIDER CONTAINERS I’ve grown tomatoes, kale, herbs, fennel, and chile in patio pots. Santa Fe–based Grow Y’Own sells raised garden beds with hooped tops for creating year-round mini-greenhouses. The aluminum watering troughs sold at feed stores make cool pots with a sleek-but-stillcountry style. Containers offer complete control over soil, are easy to water, eliminate stoop labor, and dissuade rabbits. Drainage can be a problem, so make sure the bottom of whatever you use has holes. The deeper the container, the more soil you’ll need. Consider starting with a layer of rocks. The oft-trumpeted Styrofoam-peanut layer sounds like lightweight fun until you need to tend the soil. Rule of Yard Work No. 2: In a yard or a container, you will need to tend the soil for the rest of your garden’s life. 8. TOP IT OFF Desert sun and spring winds strip moisture from that modified soil. A layer of mulch slows down evaporation and suppresses weeds. A few inches of organic material, rocks, tumbled glass, or even shredded rubber will work. Organic choices include pine needles, bark, pecan shells, leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Once they decompose, you can work them into the soil. Check to see if your local landfill composts green waste and offers it for sale by the truckload. 9. A THIRST THAT KILLS Even if you amend the soil and pick perfect plants, rainfall alone won’t suffice. Forget sprinklers—they’re best at watering the air. Drip irrigation is the gold standard for New Mexico. Give it a helping hand when planting trees or shrubs by creating an earthen moat to hold a puddle of water. Rainwater zooms off any hard surface. Capture roof runoff in rain barrels (Tijeras Rain Barrels sells them in a variety of cheery colors and finishes), or terrace your yard so that each tier slows down the streams. Permaculturists use pumice wicks, gabions, swales, and other water tricks. Read Harvest the Rain: How to Enrich Your Life by Seeing Every Storm as a Resource, by Santa Fe’s Nate Downey (Sunstone Press, 2010), or visit sfpermaculture.com . (And see our April 2013 article “The Lush Life,” mynm.us/downey13 .) 10. REALITY BITES Rule of Yard Work No. 3: Things go wrong. Temperatures soar, hail falls, rabbits nibble, and the lowly bark beetle lays waste to entire forests. Why bother? Like a lot of things in life, gardening is more about the process than the goal. Learn some science. Play with design principles. Spend hours outdoors working your mind, body, and spirit as you till the soil and baby the tender sprouts. Wrap your heart around the act of gardening and the actual garden will follow, beautiful and imperfect, together as one. Kate Nelson lives and gardens in Placitas.","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-09T11:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.654Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f999","title":"One of Our 50 Is Missing","slug":"one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-87076","publish_start":"2014-07-08T17:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","58b4b2404c2774661570f267"],"tags_ids":["59090d23e1efff4c9916fa71","59090de2e1efff4c9916fafb","59090c10e1efff4c9916f95a"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_tagline":"Rueful anecdotes about New Mexico's mistaken geographical identity, since 1970.","created":"2014-07-08T17:00:01.000Z","legacy_id":"87076","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"one of our 50 is missing","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:32.853Z","active":true,"description_raw":"
Send Us Your Story—Please!
\r\n
\r\nDear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space.
\r\n
\r\nPlease include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@ nmmagazine.com, or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.
\r\n\r\n

FALSE CHARGE
\r\nAfter Jack Arnold moved from Manhattan to Rio Rancho, he called his bank in New York to transfer some money to his New Mexico account. “The banker told me that the transfer was going to cost me $25. I asked him why, since there was no charge for transfers between banks.” The teller explained that there was a charge for foreign transfers. With true New York chutzpah, Arnold says, “I told him to brush up on his geography and send the money at no charge, as New Mexico is part of the United States!”

\r\n\r\n

MEET THE NEIGHBORS
\r\nGary Thornhill, who has a winter home in Las Cruces, recently attended a meeting at his company’s San Antonio, Texas, office. As Thornhill told a colleague that he worked out of his home, he was interrupted by the San Antonio office’s company manager. “He said that he didn’t think that [working from Las Cruces] could be done because of the need for international calls and Internet connections to the United States.” Thornhill indicated that international calls are not necessary and that Internet connectivity is available in Las Cruces. “I was quite surprised by the manager’s remark, since San Antonio is so close to Las Cruces, not to mention that our company headquarters is in Albuquerque.”

\r\n\r\n

DEBIT CARD FRAUD
\r\nMonte Thompson of Aledo, Texas, was unpleasantly surprised when his debit card was declined as he attempted to check out of his lodgings in Abiquiú. “I asked the manager to run it again, knowing that I had plenty of funds in my bank account.” The card also did not work for the following two days as he drove back to Texas. Once back in the Lone Star State, Thompson went to the bank to get to the bottom of the matter. “The manager looked at my account and the attempted debits in New Mexico, and then told me that for my security, they had placed a hold on my funds while I was in Mexico.” Thompson told her that he had been in Santa Fe, and other towns near there, and asked if she had ever heard of Santa Fe, which is in New Mexico. “She said that she had heard of Santa Fe and hoped that I had had a nice trip. She told me that the next time I went that I should call the manager to let her know that I would be using my card in a foreign country.”

\r\n\r\n

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
\r\nJudy Eckhart was on a live chat with a major cell phone provider, trying to straighten out a problem with her phone. Twice the customer service representative asked for verification of her address. Each time, she gave the rep her street address in Santa Fe. Rep: Do you have access on your phone while you are in Mexico? Eckhart: I am not in Mexico. I am in the state of New Mexico. Rep: Oh, okay. Sorry for the confusion. Power the phone off and back on.

\r\n\r\n

FOUL-WEATHER FRIENDS
\r\nAs Carlson Simmons prepared to move to New Mexico from western New York, several friends asked why he would ever want to move to another country. “I hastened to explain that New Mexico was, indeed, part of the United States.” But why, he was asked, would he ever want to leave the Buffalo area? Rather than enumerate the advantages (starting with the weather), Simmons smiled and moved on. “I have settled in, and every morning when I go out to get the paper, I look up at the Sandías, and get a warm, happy feeling.”

\r\n\r\n

CHEESED OFF
\r\nAfter a satisfying meal at the Melting Pot in Albuquerque, Judy Belvin joined the restaurant’s Club Fondue. She subsequently received an e-mail from the Melting Pot inviting her to come to the restaurant for free cheese fondue as part of the celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day. The next day, however, she got an apologetic e-mail from the Melting Pot stating that the offer applied only to those living in the United States. “I wrote to them,” Belvin reports, “and said that I was amazed that they have a restaurant in uptown Albuquerque, and yet they don’t know that New Mexico is in the United States. I have not received a reply from them.”

\r\n\r\n

\"FiftyNO POSOLE
\r\nWhile playing Words with Friends (an online Scrabble game), Diane Botham Jones had a “pretty ugly hand,” but she brightened up when she saw that she could play the word “posole.” She received the following message: She continued, “In the past, I found out that ‘zia’ is not an acceptable word, either. Better change the state flag!”

","teaser_raw":"
Send Us Your Story—Please!

Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from
","version_id":"59f8ebb4648901d6cd725f2c","categories":[{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","blog":"magazine","title":"July 2014","_title_sort":"july 2014","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.560Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.567Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc","slug":"july-2014","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/july-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2dc/#comments","totalPosts":15},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","blog":"magazine","title":"One Of Our 50 Is Missing","_title_sort":"one of our 50 is missing","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.592Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.600Z","_totalPosts":68,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","slug":"one-of-our-50-is-missing","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/one-of-our-50-is-missing/58b4b2404c2774661570f30b/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/one-of-our-50-is-missing/58b4b2404c2774661570f30b/#comments","totalPosts":68}],"teaser":"
Send Us Your Story—Please!

Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from
","description":"Send Us Your Story—Please! Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@ nmmagazine.com , or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. FALSE CHARGE After Jack Arnold moved from Manhattan to Rio Rancho, he called his bank in New York to transfer some money to his New Mexico account. “The banker told me that the transfer was going to cost me $25. I asked him why, since there was no charge for transfers between banks.” The teller explained that there was a charge for foreign transfers. With true New York chutzpah, Arnold says, “I told him to brush up on his geography and send the money at no charge, as New Mexico is part of the United States!” MEET THE NEIGHBORS Gary Thornhill, who has a winter home in Las Cruces, recently attended a meeting at his company’s San Antonio, Texas, office. As Thornhill told a colleague that he worked out of his home, he was interrupted by the San Antonio office’s company manager. “He said that he didn’t think that [working from Las Cruces] could be done because of the need for international calls and Internet connections to the United States.” Thornhill indicated that international calls are not necessary and that Internet connectivity is available in Las Cruces. “I was quite surprised by the manager’s remark, since San Antonio is so close to Las Cruces, not to mention that our company headquarters is in Albuquerque.” DEBIT CARD FRAUD Monte Thompson of Aledo, Texas, was unpleasantly surprised when his debit card was declined as he attempted to check out of his lodgings in Abiquiú. “I asked the manager to run it again, knowing that I had plenty of funds in my bank account.” The card also did not work for the following two days as he drove back to Texas. Once back in the Lone Star State, Thompson went to the bank to get to the bottom of the matter. “The manager looked at my account and the attempted debits in New Mexico, and then told me that for my security, they had placed a hold on my funds while I was in Mexico.” Thompson told her that he had been in Santa Fe, and other towns near there, and asked if she had ever heard of Santa Fe, which is in New Mexico. “She said that she had heard of Santa Fe and hoped that I had had a nice trip. She told me that the next time I went that I should call the manager to let her know that I would be using my card in a foreign country.” CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Judy Eckhart was on a live chat with a major cell phone provider, trying to straighten out a problem with her phone. Twice the customer service representative asked for verification of her address. Each time, she gave the rep her street address in Santa Fe. Rep: Do you have access on your phone while you are in Mexico? Eckhart: I am not in Mexico. I am in the state of New Mexico. Rep: Oh, okay. Sorry for the confusion. Power the phone off and back on. FOUL-WEATHER FRIENDS As Carlson Simmons prepared to move to New Mexico from western New York, several friends asked why he would ever want to move to another country. “I hastened to explain that New Mexico was, indeed, part of the United States.” But why, he was asked, would he ever want to leave the Buffalo area? Rather than enumerate the advantages (starting with the weather), Simmons smiled and moved on. “I have settled in, and every morning when I go out to get the paper, I look up at the Sandías, and get a warm, happy feeling.” CHEESED OFF After a satisfying meal at the Melting Pot in Albuquerque, Judy Belvin joined the restaurant’s Club Fondue. She subsequently received an e-mail from the Melting Pot inviting her to come to the restaurant for free cheese fondue as part of the celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day. The next day, however, she got an apologetic e-mail from the Melting Pot stating that the offer applied only to those living in the United States. “I wrote to them,” Belvin reports, “and said that I was amazed that they have a restaurant in uptown Albuquerque, and yet they don’t know that New Mexico is in the United States. I have not received a reply from them.” NO POSOLE While playing Words with Friends (an online Scrabble game), Diane Botham Jones had a “pretty ugly hand,” but she brightened up when she saw that she could play the word “posole.” She received the following message: She continued, “In the past, I found out that ‘zia’ is not an acceptable word, either. Better change the state flag!”","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f999","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-87076/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-87076/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-87076/","metaTitle":"One of Our 50 Is Missing","metaDescription":"
Send Us Your Story—Please!

Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from
","cleanDescription":"Send Us Your Story—Please! Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@ nmmagazine.com , or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. FALSE CHARGE After Jack Arnold moved from Manhattan to Rio Rancho, he called his bank in New York to transfer some money to his New Mexico account. “The banker told me that the transfer was going to cost me $25. I asked him why, since there was no charge for transfers between banks.” The teller explained that there was a charge for foreign transfers. With true New York chutzpah, Arnold says, “I told him to brush up on his geography and send the money at no charge, as New Mexico is part of the United States!” MEET THE NEIGHBORS Gary Thornhill, who has a winter home in Las Cruces, recently attended a meeting at his company’s San Antonio, Texas, office. As Thornhill told a colleague that he worked out of his home, he was interrupted by the San Antonio office’s company manager. “He said that he didn’t think that [working from Las Cruces] could be done because of the need for international calls and Internet connections to the United States.” Thornhill indicated that international calls are not necessary and that Internet connectivity is available in Las Cruces. “I was quite surprised by the manager’s remark, since San Antonio is so close to Las Cruces, not to mention that our company headquarters is in Albuquerque.” DEBIT CARD FRAUD Monte Thompson of Aledo, Texas, was unpleasantly surprised when his debit card was declined as he attempted to check out of his lodgings in Abiquiú. “I asked the manager to run it again, knowing that I had plenty of funds in my bank account.” The card also did not work for the following two days as he drove back to Texas. Once back in the Lone Star State, Thompson went to the bank to get to the bottom of the matter. “The manager looked at my account and the attempted debits in New Mexico, and then told me that for my security, they had placed a hold on my funds while I was in Mexico.” Thompson told her that he had been in Santa Fe, and other towns near there, and asked if she had ever heard of Santa Fe, which is in New Mexico. “She said that she had heard of Santa Fe and hoped that I had had a nice trip. She told me that the next time I went that I should call the manager to let her know that I would be using my card in a foreign country.” CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Judy Eckhart was on a live chat with a major cell phone provider, trying to straighten out a problem with her phone. Twice the customer service representative asked for verification of her address. Each time, she gave the rep her street address in Santa Fe. Rep: Do you have access on your phone while you are in Mexico? Eckhart: I am not in Mexico. I am in the state of New Mexico. Rep: Oh, okay. Sorry for the confusion. Power the phone off and back on. FOUL-WEATHER FRIENDS As Carlson Simmons prepared to move to New Mexico from western New York, several friends asked why he would ever want to move to another country. “I hastened to explain that New Mexico was, indeed, part of the United States.” But why, he was asked, would he ever want to leave the Buffalo area? Rather than enumerate the advantages (starting with the weather), Simmons smiled and moved on. “I have settled in, and every morning when I go out to get the paper, I look up at the Sandías, and get a warm, happy feeling.” CHEESED OFF After a satisfying meal at the Melting Pot in Albuquerque, Judy Belvin joined the restaurant’s Club Fondue. She subsequently received an e-mail from the Melting Pot inviting her to come to the restaurant for free cheese fondue as part of the celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day. The next day, however, she got an apologetic e-mail from the Melting Pot stating that the offer applied only to those living in the United States. “I wrote to them,” Belvin reports, “and said that I was amazed that they have a restaurant in uptown Albuquerque, and yet they don’t know that New Mexico is in the United States. I have not received a reply from them.” NO POSOLE While playing Words with Friends (an online Scrabble game), Diane Botham Jones had a “pretty ugly hand,” but she brightened up when she saw that she could play the word “posole.” She received the following message: She continued, “In the past, I found out that ‘zia’ is not an acceptable word, either. Better change the state flag!”","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-08T17:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.654Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f998","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1ad","title":"The Cream of the Crop","slug":"tasting-nm-87072","publish_start":"2014-07-07T17:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f32a","58b4b2404c2774661570f321"],"tags_ids":["59090e3ce1efff4c9916fb32","59090e22e1efff4c9916fb24"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Douglas Merriam","custom_tagline":"Incredible ingredients from the Farmers' Market lead to unforgettable New Mexico meals.","created":"2014-07-07T17:43:11.000Z","legacy_id":"87072","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"the cream of the crop","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:32.760Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

\r\n\r\n
NEED TO KNOW
\r\nSANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET
WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com, farmersmarketinstitute.org. Southside market is open Tues. from July through Sept., 3–6:30 p.m., at the Zafarano Drive entrance to Santa Fe Place mall (off Cerrillos Rd.).
\r\nHOURS: Open year-round on Sat. from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Tues. market from May through Nov., same hours. Farmers’ Market Shops open Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Tues. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. May–Nov.
\r\nPARKING: Paid street and surface lot parking, and $1 market-day underground parking.
\r\n\r\n

ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY, farmers’ markets have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain. Here in the high desert of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is over 50 years old, and has distinguished itself as one of America’s best. Some 110 vendors strong, the market spills out of its handsome pavilion onto walkways and plazas throughout the heart of the Railyard District, surrounded by throngs of up to 5,000 shoppers, often strolling with an apple cider slushie or a green chile–chicken tamale in hand. I revel in the chattering blend of English, Spanish, and Spanglish, and the live musical mix of bluegrass, marimba, and bluesy sax.

\r\n\r\n

The scene is a photographer’s dream, a community party, and an inspiration for the city’s culinary pros. Chefs Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto, Andrew Cooper of Terra at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Mu Jing Lau from Mu Du Noodles, and Josh Gerwin of Dr. Field Good’s Kitchen are among the many who regularly handpick produce and other items for their menus. You might spot authors of award-winning cookbooks—perhaps Deborah Madison, Lois Ellen Frank, or, well, me—stocking up on the gorgeous offerings.

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The market’s downtown location hums year-round, but no time is more colorful and flavorful than late August and September, which mark the nexus of high-summer crops, like sweet corn and tomatoes, with the beginning of fall’s best, too. Bushel baskets of green chile start to yield space to bright crimson pods. Cute scallop-edged summer squashalitos are mounded beside the first deeply lobed pumpkins, looking for all the world like a mini-parade of Cinderella’s coaches. Summer root vegetables, carrots and beets, are piled high by fat parsnips and alien-looking celery root, both at their very best when kissed by a touch of frost.

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I like to stop by the small table of the very quiet man from Kewa/Santo Domingo Pueblo selling flour tortillas and puffy loaves of his family’s horno oven bread, perfect for French toast. By contrast, Matt Romero of Romero Farms is anything but quiet, a gregarious marketing wizard who somehow simultaneously manages to roast sacks of chile in a big gas-fired drum while sautéing his La Ratte potatoes and overseeing the market’s largest and most diverse stand at this time of year.

\r\n\r\n

DEEP ROOTS
\r\nThe market sprang to life in the late 1960s with a handful of farmers, encouraged by the League of Women Voters. The group gathered in a parking lot across from what is now Payne’s Nursery on the west side, where I found it when I moved to Santa Fe this time of year in 1980. The growers brought pretty much identical bushels of zucchini and green chile. I still purchase copious amounts of both each season, but today’s market incarnation offers hundreds of choices beyond those crops, and even the zukes and chiles can be found in a dozen eye-popping varieties.

\r\n\r\n

The burgeoning market has become one of the most widely recognized and praised in the United States. Kudos come for many reasons, but first and foremost in my mind is that the market does not allow reselling. The people growing and harvesting are the same smiling folks you purchase from directly. That means you won’t find any pineapples here, though you will find pine nuts (piñones). Long before “local” was the buzzword, this was the epitome of the term, with items from northern New Mexico farms only.

\r\n\r\n

Given drought and dirt that might be considered better as a building material than for growing, our farmers are nothing short of magicians—very hardworking magicians. Fresh vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, honey, breads and other baked goods, pasture-grazed poultry, grass-fed meat (lamb, beef, pork, bison, even yak), jams and jellies, nursery plants, herbal tinctures and treatments, and body and bath products all come from within 15 counties more or less surrounding Santa Fe. The processed foods, crafts, and items such as willow furniture also have to be created with at least 80 percent New Mexican materials.

\r\n\r\n

Another reason the market is considered a national leader is its key role in bringing life to the heart of Santa Fe’s Railyard District. It’s hard to believe that a decade ago this neighborhood, just blocks from the Plaza, was underutilized and pretty much blighted. The market, through its nonprofit, tax-exempt Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, raised $4.5 million in public and private funds for its building. Opened in 2008, the building was the first market pavilion in the country to be LEED-certified for ecological efficiency, with a Gold level certificate for its materials, lighting, water, and energy use. The structure’s combination of two-toned adobe-colored stucco with sheet metal both echoes the past warehouses of the Railyard and helped set a new architectural style for this section of downtown.

\r\n\r\n

Among the retail enterprises is a charming collection of Market Shops, open during the market and selected other days too. Bob Ross’s Gardens sells well-curated garden accessories and unusual plants. Taste and purchase Vivác wines from the Dixon-based winery’s tasting room, or chocolates and other delectables from the ChocolateSmith, or high-quality loose-leaf teas from ArtfulTea. The market’s own shop sells global gift items. You can sit down in a petite café too, for an organic espresso or a small selection of farm-fresh foods.

\r\n\r\n

Of course, the soul of the market, the reason for its very existence, is the remarkable collection of farmers and their kaleidoscopic produce and other foods. Many of the farmers are certified organic, but many others eschew that status because of certification’s expense and paperwork. Virtually everyone here grows by true sustainable principles—chemical-free—and holds a higher standard for their crops and livestock than many major corporations that purport to sell “natural” or “organic” produce.

\r\n\r\n

Let’s meet a selection of top purveyors.

\r\n\r\n

PAT MONTOYA’S FAMILY ORCHARD
\r\nThe Montoya family’s core business is fruit—cherries, apricots, pears, but mostly apples. In spite of this year’s late freezes in the Velarde area, Pat and Juanita Montoya will have at least Red and Golden Delicious apples, as well as Romas, great for baking. No one is more enterprising with their apples. The family dries some of the crop for tasty snacking, and they turn trimmings from their trees into wood for the grill or barbecue. They sell cider, and turn it into the snow-cones carried by seemingly everyone on warm days, and heat it for sipping by the steaming cupful when temperatures fall. Daughter Victoria expects that they will also have 10 varieties of chile along with plentiful tomatoes and cucumbers.

\r\n\r\n

MONTE VISTA ORGANIC FARM
\r\nDavid and Loretta Fresquez had successful careers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and still found time to farm several acres surrounding their La Mesilla home and other family property. The native New Mexicans began bringing produce to market in 1994. Now retired from the lab and devoted to farming full-time, David and Loretta are assisted by daughter Jennifer and cousin Brenda. I enjoy the family’s exotic array of pumpkins and tomatoes, their garlic, sweet onions, shishito peppers, and their raspberries, a succulent, sweet variety called Carolina. One of their more recent crops is Floriani Red Flint corn, which makes a deeply golden cornmeal flecked with burgundy. The corn was taken from this continent to Italy, then it pretty much disappeared here. In Europe, though, the corn became a staple for polenta, before being returned to the United States in recent years and grown once again. It is guaranteed to be free of controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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TRUJILLO FAMILY FARM
\r\nRose Trujillo has been with the market since its inception, and may be the market’s most senior farmer. The wiry octogenarian, however, can certainly beat me at hoeing a row and whipping up a tamale. She’s there every market day, aided now by three generations. The Trujillos offer one of my favorite fresh New Mexican chiles, already roasted and peeled, in season, and lots of salsas, dip and salad dressing mixes, and—oh yes—some very tasty tamales.

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SANCHEZ FARMS
\r\nIn his weekday life, Clyde Sanchez is a mild-mannered Española CPA. At the market, though, I think of him as the Superman of chile. I buy chile from several farmers from different areas, but in the last couple of seasons I have found myself buying Clyde’s most often. He sells chile fresh or pre-roasted, in green or red. With the pre-roasted, customers can choose from whole pods or pay a little more for it already peeled and chopped. Clyde has a half-dozen varieties of New Mexican chile, from the tame to the incendiary, as well as bell peppers, yellow hots, and jalapeños. All are available to taste on crackers before you buy. Clyde freezes a portion of the chile crop so you can purchase from him out of season.

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OLD PECOS FOODS
\r\nMike and Diane Jaramillo make high-quality mustards seasoned in Southwestern style. Diane actually made the initial green chile mustard at the behest of her father, who was a market vendor in the 1990s. These days, her husband, Mike, whips up the mustard and Diane jars it and labels it at their own commercial kitchen in Glorieta. My favorite of the mustards is the green chile, which outsells the others by three to one.

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MR. G’S
\r\nGary Gunderson, the “G” in Mr. G’s, farms with his wife, Natasha (pictured), in Medanales, just north of Española. The couple came here in 2001 from Kauai, where they grew ginger for Whole Foods nationwide. Much of their produce looks like it comes from lush Hawaii. Part of the Gundersons’ secret is that their acreage sits at a higher altitude than their surroundings, making it slightly cooler and just right for the many greens. Their crisp bulbs of fennel burst with anise flavor. I always make this an early stop in my market wanderings, because the line forms quickly and the Gundersons sell out much of their abundant supply early.

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GREEN TRACTOR FARM
\r\nLike the Fresquez and Montoya families, the Dixons are a multi-generation farming clan. Mary and Tom Dixon were joined earlier this season by their daughter Rachel, her husband, Ned, and three-year-old granddaughter, Isabella. They farm together on property in La Cienega that has been in the family since Tom was about Isabella’s age. Top local chefs like Martín Rios seek out their many greens, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, tiny turnips, French breakfast and daikon radishes, and other impeccable ingredients.

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CAMINO DE PAZ SCHOOL AND FARM
\r\nThe students at this private Montessori middle school in Santa Cruz get hands-on work experience with farming as a business and a communal enterprise. The school operates a USDA-certified Grade A goat dairy. The students bring to market their raw and pasteurized goat milk, goat yogurt, fresh cheese, feta, and cajeta, a delectable goat-milk caramel sauce. Because the students have a commitment to reducing plastic in the environment, their products are sold in reusable glass jars, for which customers pay a deposit. These kids and their products are great.

\r\n\r\n

DE SMET DAIRY FARMS AND CREAMERY
\r\nWhen a farm’s animals all have names, it’s a pretty good sign that the critters are well treated. Erica De Smet rattles off the names of her 20 Jerseys, Holsteins, and a Guernsey with a smile on her face. “We have Bambi, Delilah, and Snooki. She’s a Jersey girl.” New to the market late last season, Erica and her husband, Michael, came to Bosque Farms, where earlier generations of Michael’s family had been in the large-scale dairy business. While working in Vermont, Michael and Erica saw small dairy farms where the cows grazed in fields, calves stayed with their mothers, and the milk wasn’t pasteurized, as Erica says, “to death.” They vowed that they would come here and open a similar operation. They sell raw cow’s milk, which is allowed in New Mexico if a dairy has its federal and state certifications. De Smet raw milk goes through what can be described as a cold pasteurization, bringing its temperature down to nearly freezing, which keeps its vitamins, probiotics, and other nutrients intact. I learned from Erica that many people who are lactose intolerant can drink this milk. (Traditional pasteurization turns lactase into lactose.)

\r\n\r\n

THE OLD WINDMILL DAIRY
\r\nThe market once had as many as four dedicated cheese vendors, but only the Old Windmill is in business today. That says something about the challenges of being an artisanal cheese producer. Owners Ed and Michael Lobaugh were put to the test earlier this season when a tornado touched down on their property in Estancia, completely destroying a barn. They are still making their fresh and aged cheeses from their own herds of dairy goats and cattle. They offer a rotating selection of cheeses, and some, like their mozzarella, are seasonal. Look for everything from squeaky fresh cheese curds to creamy chèvre to a crumbly blue called Manzano Blue Moon. Some weeks, they have freshly churned butter. Nothing’s more elementally scrumptious with a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery bread made from New Mexico wheat.

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MOUNTAIN FLOWER FARM
\r\nIt’s sometimes hard to spot Anne Sommariva this time of year. You’ll definitely notice her booth, but you have to look for Anne behind her effusive bouquets, strings of marigolds, and other gorgeous cut flowers. Vegetable authority Deborah Madison and I were chatting recently about Anne’s lovely produce, and how Anne offers selections that are often not available from other vendors. Deborah and I adore her celery root, a creamy tuber hidden inside a gnarly bulbous exterior. Deborah always comes to Anne for Costata Romanesco zucchinis, a distinctive Italian ridged heirloom variety, known for its excellent taste. I never miss the Alibi cucumbers or canary melons, which are about the size of coconuts.

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Menu: Market to Meal
\r\nThese recipes utilize some of the best Santa Fe Farmers’ Market products.

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JIM HAMMOND’S WINE PAIRINGS
\r\nSHISHITO PEPPERS
\r\nThere are three main choices: craft beer, white wine, and sparkling white wine. A Marble Pilsner would be a good starter, or the Marble IPA, with citrus notes and biting hoppy flavors, will work well into the next course.
\r\nLAMB CHOPS
\r\nThe Vivác 2012 Nebbiolo V Series, with Pinot-like notes and firm tannins, is made for this dish. Vivác is the only local winery currently doing single-varietal Nebbiolo.
\r\nCORNMEAL CAKE
\r\nDon Quixote’s Calvados apple brandy is a serious after-dinner drink, but the magical kiss of apples will harmonize with this cake.
\r\n
\r\nJim Hammond is the author of Wines of Enchantment: A Guide to Finding and Enjoying the Wines of New Mexico (available at mynm.us/nm-shop).
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CELEBRATE THE SEASON with recipes using market ingredients—but don’t feel the need to stick with a preconceived list of fixings. Try parsnips instead of carrots if they look or sound better to you. For a market-driven meal, combine a couple of these ideas, maybe the shishito peppers and the celery root soup (mynm.us/recipes914), and add a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery Nativo bread and a fresh tangle of greens on the side. The lamb dish would pair well with one of the ciabattas from Intergalactic Bread Company and a dessert of fresh berries. Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of green chile for the freezer after you’ve eaten your fill of it fresh, with just some garlic salt on a tortilla, as part of a breakfast burrito, in an enchilada sauce, or in calabacitas.

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SIMPLE FRIED SHISHITO OR PADRÓN PEPPERS
\r\nShishito peppers are something of a sensation at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market these days. Small green frying peppers, they are most simply sautéed and nibbled off the stem, just a bite of mild peppery goodness. Slightly plumper padrón peppers can be treated in the same fashion, but can be spicier. You really don’t need much of a recipe for this. Simply buy the quantity that you want and sauté them up as described. When I want to get more elaborate, I toss these with grilled shrimp and chunks of chorizo. Enjoy as a pre-dinner snack with a glass of wine or craft beer.
\r\nServes 8 as an appetizer

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    \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 pound shishito or padrón peppers
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  • Lemon wedge, optional Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • \r\n
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Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the peppers in a single layer and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. The peppers will begin to darken and blister. Turn them with tongs or toss with a broad spatula, to color evenly. The peppers should soften before they start getting blackened. Turn down the heat a bit if needed. Remove from the heat and toss with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and salt to taste.

\r\n\r\n

NEW MEXICO LAMB LOIN CHOPS WITH GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI
\r\nFor an almost instant dinner, I always like to have some of the field-grazed lamb from Antonio and Molly Manzanares stashed in my refrigerator. The couple’s Shepherd’s Lamb, based in New Mexico’s northern high country, is certified organic (read more about them in “For the Love of Lamb,” p. 58, April 2012, mynm.us/sheplamb). If you can’t get to the Farmers’ Market, you can order their meat from organiclamb.com or pick it up at La Montanita Co-op in Santa Fe. Chef Matt Yohalem, longtime local farm-to-table champion, created the dish’s sauce, using market eggs, garlic, and chile. Matt serves the aioli with lamb or beef at his downtown Santa Fe restaurant, Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen. I love the tang of the sauce with succulent lamb loin chops, the type that resemble little T-bone steaks. For the fullest flavor and juiciness, grill or sauté the chops no more than medium rare.
\r\nServes 4

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GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI

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    \r\n\t
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
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  • 2 large egg yolks
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  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted fresh New Mexican green chile (1 fresh chile)
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  • Zest and juice of
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  • 1 medium lemon
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  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile
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  • 1 cup olive oil
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  • Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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LAMB CHOPS

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    \r\n\t
  • 8 grass-fed lamb loin chops, ¾ to 1 inch thick
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile Kosher salt or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • \r\n\t
  • Olive oil spray or 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • \r\n
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Make aioli up to several hours ahead of the meal: Combine mustard and egg yolks in food processor. With processor still running, add through the top chute the green chile, lemon zest and juice, garlic, horseradish, and red chile powder. Purée. With processor continuing to run, slowly drizzle in oil. When smooth and thick, add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to adjust seasoning with a bit more lemon juice or mustard. Chill right away.

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For lamb chops: Sprinkle chops on all sides with red chile and a dusting of salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil to coat on all sides. Let chops sit at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fire up a grill for a two-level fire capable of cooking first on high heat and then on medium. (Use the hand test to measure the grill’s heat. Placing your hand about 2 inches above the cooking grate, a high-heat fire will require you to pull your hand back and away from it within 1 to 2 seconds. With a medium fire, you can keep your hand in the same position without pulling it away for about 4 seconds.) Grill chops over high heat for 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Move chops to medium heat, turning them again, and continue grilling for about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Rotate a half turn each time chops are turned for crisscross grill marks.

\r\n\r\n

Alternatively, chops can be seared in a heavy skillet on stovetop. Warm skillet over high heat, then add 2 teaspoons olive oil and swirl around in skillet. Add the chops and sear for 1½ minutes on each side. Turn heat down to medium and cook to medium rare, about 1½ minutes more per side. Plate chops and season each with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to make them glisten. Add a spoonful of aioli to each plate or drizzle it over the chops. Serve immediately.

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JENNIFER FRESQUEZ’S CORNMEAL CAKE
\r\nThis tender almond-scented cake comes from Jennifer Fresquez, one of the family members behind Monte Vista Organic Farm, in La Mesilla, north of Santa Fe. I first met Jennifer when she was a student at UNM, coming back to help on the farm during school breaks. It’s been a pleasure to watch her mature from shy teen to confident young adult, a graduate not just of UNM but of the Culinary Institute of America. Jennifer makes this gluten-free cake with meal ground from the family’s Floriani Red Flint corn. The red-and-yellow-speckled cornmeal has a scrumptious toasted flavor and is free of genetic modification. Jennifer cracks eggs from her own chickens into the cake, too, and serves it with her own raspberries this time of year. Heaven!
\r\nServes 6 to 8

\r\n\r\n
    \r\n\t
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • \r\n\t
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • \r\n\t
  • 2 large eggs
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ cup Greek-style yogurt
  • \r\n\t
  • ¼ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  • \r\n\t
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 cup almond meal or flour
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt
  • \r\n\t
  • Fresh raspberries
  • \r\n\t
  • Softly whipped cream
  • \r\n
\r\n\r\n

Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter a 9-inch springform baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. A springform pan allows for easier removal.

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In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in yogurt, ricotta, vanilla, orange juice, and zest. Mix cornmeal and almonds with baking powder and salt, and fold into wet ingredients.

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Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set, golden brown, and just beginning to pull away from the pan’s edge. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool fully. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife and serve with berries and whipped cream. Wrap any remaining cake tightly and eat within another day.

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Note: At altitudes lower than 5,000 feet, reduce the orange juice by 1 tablespoon and add an extra ¼ teaspoon baking powder to the recipe.

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Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm. See more of Douglas Merriam’s work at douglasmerriam.com.

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Celery Root Soup with Walnut-Celery Salad
\r\nNo one writes with more passion and eloquence on vegetable cookery than my friend, Galisteo-based author Deborah Madison. This recipe comes from her James Beard award-winning Vegetable Literacy (2013, Ten Speed Press). I love the silky combination of humble celery and celery root, and the added crunch from the salad topping.
\r\nServes 4 to 6

\r\n\r\n
    \r\n\t
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 celery root, about
  • \r\n\t
  • 12 ounces 3 or 4 celery stalks with pale leaves
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • \r\n\t
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more to finish
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • \r\n\t
  • ½ cup white wine Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • \r\n\t
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water, plus more if needed Extra stock, milk, or cream for thinning
  • \r\n\t
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in dry skillet, and chopped Roasted walnut oil
  • \r\n\t
  • 3 tablespoons finely slivered celery heart
  • \r\n
\r\n\r\n

Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Scrub the celery root and slice off the gnarly skin. Cut the celery root into ½-inch cubes and immerse them in the lemon water as you work.

\r\n\r\n

Trim the pale leaves from the celery stalks and chop enough to measure 1 tablespoon. Set aside the rest for a garnish. Drain the celery root and measure it. Chop the celery stalks and add enough to the celery root to total 4 cups.

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Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery and celery root, onion, thyme, and parsley, and cook until the vegetables take on some color, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, and 1teaspoon salt and cook until the wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

\r\n\r\n

Puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat, thinning with additional stock, if needed. Mix together the reserved celery leaves, the walnuts, and the celery, toss with walnut oil to moisten well, and season with salt and pepper.

\r\n\r\n

Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon the walnut-celery salad on top, and serve.

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Roasted Carrots with Chile, Mint, and Orange Glaze
\r\nServes 6

\r\n\r\n
    \r\n\t
  • 2 market bunches of long slim carrots (about 2 pounds), tops trimmed off
  • \r\n\t
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt, or more to taste
  • \r\n\t
  • Zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • \r\n\t
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
  • \r\n\t
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • \r\n
\r\n\r\n

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone (Silpat) mat or parchment paper for easy clean up.

\r\n\r\n

If carrots are of differing lengths and thicknesses, slice them as needed to have them close to uniform size. Toss carrots with oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast carrots for 15 minutes, until somewhat tender. While carrots roast, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, and chile flakes. Remove baking sheet from oven, pour juice mixture over hot carrots and toss together. Return to oven and continue roasting until carrots are tender and juice mixture has reduced into a glaze. Timing will vary, depending on size. When ready, sprinkle carrots with orange zest and mint, and serve right away.

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NEED TO KNOW
SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET
WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com, farmersmarketinstitute.org. Southside market
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NEED TO KNOW
SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET
WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com, farmersmarketinstitute.org. Southside market
","description":"NEED TO KNOW SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com , farmersmarketinstitute.org . Southside market is open Tues. from July through Sept., 3–6:30 p.m., at the Zafarano Drive entrance to Santa Fe Place mall (off Cerrillos Rd.). HOURS: Open year-round on Sat. from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Tues. market from May through Nov., same hours. Farmers’ Market Shops open Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Tues. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. May–Nov. PARKING: Paid street and surface lot parking, and $1 market-day underground parking. ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY , farmers’ markets have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain. Here in the high desert of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is over 50 years old, and has distinguished itself as one of America’s best. Some 110 vendors strong, the market spills out of its handsome pavilion onto walkways and plazas throughout the heart of the Railyard District, surrounded by throngs of up to 5,000 shoppers, often strolling with an apple cider slushie or a green chile–chicken tamale in hand. I revel in the chattering blend of English, Spanish, and Spanglish, and the live musical mix of bluegrass, marimba, and bluesy sax. The scene is a photographer’s dream, a community party, and an inspiration for the city’s culinary pros. Chefs Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto, Andrew Cooper of Terra at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Mu Jing Lau from Mu Du Noodles, and Josh Gerwin of Dr. Field Good’s Kitchen are among the many who regularly handpick produce and other items for their menus. You might spot authors of award-winning cookbooks—perhaps Deborah Madison, Lois Ellen Frank, or, well, me—stocking up on the gorgeous offerings. The market’s downtown location hums year-round, but no time is more colorful and flavorful than late August and September, which mark the nexus of high-summer crops, like sweet corn and tomatoes, with the beginning of fall’s best, too. Bushel baskets of green chile start to yield space to bright crimson pods. Cute scallop-edged summer squashalitos are mounded beside the first deeply lobed pumpkins, looking for all the world like a mini-parade of Cinderella’s coaches. Summer root vegetables, carrots and beets, are piled high by fat parsnips and alien-looking celery root, both at their very best when kissed by a touch of frost. I like to stop by the small table of the very quiet man from Kewa/Santo Domingo Pueblo selling flour tortillas and puffy loaves of his family’s horno oven bread, perfect for French toast. By contrast, Matt Romero of Romero Farms is anything but quiet, a gregarious marketing wizard who somehow simultaneously manages to roast sacks of chile in a big gas-fired drum while sautéing his La Ratte potatoes and overseeing the market’s largest and most diverse stand at this time of year. DEEP ROOTS The market sprang to life in the late 1960s with a handful of farmers, encouraged by the League of Women Voters. The group gathered in a parking lot across from what is now Payne’s Nursery on the west side, where I found it when I moved to Santa Fe this time of year in 1980. The growers brought pretty much identical bushels of zucchini and green chile. I still purchase copious amounts of both each season, but today’s market incarnation offers hundreds of choices beyond those crops, and even the zukes and chiles can be found in a dozen eye-popping varieties. The burgeoning market has become one of the most widely recognized and praised in the United States. Kudos come for many reasons, but first and foremost in my mind is that the market does not allow reselling. The people growing and harvesting are the same smiling folks you purchase from directly. That means you won’t find any pineapples here, though you will find pine nuts (piñones). Long before “local” was the buzzword, this was the epitome of the term, with items from northern New Mexico farms only. Given drought and dirt that might be considered better as a building material than for growing, our farmers are nothing short of magicians—very hardworking magicians. Fresh vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, honey, breads and other baked goods, pasture-grazed poultry, grass-fed meat (lamb, beef, pork, bison, even yak), jams and jellies, nursery plants, herbal tinctures and treatments, and body and bath products all come from within 15 counties more or less surrounding Santa Fe. The processed foods, crafts, and items such as willow furniture also have to be created with at least 80 percent New Mexican materials. Another reason the market is considered a national leader is its key role in bringing life to the heart of Santa Fe’s Railyard District. It’s hard to believe that a decade ago this neighborhood, just blocks from the Plaza, was underutilized and pretty much blighted. The market, through its nonprofit, tax-exempt Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, raised $4.5 million in public and private funds for its building. Opened in 2008, the building was the first market pavilion in the country to be LEED-certified for ecological efficiency, with a Gold level certificate for its materials, lighting, water, and energy use. The structure’s combination of two-toned adobe-colored stucco with sheet metal both echoes the past warehouses of the Railyard and helped set a new architectural style for this section of downtown. Among the retail enterprises is a charming collection of Market Shops, open during the market and selected other days too. Bob Ross’s Gardens sells well-curated garden accessories and unusual plants. Taste and purchase Vivác wines from the Dixon-based winery’s tasting room, or chocolates and other delectables from the ChocolateSmith, or high-quality loose-leaf teas from ArtfulTea. The market’s own shop sells global gift items. You can sit down in a petite café too, for an organic espresso or a small selection of farm-fresh foods. Of course, the soul of the market, the reason for its very existence, is the remarkable collection of farmers and their kaleidoscopic produce and other foods. Many of the farmers are certified organic, but many others eschew that status because of certification’s expense and paperwork. Virtually everyone here grows by true sustainable principles—chemical-free—and holds a higher standard for their crops and livestock than many major corporations that purport to sell “natural” or “organic” produce. Let’s meet a selection of top purveyors. PAT MONTOYA’S FAMILY ORCHARD The Montoya family’s core business is fruit—cherries, apricots, pears, but mostly apples. In spite of this year’s late freezes in the Velarde area, Pat and Juanita Montoya will have at least Red and Golden Delicious apples, as well as Romas, great for baking. No one is more enterprising with their apples. The family dries some of the crop for tasty snacking, and they turn trimmings from their trees into wood for the grill or barbecue. They sell cider, and turn it into the snow-cones carried by seemingly everyone on warm days, and heat it for sipping by the steaming cupful when temperatures fall. Daughter Victoria expects that they will also have 10 varieties of chile along with plentiful tomatoes and cucumbers. MONTE VISTA ORGANIC FARM David and Loretta Fresquez had successful careers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and still found time to farm several acres surrounding their La Mesilla home and other family property. The native New Mexicans began bringing produce to market in 1994. Now retired from the lab and devoted to farming full-time, David and Loretta are assisted by daughter Jennifer and cousin Brenda. I enjoy the family’s exotic array of pumpkins and tomatoes, their garlic, sweet onions, shishito peppers, and their raspberries, a succulent, sweet variety called Carolina. One of their more recent crops is Floriani Red Flint corn, which makes a deeply golden cornmeal flecked with burgundy. The corn was taken from this continent to Italy, then it pretty much disappeared here. In Europe, though, the corn became a staple for polenta, before being returned to the United States in recent years and grown once again. It is guaranteed to be free of controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs). TRUJILLO FAMILY FARM Rose Trujillo has been with the market since its inception, and may be the market’s most senior farmer. The wiry octogenarian, however, can certainly beat me at hoeing a row and whipping up a tamale. She’s there every market day, aided now by three generations. The Trujillos offer one of my favorite fresh New Mexican chiles, already roasted and peeled, in season, and lots of salsas, dip and salad dressing mixes, and—oh yes—some very tasty tamales. SANCHEZ FARMS In his weekday life, Clyde Sanchez is a mild-mannered Española CPA. At the market, though, I think of him as the Superman of chile. I buy chile from several farmers from different areas, but in the last couple of seasons I have found myself buying Clyde’s most often. He sells chile fresh or pre-roasted, in green or red. With the pre-roasted, customers can choose from whole pods or pay a little more for it already peeled and chopped. Clyde has a half-dozen varieties of New Mexican chile, from the tame to the incendiary, as well as bell peppers, yellow hots, and jalapeños. All are available to taste on crackers before you buy. Clyde freezes a portion of the chile crop so you can purchase from him out of season. OLD PECOS FOODS Mike and Diane Jaramillo make high-quality mustards seasoned in Southwestern style. Diane actually made the initial green chile mustard at the behest of her father, who was a market vendor in the 1990s. These days, her husband, Mike, whips up the mustard and Diane jars it and labels it at their own commercial kitchen in Glorieta. My favorite of the mustards is the green chile, which outsells the others by three to one. MR. G’S Gary Gunderson, the “G” in Mr. G’s, farms with his wife, Natasha (pictured), in Medanales, just north of Española. The couple came here in 2001 from Kauai, where they grew ginger for Whole Foods nationwide. Much of their produce looks like it comes from lush Hawaii. Part of the Gundersons’ secret is that their acreage sits at a higher altitude than their surroundings, making it slightly cooler and just right for the many greens. Their crisp bulbs of fennel burst with anise flavor. I always make this an early stop in my market wanderings, because the line forms quickly and the Gundersons sell out much of their abundant supply early. GREEN TRACTOR FARM Like the Fresquez and Montoya families, the Dixons are a multi-generation farming clan. Mary and Tom Dixon were joined earlier this season by their daughter Rachel, her husband, Ned, and three-year-old granddaughter, Isabella. They farm together on property in La Cienega that has been in the family since Tom was about Isabella’s age. Top local chefs like Martín Rios seek out their many greens, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, tiny turnips, French breakfast and daikon radishes, and other impeccable ingredients. CAMINO DE PAZ SCHOOL AND FARM The students at this private Montessori middle school in Santa Cruz get hands-on work experience with farming as a business and a communal enterprise. The school operates a USDA-certified Grade A goat dairy. The students bring to market their raw and pasteurized goat milk, goat yogurt, fresh cheese, feta, and cajeta, a delectable goat-milk caramel sauce. Because the students have a commitment to reducing plastic in the environment, their products are sold in reusable glass jars, for which customers pay a deposit. These kids and their products are great. DE SMET DAIRY FARMS AND CREAMERY When a farm’s animals all have names, it’s a pretty good sign that the critters are well treated. Erica De Smet rattles off the names of her 20 Jerseys, Holsteins, and a Guernsey with a smile on her face. “We have Bambi, Delilah, and Snooki. She’s a Jersey girl.” New to the market late last season, Erica and her husband, Michael, came to Bosque Farms, where earlier generations of Michael’s family had been in the large-scale dairy business. While working in Vermont, Michael and Erica saw small dairy farms where the cows grazed in fields, calves stayed with their mothers, and the milk wasn’t pasteurized, as Erica says, “to death.” They vowed that they would come here and open a similar operation. They sell raw cow’s milk, which is allowed in New Mexico if a dairy has its federal and state certifications. De Smet raw milk goes through what can be described as a cold pasteurization, bringing its temperature down to nearly freezing, which keeps its vitamins, probiotics, and other nutrients intact. I learned from Erica that many people who are lactose intolerant can drink this milk. (Traditional pasteurization turns lactase into lactose.) THE OLD WINDMILL DAIRY The market once had as many as four dedicated cheese vendors, but only the Old Windmill is in business today. That says something about the challenges of being an artisanal cheese producer. Owners Ed and Michael Lobaugh were put to the test earlier this season when a tornado touched down on their property in Estancia, completely destroying a barn. They are still making their fresh and aged cheeses from their own herds of dairy goats and cattle. They offer a rotating selection of cheeses, and some, like their mozzarella, are seasonal. Look for everything from squeaky fresh cheese curds to creamy chèvre to a crumbly blue called Manzano Blue Moon. Some weeks, they have freshly churned butter. Nothing’s more elementally scrumptious with a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery bread made from New Mexico wheat. MOUNTAIN FLOWER FARM It’s sometimes hard to spot Anne Sommariva this time of year. You’ll definitely notice her booth, but you have to look for Anne behind her effusive bouquets, strings of marigolds, and other gorgeous cut flowers. Vegetable authority Deborah Madison and I were chatting recently about Anne’s lovely produce, and how Anne offers selections that are often not available from other vendors. Deborah and I adore her celery root, a creamy tuber hidden inside a gnarly bulbous exterior. Deborah always comes to Anne for Costata Romanesco zucchinis, a distinctive Italian ridged heirloom variety, known for its excellent taste. I never miss the Alibi cucumbers or canary melons, which are about the size of coconuts. Menu: Market to Meal These recipes utilize some of the best Santa Fe Farmers’ Market products. JIM HAMMOND’S WINE PAIRINGS SHISHITO PEPPERS There are three main choices: craft beer, white wine, and sparkling white wine. A Marble Pilsner would be a good starter, or the Marble IPA, with citrus notes and biting hoppy flavors, will work well into the next course. LAMB CHOPS The Vivác 2012 Nebbiolo V Series, with Pinot-like notes and firm tannins, is made for this dish. Vivác is the only local winery currently doing single-varietal Nebbiolo. CORNMEAL CAKE Don Quixote’s Calvados apple brandy is a serious after-dinner drink, but the magical kiss of apples will harmonize with this cake. Jim Hammond is the author of Wines of Enchantment: A Guide to Finding and Enjoying the Wines of New Mexico (available at mynm.us/nm-shop ). CELEBRATE THE SEASON with recipes using market ingredients—but don’t feel the need to stick with a preconceived list of fixings. Try parsnips instead of carrots if they look or sound better to you. For a market-driven meal, combine a couple of these ideas, maybe the shishito peppers and the celery root soup (mynm.us/recipes914), and add a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery Nativo bread and a fresh tangle of greens on the side. The lamb dish would pair well with one of the ciabattas from Intergalactic Bread Company and a dessert of fresh berries. Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of green chile for the freezer after you’ve eaten your fill of it fresh, with just some garlic salt on a tortilla, as part of a breakfast burrito, in an enchilada sauce, or in calabacitas. SIMPLE FRIED SHISHITO OR PADRÓN PEPPERS Shishito peppers are something of a sensation at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market these days. Small green frying peppers, they are most simply sautéed and nibbled off the stem, just a bite of mild peppery goodness. Slightly plumper padrón peppers can be treated in the same fashion, but can be spicier. You really don’t need much of a recipe for this. Simply buy the quantity that you want and sauté them up as described. When I want to get more elaborate, I toss these with grilled shrimp and chunks of chorizo. Enjoy as a pre-dinner snack with a glass of wine or craft beer. Serves 8 as an appetizer 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound shishito or padrón peppers Lemon wedge, optional Kosher salt or coarse sea salt Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the peppers in a single layer and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. The peppers will begin to darken and blister. Turn them with tongs or toss with a broad spatula, to color evenly. The peppers should soften before they start getting blackened. Turn down the heat a bit if needed. Remove from the heat and toss with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and salt to taste. NEW MEXICO LAMB LOIN CHOPS WITH GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI For an almost instant dinner, I always like to have some of the field-grazed lamb from Antonio and Molly Manzanares stashed in my refrigerator. The couple’s Shepherd’s Lamb, based in New Mexico’s northern high country, is certified organic (read more about them in “For the Love of Lamb,” p. 58, April 2012, mynm.us/sheplamb). If you can’t get to the Farmers’ Market, you can order their meat from organiclamb.com or pick it up at La Montanita Co-op in Santa Fe. Chef Matt Yohalem, longtime local farm-to-table champion, created the dish’s sauce, using market eggs, garlic, and chile. Matt serves the aioli with lamb or beef at his downtown Santa Fe restaurant, Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen. I love the tang of the sauce with succulent lamb loin chops, the type that resemble little T-bone steaks. For the fullest flavor and juiciness, grill or sauté the chops no more than medium rare. Serves 4 GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 large egg yolks 2 tablespoons chopped roasted fresh New Mexican green chile (1 fresh chile) Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish ½ teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile 1 cup olive oil Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper LAMB CHOPS 8 grass-fed lamb loin chops, ¾ to 1 inch thick 1 teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile Kosher salt or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Olive oil spray or 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 tablespoon high-quality extra-virgin olive oil Make aioli up to several hours ahead of the meal: Combine mustard and egg yolks in food processor. With processor still running, add through the top chute the green chile, lemon zest and juice, garlic, horseradish, and red chile powder. Purée. With processor continuing to run, slowly drizzle in oil. When smooth and thick, add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to adjust seasoning with a bit more lemon juice or mustard. Chill right away. For lamb chops: Sprinkle chops on all sides with red chile and a dusting of salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil to coat on all sides. Let chops sit at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fire up a grill for a two-level fire capable of cooking first on high heat and then on medium. (Use the hand test to measure the grill’s heat. Placing your hand about 2 inches above the cooking grate, a high-heat fire will require you to pull your hand back and away from it within 1 to 2 seconds. With a medium fire, you can keep your hand in the same position without pulling it away for about 4 seconds.) Grill chops over high heat for 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Move chops to medium heat, turning them again, and continue grilling for about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Rotate a half turn each time chops are turned for crisscross grill marks. Alternatively, chops can be seared in a heavy skillet on stovetop. Warm skillet over high heat, then add 2 teaspoons olive oil and swirl around in skillet. Add the chops and sear for 1½ minutes on each side. Turn heat down to medium and cook to medium rare, about 1½ minutes more per side. Plate chops and season each with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to make them glisten. Add a spoonful of aioli to each plate or drizzle it over the chops. Serve immediately. JENNIFER FRESQUEZ’S CORNMEAL CAKE This tender almond-scented cake comes from Jennifer Fresquez, one of the family members behind Monte Vista Organic Farm, in La Mesilla, north of Santa Fe. I first met Jennifer when she was a student at UNM, coming back to help on the farm during school breaks. It’s been a pleasure to watch her mature from shy teen to confident young adult, a graduate not just of UNM but of the Culinary Institute of America. Jennifer makes this gluten-free cake with meal ground from the family’s Floriani Red Flint corn. The red-and-yellow-speckled cornmeal has a scrumptious toasted flavor and is free of genetic modification. Jennifer cracks eggs from her own chickens into the cake, too, and serves it with her own raspberries this time of year. Heaven! Serves 6 to 8 ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs ½ cup Greek-style yogurt ¼ cup full-fat ricotta cheese 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ½ cup orange juice 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1 cup almond meal or flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt Fresh raspberries Softly whipped cream Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter a 9-inch springform baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. A springform pan allows for easier removal. In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in yogurt, ricotta, vanilla, orange juice, and zest. Mix cornmeal and almonds with baking powder and salt, and fold into wet ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set, golden brown, and just beginning to pull away from the pan’s edge. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool fully. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife and serve with berries and whipped cream. Wrap any remaining cake tightly and eat within another day. Note: At altitudes lower than 5,000 feet, reduce the orange juice by 1 tablespoon and add an extra ¼ teaspoon baking powder to the recipe. Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm . See more of Douglas Merriam’s work at douglasmerriam.com . Celery Root Soup with Walnut-Celery Salad No one writes with more passion and eloquence on vegetable cookery than my friend, Galisteo-based author Deborah Madison. This recipe comes from her James Beard award-winning Vegetable Literacy (2013, Ten Speed Press). I love the silky combination of humble celery and celery root, and the added crunch from the salad topping. Serves 4 to 6 Juice of 2 lemons 1 celery root, about 12 ounces 3 or 4 celery stalks with pale leaves 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or several sprigs of fresh thyme ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more to finish 1 large garlic clove, minced ½ cup white wine Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water, plus more if needed Extra stock, milk, or cream for thinning 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in dry skillet, and chopped Roasted walnut oil 3 tablespoons finely slivered celery heart Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Scrub the celery root and slice off the gnarly skin. Cut the celery root into ½-inch cubes and immerse them in the lemon water as you work. Trim the pale leaves from the celery stalks and chop enough to measure 1 tablespoon. Set aside the rest for a garnish. Drain the celery root and measure it. Chop the celery stalks and add enough to the celery root to total 4 cups. Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery and celery root, onion, thyme, and parsley, and cook until the vegetables take on some color, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, and 1teaspoon salt and cook until the wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat, thinning with additional stock, if needed. Mix together the reserved celery leaves, the walnuts, and the celery, toss with walnut oil to moisten well, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon the walnut-celery salad on top, and serve. Roasted Carrots with Chile, Mint, and Orange Glaze Serves 6 2 market bunches of long slim carrots (about 2 pounds), tops trimmed off 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt, or more to taste Zest and juice of 1 large orange 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone (Silpat) mat or parchment paper for easy clean up. If carrots are of differing lengths and thicknesses, slice them as needed to have them close to uniform size. Toss carrots with oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast carrots for 15 minutes, until somewhat tender. While carrots roast, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, and chile flakes. Remove baking sheet from oven, pour juice mixture over hot carrots and toss together. Return to oven and continue roasting until carrots are tender and juice mixture has reduced into a glaze. Timing will vary, depending on size. When ready, sprinkle carrots with orange zest and mint, and serve right away.","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f998","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-87072/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-87072/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-87072/","metaTitle":"The Cream of the Crop","metaDescription":"

NEED TO KNOW
SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET
WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com, farmersmarketinstitute.org. Southside market
","cleanDescription":"NEED TO KNOW SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET WHERE: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, near the intersection with S. Guadalupe St.; (505) 983-4098; santafefarmersmarket.com , farmersmarketinstitute.org . Southside market is open Tues. from July through Sept., 3–6:30 p.m., at the Zafarano Drive entrance to Santa Fe Place mall (off Cerrillos Rd.). HOURS: Open year-round on Sat. from 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Tues. market from May through Nov., same hours. Farmers’ Market Shops open Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Tues. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. May–Nov. PARKING: Paid street and surface lot parking, and $1 market-day underground parking. ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY , farmers’ markets have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain. Here in the high desert of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is over 50 years old, and has distinguished itself as one of America’s best. Some 110 vendors strong, the market spills out of its handsome pavilion onto walkways and plazas throughout the heart of the Railyard District, surrounded by throngs of up to 5,000 shoppers, often strolling with an apple cider slushie or a green chile–chicken tamale in hand. I revel in the chattering blend of English, Spanish, and Spanglish, and the live musical mix of bluegrass, marimba, and bluesy sax. The scene is a photographer’s dream, a community party, and an inspiration for the city’s culinary pros. Chefs Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto, Andrew Cooper of Terra at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Mu Jing Lau from Mu Du Noodles, and Josh Gerwin of Dr. Field Good’s Kitchen are among the many who regularly handpick produce and other items for their menus. You might spot authors of award-winning cookbooks—perhaps Deborah Madison, Lois Ellen Frank, or, well, me—stocking up on the gorgeous offerings. The market’s downtown location hums year-round, but no time is more colorful and flavorful than late August and September, which mark the nexus of high-summer crops, like sweet corn and tomatoes, with the beginning of fall’s best, too. Bushel baskets of green chile start to yield space to bright crimson pods. Cute scallop-edged summer squashalitos are mounded beside the first deeply lobed pumpkins, looking for all the world like a mini-parade of Cinderella’s coaches. Summer root vegetables, carrots and beets, are piled high by fat parsnips and alien-looking celery root, both at their very best when kissed by a touch of frost. I like to stop by the small table of the very quiet man from Kewa/Santo Domingo Pueblo selling flour tortillas and puffy loaves of his family’s horno oven bread, perfect for French toast. By contrast, Matt Romero of Romero Farms is anything but quiet, a gregarious marketing wizard who somehow simultaneously manages to roast sacks of chile in a big gas-fired drum while sautéing his La Ratte potatoes and overseeing the market’s largest and most diverse stand at this time of year. DEEP ROOTS The market sprang to life in the late 1960s with a handful of farmers, encouraged by the League of Women Voters. The group gathered in a parking lot across from what is now Payne’s Nursery on the west side, where I found it when I moved to Santa Fe this time of year in 1980. The growers brought pretty much identical bushels of zucchini and green chile. I still purchase copious amounts of both each season, but today’s market incarnation offers hundreds of choices beyond those crops, and even the zukes and chiles can be found in a dozen eye-popping varieties. The burgeoning market has become one of the most widely recognized and praised in the United States. Kudos come for many reasons, but first and foremost in my mind is that the market does not allow reselling. The people growing and harvesting are the same smiling folks you purchase from directly. That means you won’t find any pineapples here, though you will find pine nuts (piñones). Long before “local” was the buzzword, this was the epitome of the term, with items from northern New Mexico farms only. Given drought and dirt that might be considered better as a building material than for growing, our farmers are nothing short of magicians—very hardworking magicians. Fresh vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, honey, breads and other baked goods, pasture-grazed poultry, grass-fed meat (lamb, beef, pork, bison, even yak), jams and jellies, nursery plants, herbal tinctures and treatments, and body and bath products all come from within 15 counties more or less surrounding Santa Fe. The processed foods, crafts, and items such as willow furniture also have to be created with at least 80 percent New Mexican materials. Another reason the market is considered a national leader is its key role in bringing life to the heart of Santa Fe’s Railyard District. It’s hard to believe that a decade ago this neighborhood, just blocks from the Plaza, was underutilized and pretty much blighted. The market, through its nonprofit, tax-exempt Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, raised $4.5 million in public and private funds for its building. Opened in 2008, the building was the first market pavilion in the country to be LEED-certified for ecological efficiency, with a Gold level certificate for its materials, lighting, water, and energy use. The structure’s combination of two-toned adobe-colored stucco with sheet metal both echoes the past warehouses of the Railyard and helped set a new architectural style for this section of downtown. Among the retail enterprises is a charming collection of Market Shops, open during the market and selected other days too. Bob Ross’s Gardens sells well-curated garden accessories and unusual plants. Taste and purchase Vivác wines from the Dixon-based winery’s tasting room, or chocolates and other delectables from the ChocolateSmith, or high-quality loose-leaf teas from ArtfulTea. The market’s own shop sells global gift items. You can sit down in a petite café too, for an organic espresso or a small selection of farm-fresh foods. Of course, the soul of the market, the reason for its very existence, is the remarkable collection of farmers and their kaleidoscopic produce and other foods. Many of the farmers are certified organic, but many others eschew that status because of certification’s expense and paperwork. Virtually everyone here grows by true sustainable principles—chemical-free—and holds a higher standard for their crops and livestock than many major corporations that purport to sell “natural” or “organic” produce. Let’s meet a selection of top purveyors. PAT MONTOYA’S FAMILY ORCHARD The Montoya family’s core business is fruit—cherries, apricots, pears, but mostly apples. In spite of this year’s late freezes in the Velarde area, Pat and Juanita Montoya will have at least Red and Golden Delicious apples, as well as Romas, great for baking. No one is more enterprising with their apples. The family dries some of the crop for tasty snacking, and they turn trimmings from their trees into wood for the grill or barbecue. They sell cider, and turn it into the snow-cones carried by seemingly everyone on warm days, and heat it for sipping by the steaming cupful when temperatures fall. Daughter Victoria expects that they will also have 10 varieties of chile along with plentiful tomatoes and cucumbers. MONTE VISTA ORGANIC FARM David and Loretta Fresquez had successful careers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and still found time to farm several acres surrounding their La Mesilla home and other family property. The native New Mexicans began bringing produce to market in 1994. Now retired from the lab and devoted to farming full-time, David and Loretta are assisted by daughter Jennifer and cousin Brenda. I enjoy the family’s exotic array of pumpkins and tomatoes, their garlic, sweet onions, shishito peppers, and their raspberries, a succulent, sweet variety called Carolina. One of their more recent crops is Floriani Red Flint corn, which makes a deeply golden cornmeal flecked with burgundy. The corn was taken from this continent to Italy, then it pretty much disappeared here. In Europe, though, the corn became a staple for polenta, before being returned to the United States in recent years and grown once again. It is guaranteed to be free of controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs). TRUJILLO FAMILY FARM Rose Trujillo has been with the market since its inception, and may be the market’s most senior farmer. The wiry octogenarian, however, can certainly beat me at hoeing a row and whipping up a tamale. She’s there every market day, aided now by three generations. The Trujillos offer one of my favorite fresh New Mexican chiles, already roasted and peeled, in season, and lots of salsas, dip and salad dressing mixes, and—oh yes—some very tasty tamales. SANCHEZ FARMS In his weekday life, Clyde Sanchez is a mild-mannered Española CPA. At the market, though, I think of him as the Superman of chile. I buy chile from several farmers from different areas, but in the last couple of seasons I have found myself buying Clyde’s most often. He sells chile fresh or pre-roasted, in green or red. With the pre-roasted, customers can choose from whole pods or pay a little more for it already peeled and chopped. Clyde has a half-dozen varieties of New Mexican chile, from the tame to the incendiary, as well as bell peppers, yellow hots, and jalapeños. All are available to taste on crackers before you buy. Clyde freezes a portion of the chile crop so you can purchase from him out of season. OLD PECOS FOODS Mike and Diane Jaramillo make high-quality mustards seasoned in Southwestern style. Diane actually made the initial green chile mustard at the behest of her father, who was a market vendor in the 1990s. These days, her husband, Mike, whips up the mustard and Diane jars it and labels it at their own commercial kitchen in Glorieta. My favorite of the mustards is the green chile, which outsells the others by three to one. MR. G’S Gary Gunderson, the “G” in Mr. G’s, farms with his wife, Natasha (pictured), in Medanales, just north of Española. The couple came here in 2001 from Kauai, where they grew ginger for Whole Foods nationwide. Much of their produce looks like it comes from lush Hawaii. Part of the Gundersons’ secret is that their acreage sits at a higher altitude than their surroundings, making it slightly cooler and just right for the many greens. Their crisp bulbs of fennel burst with anise flavor. I always make this an early stop in my market wanderings, because the line forms quickly and the Gundersons sell out much of their abundant supply early. GREEN TRACTOR FARM Like the Fresquez and Montoya families, the Dixons are a multi-generation farming clan. Mary and Tom Dixon were joined earlier this season by their daughter Rachel, her husband, Ned, and three-year-old granddaughter, Isabella. They farm together on property in La Cienega that has been in the family since Tom was about Isabella’s age. Top local chefs like Martín Rios seek out their many greens, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, tiny turnips, French breakfast and daikon radishes, and other impeccable ingredients. CAMINO DE PAZ SCHOOL AND FARM The students at this private Montessori middle school in Santa Cruz get hands-on work experience with farming as a business and a communal enterprise. The school operates a USDA-certified Grade A goat dairy. The students bring to market their raw and pasteurized goat milk, goat yogurt, fresh cheese, feta, and cajeta, a delectable goat-milk caramel sauce. Because the students have a commitment to reducing plastic in the environment, their products are sold in reusable glass jars, for which customers pay a deposit. These kids and their products are great. DE SMET DAIRY FARMS AND CREAMERY When a farm’s animals all have names, it’s a pretty good sign that the critters are well treated. Erica De Smet rattles off the names of her 20 Jerseys, Holsteins, and a Guernsey with a smile on her face. “We have Bambi, Delilah, and Snooki. She’s a Jersey girl.” New to the market late last season, Erica and her husband, Michael, came to Bosque Farms, where earlier generations of Michael’s family had been in the large-scale dairy business. While working in Vermont, Michael and Erica saw small dairy farms where the cows grazed in fields, calves stayed with their mothers, and the milk wasn’t pasteurized, as Erica says, “to death.” They vowed that they would come here and open a similar operation. They sell raw cow’s milk, which is allowed in New Mexico if a dairy has its federal and state certifications. De Smet raw milk goes through what can be described as a cold pasteurization, bringing its temperature down to nearly freezing, which keeps its vitamins, probiotics, and other nutrients intact. I learned from Erica that many people who are lactose intolerant can drink this milk. (Traditional pasteurization turns lactase into lactose.) THE OLD WINDMILL DAIRY The market once had as many as four dedicated cheese vendors, but only the Old Windmill is in business today. That says something about the challenges of being an artisanal cheese producer. Owners Ed and Michael Lobaugh were put to the test earlier this season when a tornado touched down on their property in Estancia, completely destroying a barn. They are still making their fresh and aged cheeses from their own herds of dairy goats and cattle. They offer a rotating selection of cheeses, and some, like their mozzarella, are seasonal. Look for everything from squeaky fresh cheese curds to creamy chèvre to a crumbly blue called Manzano Blue Moon. Some weeks, they have freshly churned butter. Nothing’s more elementally scrumptious with a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery bread made from New Mexico wheat. MOUNTAIN FLOWER FARM It’s sometimes hard to spot Anne Sommariva this time of year. You’ll definitely notice her booth, but you have to look for Anne behind her effusive bouquets, strings of marigolds, and other gorgeous cut flowers. Vegetable authority Deborah Madison and I were chatting recently about Anne’s lovely produce, and how Anne offers selections that are often not available from other vendors. Deborah and I adore her celery root, a creamy tuber hidden inside a gnarly bulbous exterior. Deborah always comes to Anne for Costata Romanesco zucchinis, a distinctive Italian ridged heirloom variety, known for its excellent taste. I never miss the Alibi cucumbers or canary melons, which are about the size of coconuts. Menu: Market to Meal These recipes utilize some of the best Santa Fe Farmers’ Market products. JIM HAMMOND’S WINE PAIRINGS SHISHITO PEPPERS There are three main choices: craft beer, white wine, and sparkling white wine. A Marble Pilsner would be a good starter, or the Marble IPA, with citrus notes and biting hoppy flavors, will work well into the next course. LAMB CHOPS The Vivác 2012 Nebbiolo V Series, with Pinot-like notes and firm tannins, is made for this dish. Vivác is the only local winery currently doing single-varietal Nebbiolo. CORNMEAL CAKE Don Quixote’s Calvados apple brandy is a serious after-dinner drink, but the magical kiss of apples will harmonize with this cake. Jim Hammond is the author of Wines of Enchantment: A Guide to Finding and Enjoying the Wines of New Mexico (available at mynm.us/nm-shop ). CELEBRATE THE SEASON with recipes using market ingredients—but don’t feel the need to stick with a preconceived list of fixings. Try parsnips instead of carrots if they look or sound better to you. For a market-driven meal, combine a couple of these ideas, maybe the shishito peppers and the celery root soup (mynm.us/recipes914), and add a loaf of Cloud Cliff Bakery Nativo bread and a fresh tangle of greens on the side. The lamb dish would pair well with one of the ciabattas from Intergalactic Bread Company and a dessert of fresh berries. Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of green chile for the freezer after you’ve eaten your fill of it fresh, with just some garlic salt on a tortilla, as part of a breakfast burrito, in an enchilada sauce, or in calabacitas. SIMPLE FRIED SHISHITO OR PADRÓN PEPPERS Shishito peppers are something of a sensation at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market these days. Small green frying peppers, they are most simply sautéed and nibbled off the stem, just a bite of mild peppery goodness. Slightly plumper padrón peppers can be treated in the same fashion, but can be spicier. You really don’t need much of a recipe for this. Simply buy the quantity that you want and sauté them up as described. When I want to get more elaborate, I toss these with grilled shrimp and chunks of chorizo. Enjoy as a pre-dinner snack with a glass of wine or craft beer. Serves 8 as an appetizer 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound shishito or padrón peppers Lemon wedge, optional Kosher salt or coarse sea salt Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the peppers in a single layer and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. The peppers will begin to darken and blister. Turn them with tongs or toss with a broad spatula, to color evenly. The peppers should soften before they start getting blackened. Turn down the heat a bit if needed. Remove from the heat and toss with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and salt to taste. NEW MEXICO LAMB LOIN CHOPS WITH GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI For an almost instant dinner, I always like to have some of the field-grazed lamb from Antonio and Molly Manzanares stashed in my refrigerator. The couple’s Shepherd’s Lamb, based in New Mexico’s northern high country, is certified organic (read more about them in “For the Love of Lamb,” p. 58, April 2012, mynm.us/sheplamb). If you can’t get to the Farmers’ Market, you can order their meat from organiclamb.com or pick it up at La Montanita Co-op in Santa Fe. Chef Matt Yohalem, longtime local farm-to-table champion, created the dish’s sauce, using market eggs, garlic, and chile. Matt serves the aioli with lamb or beef at his downtown Santa Fe restaurant, Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen. I love the tang of the sauce with succulent lamb loin chops, the type that resemble little T-bone steaks. For the fullest flavor and juiciness, grill or sauté the chops no more than medium rare. Serves 4 GREEN CHILE MUSTARD AIOLI 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 large egg yolks 2 tablespoons chopped roasted fresh New Mexican green chile (1 fresh chile) Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish ½ teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile 1 cup olive oil Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper LAMB CHOPS 8 grass-fed lamb loin chops, ¾ to 1 inch thick 1 teaspoon ground dried New Mexican red chile Kosher salt or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Olive oil spray or 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 tablespoon high-quality extra-virgin olive oil Make aioli up to several hours ahead of the meal: Combine mustard and egg yolks in food processor. With processor still running, add through the top chute the green chile, lemon zest and juice, garlic, horseradish, and red chile powder. Purée. With processor continuing to run, slowly drizzle in oil. When smooth and thick, add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to adjust seasoning with a bit more lemon juice or mustard. Chill right away. For lamb chops: Sprinkle chops on all sides with red chile and a dusting of salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil to coat on all sides. Let chops sit at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fire up a grill for a two-level fire capable of cooking first on high heat and then on medium. (Use the hand test to measure the grill’s heat. Placing your hand about 2 inches above the cooking grate, a high-heat fire will require you to pull your hand back and away from it within 1 to 2 seconds. With a medium fire, you can keep your hand in the same position without pulling it away for about 4 seconds.) Grill chops over high heat for 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Move chops to medium heat, turning them again, and continue grilling for about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Rotate a half turn each time chops are turned for crisscross grill marks. Alternatively, chops can be seared in a heavy skillet on stovetop. Warm skillet over high heat, then add 2 teaspoons olive oil and swirl around in skillet. Add the chops and sear for 1½ minutes on each side. Turn heat down to medium and cook to medium rare, about 1½ minutes more per side. Plate chops and season each with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to make them glisten. Add a spoonful of aioli to each plate or drizzle it over the chops. Serve immediately. JENNIFER FRESQUEZ’S CORNMEAL CAKE This tender almond-scented cake comes from Jennifer Fresquez, one of the family members behind Monte Vista Organic Farm, in La Mesilla, north of Santa Fe. I first met Jennifer when she was a student at UNM, coming back to help on the farm during school breaks. It’s been a pleasure to watch her mature from shy teen to confident young adult, a graduate not just of UNM but of the Culinary Institute of America. Jennifer makes this gluten-free cake with meal ground from the family’s Floriani Red Flint corn. The red-and-yellow-speckled cornmeal has a scrumptious toasted flavor and is free of genetic modification. Jennifer cracks eggs from her own chickens into the cake, too, and serves it with her own raspberries this time of year. Heaven! Serves 6 to 8 ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs ½ cup Greek-style yogurt ¼ cup full-fat ricotta cheese 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ½ cup orange juice 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1 cup almond meal or flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt Fresh raspberries Softly whipped cream Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter a 9-inch springform baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. A springform pan allows for easier removal. In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in yogurt, ricotta, vanilla, orange juice, and zest. Mix cornmeal and almonds with baking powder and salt, and fold into wet ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set, golden brown, and just beginning to pull away from the pan’s edge. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool fully. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife and serve with berries and whipped cream. Wrap any remaining cake tightly and eat within another day. Note: At altitudes lower than 5,000 feet, reduce the orange juice by 1 tablespoon and add an extra ¼ teaspoon baking powder to the recipe. Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm . See more of Douglas Merriam’s work at douglasmerriam.com . Celery Root Soup with Walnut-Celery Salad No one writes with more passion and eloquence on vegetable cookery than my friend, Galisteo-based author Deborah Madison. This recipe comes from her James Beard award-winning Vegetable Literacy (2013, Ten Speed Press). I love the silky combination of humble celery and celery root, and the added crunch from the salad topping. Serves 4 to 6 Juice of 2 lemons 1 celery root, about 12 ounces 3 or 4 celery stalks with pale leaves 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or several sprigs of fresh thyme ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more to finish 1 large garlic clove, minced ½ cup white wine Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water, plus more if needed Extra stock, milk, or cream for thinning 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in dry skillet, and chopped Roasted walnut oil 3 tablespoons finely slivered celery heart Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Scrub the celery root and slice off the gnarly skin. Cut the celery root into ½-inch cubes and immerse them in the lemon water as you work. Trim the pale leaves from the celery stalks and chop enough to measure 1 tablespoon. Set aside the rest for a garnish. Drain the celery root and measure it. Chop the celery stalks and add enough to the celery root to total 4 cups. Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery and celery root, onion, thyme, and parsley, and cook until the vegetables take on some color, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, and 1teaspoon salt and cook until the wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat, thinning with additional stock, if needed. Mix together the reserved celery leaves, the walnuts, and the celery, toss with walnut oil to moisten well, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon the walnut-celery salad on top, and serve. Roasted Carrots with Chile, Mint, and Orange Glaze Serves 6 2 market bunches of long slim carrots (about 2 pounds), tops trimmed off 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt, or more to taste Zest and juice of 1 large orange 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone (Silpat) mat or parchment paper for easy clean up. If carrots are of differing lengths and thicknesses, slice them as needed to have them close to uniform size. Toss carrots with oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast carrots for 15 minutes, until somewhat tender. While carrots roast, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, and chile flakes. Remove baking sheet from oven, pour juice mixture over hot carrots and toss together. Return to oven and continue roasting until carrots are tender and juice mixture has reduced into a glaze. Timing will vary, depending on size. When ready, sprinkle carrots with orange zest and mint, and serve right away.","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-07T17:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.655Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f997","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1cb","title":"Home Cookin’","slug":"music-87071","image_id":"58b4b2494c2774661570f4f9","publish_start":"2014-07-07T17:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f2f5","58c839601f16f9392cf09a98","58b4b2404c2774661570f287"],"tags_ids":["59090d93e1efff4c9916fac9","59090c80e1efff4c9916fa05","59090c61e1efff4c9916f9f3"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"created":"2014-07-07T17:42:32.000Z","legacy_id":"87071","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"home cookin’","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:32.699Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

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FROGVILLE’S FINEST
\r\nHere are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com.
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\r\nBill Hearne Honest, passionate acoustic folk-country. Heartaches and Honky-Tonks will surely put a tear in your beer.
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\r\nBill Palmer’s TV Killers Last year’s eponymous album and the new The Mines have a Tom Petty-esque sound and feel.
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\r\nBoris McCutcheon This poetic, rootsy singer-songwriter has a repertoire of amazing CDs, with his latest, Might Crash, being his finest. The Salt Licks are a stellar backing band. (See “Salt of the Earth,” Dec. 2013, or mynm.us/borismcc.)
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\r\nJoe West He puts the alt in alt-country, with a skewed wit. Start with South Dakota Hairdo, one of his first, or Blood Red Velvet, his latest. (See ”Joe West’s New Mexico Songbook,” Dec. 2012, or mynm.us/jwest12.)
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\r\nRound Mountain Neo-folk in the vein of the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. The Goat is their latest and best.
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\r\nSaving Damsels Find My Way features heartfelt, straight-ahead rock with Native overtones. (See “To the Rescue,” Aug. 2014, or mynm.us/svgdams.)
\r\n—E.D.
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BY ANY MEASURE, Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center is a world-class venue—the finest international musicians of all genres perform in the concert hall. So it was a mite unusual that in February the theater presented a bill of local artists who usually play in bars and restaurants from Albuquerque to Taos. Entitled “Sounds of Santa Fe–Frogville Records,” the evening showcased four bands that have recorded some of the best music the capital city has ever produced. At last these hardworking professional musicians were getting quality time on the big stage.

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A receptive audience filled the hall to hear Round Mountain, Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Licks, Anthony Leon and the Grievous Angels, and Bill Palmer’s TV Killers play without the distractions of talk and televisions and cash registers. And they responded with warm appreciation—this was a poignant moment, a communal recognition of something worthy, homegrown, and a decade in the making: an excellent representation of the Santa Fe sound.

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Composed mainly of variations on the theme of the rootsy folk rock known as Americana, the sound that’s been incubated over the years at Frogville Studios is distinguished by an organic, unhurried approach that harks to nothing less than the pre-digital-era classics of the genre, like the legendary recordings Bob Dylan and the Band made at Big Pink in the sixties. That’s partly because a lot of the house amps and instruments are of that vintage. It’s also because the studio, under the baton of musician/engineer/producer Bill Palmer, specializes in a certain vibe that comes through in the recordings.

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“I’ve been refining a particular style of producing—coaxing very realistic, intimate performances out of musicians,” says Palmer, who estimates that some 200 albums bear his imprint. “Our clientele and sounds are getting more stellar every year.”

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In brief remarks made from the Lensic stage, Frogville’s founding owner, John Treadwell—known to all as “The Dude” for his resemblance to Jeff Bridges’ Big Lebowski character—drily explained the genesis of the studio: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you musicians, make records.”

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A 47-year-old Dallas native, Treadwell came to town in 1989 to attend the College of Santa Fe. He and fellow Texan Palmer, 41, met in the nineties as followers of the band ThaMuseMent, tagging along on treks back and forth between Texas and New Mexico. Palmer picked up on a band led by Grant Hayunga, called Goshen, which featured members of ThaMuseMent.

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“I was like, ‘What in the hell are they doing up there in Santa Fe?’” Palmer recalls. “It sounded like some sort of weird, kind of Native American ghost dance movie soundtrack. I thought, ‘I gotta go up there to Santa Fe and see what the hell’s in the water.’ There was a sound here.”

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The first Frogville sessions were for Palmer’s own former band, Hundred Year Flood. Treadwell fronted the expenses, they borrowed gear, and they recorded in Treadwell’s living room. The engineer fell ill, “so I ended up having to do the overdubs and mix it in a week, not having any idea of what I was doing,” says Palmer. “I think I did a pretty decent job of finishing the record.” So did local musicians, who started approaching Palmer to record them.

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“Back in the day, Frogville was equal parts soup kitchen, roots music oracle, and homeless shelter,” says Grant Hayunga. “Easy to dismiss, impossible to sustain, and undeniably capable of creating analog miracles.”

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Frogville continued to develop as Treadwell acquired recording equipment and expanded the studio to 3,300 square feet. There’s also a well-used bunkhouse upstairs that sleeps eight, which is attractive for bands that come from elsewhere to get the vibe. But it’s still local talent that defines the Frogville ethos.

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“Every time I go up there, I have the feeling of being part of something bigger,” says Joe West, the beloved Santa Fe bandleader who’s worked on 10 albums there. He likens the studio to a cooperative.

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“In addition to Joe West, Boris McCutcheon has been a huge influence on us,” says Treadwell. “Those two guys go all the way back, and have made one cool record after another out of here.”

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Palmer counts Shannon McNally, Taj Mahal, Johnny Gimble (of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys), John Popper, Gary Farmer, and Ryan McGarvey among the other notables who’ve recorded at Frogville. “Over the last two years we’ve had bands in from Texas, Oklahoma, California, and a lot of the best stuff from Albuquerque is coming through here,” Palmer says.

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“Saving Damsels won Best Rock Album at the Native American Music Awards. We did a Spanish album with Consuelo Luz. We’re trying to expand, and be a part of all the music genres that are around up here. But Americana pays the bills.”

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Given Frogville’s identity as a studio that specializes in a recognizable, atmospheric sound, it’s appropriate that their role model/white whale is Daniel Lanois—a producer who puts his own stylistic signature on recordings by the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson.

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“We would love it if Daniel Lanois would do something here,” says Treadwell. “That’s been our mantra. We’ve been getting the place ready for Daniel Lanois. As people do landscaping, work on the drainage, it’s all preparing for the arrival of Daniel Lanois.”

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Until Mr. Lanois makes an appearance, Frogville Studios will be busy recording upcoming projects by Santa Fe artists Paula Rhae McDonald, Drastic Andrew, Stephanie Hatfield, and a host of other musicians looking to capture that distinctive New Mexico sound. And Frogville is certainly where they’ll find it.

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Eric Davis previously interviewed Jono Manson and Nacha Mendez in these pages.

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FROGVILLE’S FINEST
Here are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com.

Bill
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FROGVILLE’S FINEST
Here are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com.

Bill
","description":"FROGVILLE’S FINEST Here are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com . Bill Hearne Honest, passionate acoustic folk-country. Heartaches and Honky-Tonks will surely put a tear in your beer. Bill Palmer’s TV Killers Last year’s eponymous album and the new The Mines have a Tom Petty-esque sound and feel. Boris McCutcheon This poetic, rootsy singer-songwriter has a repertoire of amazing CDs, with his latest, Might Crash , being his finest. The Salt Licks are a stellar backing band. (See “Salt of the Earth,” Dec. 2013, or mynm.us/borismcc.) Joe West He puts the alt in alt-country, with a skewed wit. Start with South Dakota Hairdo , one of his first, or Blood Red Velvet , his latest. (See ”Joe West’s New Mexico Songbook,” Dec. 2012, or mynm.us/jwest12 .) Round Mountain Neo-folk in the vein of the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. The Goat is their latest and best. Saving Damsels Find My Way features heartfelt, straight-ahead rock with Native overtones. (See “To the Rescue,” Aug. 2014, or mynm.us/svgdams .) —E.D. BY ANY MEASURE, Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center is a world-class venue—the finest international musicians of all genres perform in the concert hall. So it was a mite unusual that in February the theater presented a bill of local artists who usually play in bars and restaurants from Albuquerque to Taos. Entitled “Sounds of Santa Fe–Frogville Records,” the evening showcased four bands that have recorded some of the best music the capital city has ever produced. At last these hardworking professional musicians were getting quality time on the big stage. A receptive audience filled the hall to hear Round Mountain, Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Licks, Anthony Leon and the Grievous Angels, and Bill Palmer’s TV Killers play without the distractions of talk and televisions and cash registers. And they responded with warm appreciation—this was a poignant moment, a communal recognition of something worthy, homegrown, and a decade in the making: an excellent representation of the Santa Fe sound. Composed mainly of variations on the theme of the rootsy folk rock known as Americana, the sound that’s been incubated over the years at Frogville Studios is distinguished by an organic, unhurried approach that harks to nothing less than the pre-digital-era classics of the genre, like the legendary recordings Bob Dylan and the Band made at Big Pink in the sixties. That’s partly because a lot of the house amps and instruments are of that vintage. It’s also because the studio, under the baton of musician/engineer/producer Bill Palmer, specializes in a certain vibe that comes through in the recordings. “I’ve been refining a particular style of producing—coaxing very realistic, intimate performances out of musicians,” says Palmer, who estimates that some 200 albums bear his imprint. “Our clientele and sounds are getting more stellar every year.” In brief remarks made from the Lensic stage, Frogville’s founding owner, John Treadwell—known to all as “The Dude” for his resemblance to Jeff Bridges’ Big Lebowski character—drily explained the genesis of the studio: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you musicians, make records.” A 47-year-old Dallas native, Treadwell came to town in 1989 to attend the College of Santa Fe. He and fellow Texan Palmer, 41, met in the nineties as followers of the band ThaMuseMent, tagging along on treks back and forth between Texas and New Mexico. Palmer picked up on a band led by Grant Hayunga, called Goshen, which featured members of ThaMuseMent. “I was like, ‘What in the hell are they doing up there in Santa Fe?’” Palmer recalls. “It sounded like some sort of weird, kind of Native American ghost dance movie soundtrack. I thought, ‘I gotta go up there to Santa Fe and see what the hell’s in the water.’ There was a sound here.” The first Frogville sessions were for Palmer’s own former band, Hundred Year Flood. Treadwell fronted the expenses, they borrowed gear, and they recorded in Treadwell’s living room. The engineer fell ill, “so I ended up having to do the overdubs and mix it in a week, not having any idea of what I was doing,” says Palmer. “I think I did a pretty decent job of finishing the record.” So did local musicians, who started approaching Palmer to record them. “Back in the day, Frogville was equal parts soup kitchen, roots music oracle, and homeless shelter,” says Grant Hayunga. “Easy to dismiss, impossible to sustain, and undeniably capable of creating analog miracles.” Frogville continued to develop as Treadwell acquired recording equipment and expanded the studio to 3,300 square feet. There’s also a well-used bunkhouse upstairs that sleeps eight, which is attractive for bands that come from elsewhere to get the vibe. But it’s still local talent that defines the Frogville ethos. “Every time I go up there, I have the feeling of being part of something bigger,” says Joe West, the beloved Santa Fe bandleader who’s worked on 10 albums there. He likens the studio to a cooperative. “In addition to Joe West, Boris McCutcheon has been a huge influence on us,” says Treadwell. “Those two guys go all the way back, and have made one cool record after another out of here.” Palmer counts Shannon McNally, Taj Mahal, Johnny Gimble (of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys), John Popper, Gary Farmer, and Ryan McGarvey among the other notables who’ve recorded at Frogville. “Over the last two years we’ve had bands in from Texas, Oklahoma, California, and a lot of the best stuff from Albuquerque is coming through here,” Palmer says. “Saving Damsels won Best Rock Album at the Native American Music Awards. We did a Spanish album with Consuelo Luz. We’re trying to expand, and be a part of all the music genres that are around up here. But Americana pays the bills.” Given Frogville’s identity as a studio that specializes in a recognizable, atmospheric sound, it’s appropriate that their role model/white whale is Daniel Lanois—a producer who puts his own stylistic signature on recordings by the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. “We would love it if Daniel Lanois would do something here,” says Treadwell. “That’s been our mantra. We’ve been getting the place ready for Daniel Lanois. As people do landscaping, work on the drainage, it’s all preparing for the arrival of Daniel Lanois.” Until Mr. Lanois makes an appearance, Frogville Studios will be busy recording upcoming projects by Santa Fe artists Paula Rhae McDonald, Drastic Andrew, Stephanie Hatfield, and a host of other musicians looking to capture that distinctive New Mexico sound. And Frogville is certainly where they’ll find it. Eric Davis previously interviewed Jono Manson and Nacha Mendez in these pages.","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f997","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/music-87071/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/music-87071/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/music-87071/","metaTitle":"Home Cookin’","metaDescription":"

FROGVILLE’S FINEST
Here are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com.

Bill
","cleanDescription":"FROGVILLE’S FINEST Here are some recommended albums recorded at Frogville by musicians who play frequently in Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Most are available at frogvilleplanet.com . Bill Hearne Honest, passionate acoustic folk-country. Heartaches and Honky-Tonks will surely put a tear in your beer. Bill Palmer’s TV Killers Last year’s eponymous album and the new The Mines have a Tom Petty-esque sound and feel. Boris McCutcheon This poetic, rootsy singer-songwriter has a repertoire of amazing CDs, with his latest, Might Crash , being his finest. The Salt Licks are a stellar backing band. (See “Salt of the Earth,” Dec. 2013, or mynm.us/borismcc.) Joe West He puts the alt in alt-country, with a skewed wit. Start with South Dakota Hairdo , one of his first, or Blood Red Velvet , his latest. (See ”Joe West’s New Mexico Songbook,” Dec. 2012, or mynm.us/jwest12 .) Round Mountain Neo-folk in the vein of the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. The Goat is their latest and best. Saving Damsels Find My Way features heartfelt, straight-ahead rock with Native overtones. (See “To the Rescue,” Aug. 2014, or mynm.us/svgdams .) —E.D. BY ANY MEASURE, Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center is a world-class venue—the finest international musicians of all genres perform in the concert hall. So it was a mite unusual that in February the theater presented a bill of local artists who usually play in bars and restaurants from Albuquerque to Taos. Entitled “Sounds of Santa Fe–Frogville Records,” the evening showcased four bands that have recorded some of the best music the capital city has ever produced. At last these hardworking professional musicians were getting quality time on the big stage. A receptive audience filled the hall to hear Round Mountain, Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Licks, Anthony Leon and the Grievous Angels, and Bill Palmer’s TV Killers play without the distractions of talk and televisions and cash registers. And they responded with warm appreciation—this was a poignant moment, a communal recognition of something worthy, homegrown, and a decade in the making: an excellent representation of the Santa Fe sound. Composed mainly of variations on the theme of the rootsy folk rock known as Americana, the sound that’s been incubated over the years at Frogville Studios is distinguished by an organic, unhurried approach that harks to nothing less than the pre-digital-era classics of the genre, like the legendary recordings Bob Dylan and the Band made at Big Pink in the sixties. That’s partly because a lot of the house amps and instruments are of that vintage. It’s also because the studio, under the baton of musician/engineer/producer Bill Palmer, specializes in a certain vibe that comes through in the recordings. “I’ve been refining a particular style of producing—coaxing very realistic, intimate performances out of musicians,” says Palmer, who estimates that some 200 albums bear his imprint. “Our clientele and sounds are getting more stellar every year.” In brief remarks made from the Lensic stage, Frogville’s founding owner, John Treadwell—known to all as “The Dude” for his resemblance to Jeff Bridges’ Big Lebowski character—drily explained the genesis of the studio: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you musicians, make records.” A 47-year-old Dallas native, Treadwell came to town in 1989 to attend the College of Santa Fe. He and fellow Texan Palmer, 41, met in the nineties as followers of the band ThaMuseMent, tagging along on treks back and forth between Texas and New Mexico. Palmer picked up on a band led by Grant Hayunga, called Goshen, which featured members of ThaMuseMent. “I was like, ‘What in the hell are they doing up there in Santa Fe?’” Palmer recalls. “It sounded like some sort of weird, kind of Native American ghost dance movie soundtrack. I thought, ‘I gotta go up there to Santa Fe and see what the hell’s in the water.’ There was a sound here.” The first Frogville sessions were for Palmer’s own former band, Hundred Year Flood. Treadwell fronted the expenses, they borrowed gear, and they recorded in Treadwell’s living room. The engineer fell ill, “so I ended up having to do the overdubs and mix it in a week, not having any idea of what I was doing,” says Palmer. “I think I did a pretty decent job of finishing the record.” So did local musicians, who started approaching Palmer to record them. “Back in the day, Frogville was equal parts soup kitchen, roots music oracle, and homeless shelter,” says Grant Hayunga. “Easy to dismiss, impossible to sustain, and undeniably capable of creating analog miracles.” Frogville continued to develop as Treadwell acquired recording equipment and expanded the studio to 3,300 square feet. There’s also a well-used bunkhouse upstairs that sleeps eight, which is attractive for bands that come from elsewhere to get the vibe. But it’s still local talent that defines the Frogville ethos. “Every time I go up there, I have the feeling of being part of something bigger,” says Joe West, the beloved Santa Fe bandleader who’s worked on 10 albums there. He likens the studio to a cooperative. “In addition to Joe West, Boris McCutcheon has been a huge influence on us,” says Treadwell. “Those two guys go all the way back, and have made one cool record after another out of here.” Palmer counts Shannon McNally, Taj Mahal, Johnny Gimble (of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys), John Popper, Gary Farmer, and Ryan McGarvey among the other notables who’ve recorded at Frogville. “Over the last two years we’ve had bands in from Texas, Oklahoma, California, and a lot of the best stuff from Albuquerque is coming through here,” Palmer says. “Saving Damsels won Best Rock Album at the Native American Music Awards. We did a Spanish album with Consuelo Luz. We’re trying to expand, and be a part of all the music genres that are around up here. But Americana pays the bills.” Given Frogville’s identity as a studio that specializes in a recognizable, atmospheric sound, it’s appropriate that their role model/white whale is Daniel Lanois—a producer who puts his own stylistic signature on recordings by the likes of U2, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. “We would love it if Daniel Lanois would do something here,” says Treadwell. “That’s been our mantra. We’ve been getting the place ready for Daniel Lanois. As people do landscaping, work on the drainage, it’s all preparing for the arrival of Daniel Lanois.” Until Mr. Lanois makes an appearance, Frogville Studios will be busy recording upcoming projects by Santa Fe artists Paula Rhae McDonald, Drastic Andrew, Stephanie Hatfield, and a host of other musicians looking to capture that distinctive New Mexico sound. And Frogville is certainly where they’ll find it. Eric Davis previously interviewed Jono Manson and Nacha Mendez in these pages.","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-07T17:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.656Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f996","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1ad","title":"Feasts for the Senses","slug":"tasting-nm-august-2014-87027","image_id":"58b4b24a4c2774661570f51d","publish_start":"2014-07-02T16:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f32a","58c83a3d1f16f9392cf09ac4","58b4b2404c2774661570f287"],"tags_ids":["59090e3ce1efff4c9916fb32","59090c7ae1efff4c9916fa01","59090c61e1efff4c9916f9f3"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Douglas Merriam","custom_tagline":"When New Mexico’s Native Pueblos celebrate their patron saints, blessings abound.","created":"2014-07-02T16:35:25.000Z","legacy_id":"87027","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"feasts for the senses","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:32.745Z","active":true,"description_raw":"
UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS
\r\nAUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic)
\r\nAUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo)
\r\nAUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare)
\r\nAUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption)
\r\nSEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San Estevan)
\r\nSEPTEMBER 4 Isleta (San Augustine)
\r\nSEPTEMBER 19 Laguna (St. Joseph)
\r\nSEPTEMBER 30 Taos (San Geronimo)
\r\nOCTOBER 4 Nambé (San Francisco de Assisi)
\r\nFor additional dates of feast days at other times of the year, see newmexico.org/feast-days and indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/feastdays.html.
\r\n
\r\n 
\r\n\r\n

ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1980, a colleague invited our office staff to join her extended family and friends at Laguna Pueblo on the feast day honoring Saint Joseph. The rustic warmth of the experience is etched like a petroglyph in my memory—the village’s ancient adobes, the searing sunshine and deep shadows, the rhythmic music, the reverent dancers, the communal celebration. So stunning was the experience for a newly minted New Mexican that I simply plumb forgot about the food.

\r\n\r\n

It’s a testament to the beauty of such a feast day that I haven’t a clue as to what I ate. That’s pretty weird for me. Food is so central to my life that I know what I devoured, and where I devoured it, pretty much back to the chicken gumbo soup I wanted on my very first day of school. How can I not remember those particular stews, roasts, beans, salads, horno-baked breads, and chile dishes? Maybe dessert was biscochitos, bread pudding, fruit pie squares oozing juice, or those popular whole-wheat, horno-baked cookies.

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A MULTITUDE OF FEASTS

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I’ve been privileged to attend many more feast days since that introduction—at Acoma, Sandia, San Felipe, and Kewa (formerly Santa Domingo) Pueblos. Eighteen of the 19 New Mexico Pueblos celebrate a feast day (Zuni does not). Generally, the days start with an early mass and a procession with the figure of the patron saint. A specially constructed altar holds the saint for the day, and the leaders of the Pueblo will keep watch over the figure as people come to pay their respects. Feast day dances generally feature the Corn Dance, a form of thanksgiving to the spirits that have provided food. The dances include hundreds of people in traditional clothing or in striking regalia, from tykes to elders. Participating is quite a commitment, with multiple rehearsals beforehand.

\r\n\r\n

These activities are respectful and spiritual, but the mood is also upbeat and uplifting. Villages bustle with vendors offering arts, crafts, T-shirts, and loads of snacks. You might pass a family selling freshly roasted ears of corn, still smoky from an earthen horno, or hand-gathered, fresh-roasted piñons (pine nuts). Next to them, someone might be dispensing Day-Glo snow cones. You may even spot one of the odder treats—odd, at least, to me—the Kool-Aid pickle. Yes, it’s a big, green deli dill, soaked in red Kool-Aid.

\r\n\r\n

If you receive an invitation to a home, the food will be offered gratis to you and dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of others. One Native friend, who lives a very modern life in Albuquerque, prepares food without the benefit of electricity or running water in her family’s ancestral home at Acoma. At most homes, guests eat in shifts of maybe up to a dozen at once. People wait patiently in the living room or outside, using the time to meet other guests, many of whom have come from far-flung parts of the country for the warm reunion. Any invitee who’s ever attended is welcome for the rest of their life. What an honor.

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I just returned from San Felipe’s May 1 feast day. The Hollywood Casino, on I-25, may be the Pueblo’s best-known landmark, but once you travel west toward the historic central village, you quickly leave neon behind. In fact, on feast day, the neon isn’t even flashing. This is one of the two days the casino closes (a portion of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day is the other) so families can observe the festivities together. The asphalt track gets smaller as you approach the heart of the village, then completely disappears into cinnamon-colored dirt. Whether homes look old or new, compact or spacious, many have a well-used earthen horno, most of them as tall as me. The Río Grande courses through the middle of the village.

\r\n\r\n

One of my destinations was the home of Rose Tenorio, where her daughter Charlotte Little was helping with the feast. In daily life, Charlotte can usually be found at the tribal administrative offices, where she works as the human resources director. During the week leading up to the feast day, though, she’s one of the family’s main cooks and dishwashers, along with matriarch Rose and a retinue of siblings and cousins. Surveying the number of gleaming, 30-gallon pots and slow cookers on every flat surface, I commented on the immense undertaking such feasting requires. Charlotte gave me a radiant smile and said, “It’s made easy by our working together. What might be a chore becomes a labor of love when the preparations and meals are shared. Plus, we get to catch up on all the news of family and friends as we work.”

\r\n\r\n

Charlotte and Rose’s menu included multiple bowls of meaty green-chile stew with sweet corn and equally hearty posole with red chile, whole pinto beans, and wedges of golden frybread for soaking up the juices. Platters of meatloaf were passed along with fried chicken, and a Jell-O salad studded with multicolored mini marshmallows was so ridiculously yummy I wanted to ask for thirds. Afterward came watermelon slices and fruit pies. My friend Norman Suazos, from Taos Pueblo, commented that these were Taos-style pies, which he could identify by the amount of crust and the raisin filling. Sure enough, Rose grew up on Taos Pueblo. I somehow resisted the frosted chocolate layer cake that was circulating at the other end of the dining room.

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A FEAST MADE FOR LAUGHTER

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I shared the table with an architect, a fire marshal, and an aviation mechanic. Charlotte’s husband, an Isleta tribal judge, hadn’t been able to get away from work yet, but was expected that evening. Conversation included bits about everyone’s careers, extended families, upcoming elections, and ongoing concerns about getting enough rain and the water level of the Río. Everyone laughed about Charlotte’s “mistake” of grabbing blueberry Kool-Aid at the supermarket instead of the expected cherry. Someone mused that it would be easy to see who had dined here by the people wandering the village with blue lips.

\r\n\r\n

These days, feast foods can include spaghetti, macaroni salad, and other pasta. Chicken enchilada casseroles are another favorite. The traditional Three Sisters of the Pueblo diet—corn, beans, and squash—remain at the heart of the meal, along with chile, which came north with the Spanish colonists and was readily adopted. Depending on the time of year, dinner might include a summer squash dish, calabacitas, and maybe slices of roasted pumpkin as the weather cools. A September feast day might feature more fresh green-chile preparations while a spring one, like San Felipe’s, relies more on the dried-red variety.

\r\n\r\n

I asked Rose about the now-common broccoli-grape salad that pops up at feast days all around the state. Rose chuckled and told me, “You’re asking at the right place. I believe the salad was first the creation of a German chef who oversaw the San Felipe food service in the early days of our casino. All of us who worked in the food service loved the flavor and freshness. We started making it for every communal meal. It spread like crazy.”

\r\n\r\n

A FEAST FOR THE SOUL

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Before eating begins, a prayer is said, and a bit of food is thrown to the four winds, put in a sacred receptacle, or baked into the fire used to prepare it. The late artist Pablita Velarde explained it in the foreword to Marcia Keegan’s Southwest Indian Cookbook: “Since the spirits help to raise the food, it possesses great powers to heal the body and mind.” I think about a concluding bit of hospitality I’ve experienced at Acoma, where my friend Aleta “Tweety” Suazo always sends guests home with individual goody bags filled with fresh fruit and feast day cookies.

\r\n\r\n

In the years since that first feast day at Laguna Pueblo, I’ve been able to regain my focus on the culinary offerings. However, I’ve learned that the greatest sustenance from a feast day comes from the sense of community, a heaping helping of hospitality, and celebration.

\r\n\r\n

JUNIPER LAMB-AND-CHILE STEW

\r\n\r\n

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado brought sheep into what is now New Mexico in 1540, and they have remained a major part of life here since, particularly among the Puebloans and Navajo. Both Native peoples make a stew similar to this, though traditionally they use mutton rather than lamb. Pueblo cooks often serve the stew on the annual feast day of their village. During high summer, you might want to switch out the posole for small sections of corn on the cob. It’s delicious either way. I based this specific version on one from Pueblo Indian Cookbook, edited by Phyllis Hughes and first published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in 1972. The tiny volume has remained in print continually since then, and has sold upward of 90,000 copies.

\r\n\r\n

2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

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1 large onion, chopped

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2/3 cup chopped wild celery, or regular celery stalks with leaves

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2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of surface fat and cut in ¾ to 1-inch cubes

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Salt and freshly ground pepper

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½ to 1 cup chopped roasted mild New Mexican green chile, preferably fresh or thawed frozen

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1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano, preferably Mexican, or more to taste

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4 to 6 juniper berries, crushed

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2 cups cooked posole, preferably, or hominy, or 2 large ears of not-too-sweet corn, cut through the cob into 1-inch-thick rounds

\r\n\r\n

Warm lard in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Toss lamb cubes with salt and pepper to taste, then add them to pot and cook until browned. Pour in 3 cups of water, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Stir in chile, oregano, and juniper berries. Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1. hours. (Add more water if mixture gets dry.) Stir in posole or fresh corn sections. Continue cooking uncovered until meat is very tender and stew thick and reduced, about 30 minutes more. Degrease stew, if you wish. Adjust seasoning and serve hot, ladled into bowls.

\r\n\r\n

Adapted from American Home Cooking, © 1999 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books.

\r\n\r\n

SAGE-AND-CHEESE

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FEAST DAY BREAD

\r\n\r\n

The Puebloans who live along the Río Grande continue to bake bread in the beehive-shaped adobe hornos first brought to the region several centuries ago by the Spanish, who acquired the idea from the Moors. The most common Pueblo bread is an uncomplicated crusty round, often called adobe bread. This feast day style, also crusty and chewy, uses more ingredients but is no more difficult to prepare. Lucy Zamora, of Taos Pueblo, and Lucille Hummingbird Flower King, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, showed me how they bake their bread, which encouraged me to develop this version for the conventional home oven.

\r\n\r\n

Makes one 1-pound loaf

\r\n\r\n

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

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2 teaspoons molasses

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1 tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening

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2 teaspoons salt

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4 ounces creamy, fresh goat cheese, crumbled

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½ cup cottage cheese

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1 teaspoon dried sage, or more, to taste

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3 to 3¼ cups unbleached bread flour

\r\n\r\n

Combine yeast with molasses and 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water in the work bowl

\r\n\r\n

of an electric mixer. Set aside until foamy. Heat 1 cup of water with lard to lukewarm in a small pan.

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In an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix together on medium speed yeast mixture, water mixture, salt, cheeses, sage, and 2. cups of flour. Beat for about 3 minutes, then add additional flour, . cup at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough, no longer sticky but with a satiny sheen. Pat dough into a fat disk. Wash out bowl, coat it with oil, transfer dough back to it, and turn dough to coat it with oil. Cover bowl and set it aside in a warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours.

\r\n\r\n

Punch down dough, kneading it a few turns. Pat it back into a fat disk and return it to bowl. Cover and let it rise until doubled again, another 1 to 1. hours. Shape dough into a 7- to 8-inch round loaf. Let it rest briefly while you finish preparations for baking.

\r\n\r\n

Place an empty, heavy skillet on lowest rack of oven and, for best results, a baking stone like those used for pizza on middle shelf. If you don’t have a baking stone, substitute a heavy baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400° F.

\r\n\r\n

Transfer bread to heated baking stone or sheet, using a large spatula. Before closing oven, pour . cup water into skillet to create steam in oven. Close oven immediately. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° F. and continue baking for 40 to 45 more minutes, until bread is brown on top and sounds hollow when thumped. If it thuds rather dully, it’s not yet ready. Cool loaf on a baking rack. While best the day it’s made, the bread makes good toast for several more.

\r\n\r\n

Adapted from A Real American Breakfast, © 2003 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books.

\r\n\r\n

BROCCOLI-GRAPE SALAD

\r\n\r\n

The previous recipes are reworked versions of Pueblo classics. Broccoli-Grape Salad popped up in more recent years, but has spread like wildfire. This version comes from an Acoma friend, Aleta “Tweety” Suazo, one of the best cooks I know. She uses a sweet-and-sour poppyseed dressing rather than the more typical Miracle Whip or mayonnaise. It’s as pretty as it is refreshing.

\r\n\r\n

Serves 6

\r\n\r\n

POPPYSEED DRESSING

\r\n\r\n

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar

\r\n\r\n

¼ cup honey

\r\n\r\n

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

\r\n\r\n

1 tablespoon chopped onion

\r\n\r\n

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

\r\n\r\n

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

\r\n\r\n

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

\r\n\r\n

1 tablespoon poppyseeds

\r\n\r\n

1 pound raw fresh broccoli, florets and tender stems, chopped into bite-size pieces

\r\n\r\n

¾ pound (about 2 cups) seedless purple grapes, halved

\r\n\r\n

2 cups roasted cashews

\r\n\r\n

Salt

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In a food processor, combine vinegar, honey, sugar, onion, mustard, and salt. With processor still running, add oil slowly and continue mixing until dressing is well-combined and thick. Spoon out into serving container and stir in poppyseeds. Dressing can be made 3 to 4 days ahead, if you wish.

\r\n\r\n

Combine the broccoli, grapes, and cashews in a bowl. Stir together with about three-fourths of dressing and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day before serving, with remaining dressing on the side.

\r\n\r\n

Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm. See more of Douglas Merriam’s work at douglasmerriam.com

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UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS
AUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic)
AUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo)
AUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare)
AUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption)
SEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San
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UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS
AUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic)
AUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo)
AUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare)
AUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption)
SEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San
","description":"UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS AUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic) AUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo) AUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare) AUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption) SEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San Estevan) SEPTEMBER 4 Isleta (San Augustine) SEPTEMBER 19 Laguna (St. Joseph) SEPTEMBER 30 Taos (San Geronimo) OCTOBER 4 Nambé (San Francisco de Assisi) For additional dates of feast days at other times of the year, see newmexico.org/feast-days and indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/feastdays.html .   ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1980, a colleague invited our office staff to join her extended family and friends at Laguna Pueblo on the feast day honoring Saint Joseph. The rustic warmth of the experience is etched like a petroglyph in my memory—the village’s ancient adobes, the searing sunshine and deep shadows, the rhythmic music, the reverent dancers, the communal celebration. So stunning was the experience for a newly minted New Mexican that I simply plumb forgot about the food. It’s a testament to the beauty of such a feast day that I haven’t a clue as to what I ate. That’s pretty weird for me. Food is so central to my life that I know what I devoured, and where I devoured it, pretty much back to the chicken gumbo soup I wanted on my very first day of school. How can I not remember those particular stews, roasts, beans, salads, horno-baked breads, and chile dishes? Maybe dessert was biscochitos, bread pudding, fruit pie squares oozing juice, or those popular whole-wheat, horno-baked cookies. A MULTITUDE OF FEASTS I’ve been privileged to attend many more feast days since that introduction—at Acoma, Sandia, San Felipe, and Kewa (formerly Santa Domingo) Pueblos. Eighteen of the 19 New Mexico Pueblos celebrate a feast day (Zuni does not). Generally, the days start with an early mass and a procession with the figure of the patron saint. A specially constructed altar holds the saint for the day, and the leaders of the Pueblo will keep watch over the figure as people come to pay their respects. Feast day dances generally feature the Corn Dance, a form of thanksgiving to the spirits that have provided food. The dances include hundreds of people in traditional clothing or in striking regalia, from tykes to elders. Participating is quite a commitment, with multiple rehearsals beforehand. These activities are respectful and spiritual, but the mood is also upbeat and uplifting. Villages bustle with vendors offering arts, crafts, T-shirts, and loads of snacks. You might pass a family selling freshly roasted ears of corn, still smoky from an earthen horno, or hand-gathered, fresh-roasted piñons (pine nuts). Next to them, someone might be dispensing Day-Glo snow cones. You may even spot one of the odder treats—odd, at least, to me—the Kool-Aid pickle. Yes, it’s a big, green deli dill, soaked in red Kool-Aid. If you receive an invitation to a home, the food will be offered gratis to you and dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of others. One Native friend, who lives a very modern life in Albuquerque, prepares food without the benefit of electricity or running water in her family’s ancestral home at Acoma. At most homes, guests eat in shifts of maybe up to a dozen at once. People wait patiently in the living room or outside, using the time to meet other guests, many of whom have come from far-flung parts of the country for the warm reunion. Any invitee who’s ever attended is welcome for the rest of their life. What an honor. I just returned from San Felipe’s May 1 feast day. The Hollywood Casino, on I-25, may be the Pueblo’s best-known landmark, but once you travel west toward the historic central village, you quickly leave neon behind. In fact, on feast day, the neon isn’t even flashing. This is one of the two days the casino closes (a portion of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day is the other) so families can observe the festivities together. The asphalt track gets smaller as you approach the heart of the village, then completely disappears into cinnamon-colored dirt. Whether homes look old or new, compact or spacious, many have a well-used earthen horno, most of them as tall as me. The Río Grande courses through the middle of the village. One of my destinations was the home of Rose Tenorio, where her daughter Charlotte Little was helping with the feast. In daily life, Charlotte can usually be found at the tribal administrative offices, where she works as the human resources director. During the week leading up to the feast day, though, she’s one of the family’s main cooks and dishwashers, along with matriarch Rose and a retinue of siblings and cousins. Surveying the number of gleaming, 30-gallon pots and slow cookers on every flat surface, I commented on the immense undertaking such feasting requires. Charlotte gave me a radiant smile and said, “It’s made easy by our working together. What might be a chore becomes a labor of love when the preparations and meals are shared. Plus, we get to catch up on all the news of family and friends as we work.” Charlotte and Rose’s menu included multiple bowls of meaty green-chile stew with sweet corn and equally hearty posole with red chile, whole pinto beans, and wedges of golden frybread for soaking up the juices. Platters of meatloaf were passed along with fried chicken, and a Jell-O salad studded with multicolored mini marshmallows was so ridiculously yummy I wanted to ask for thirds. Afterward came watermelon slices and fruit pies. My friend Norman Suazos, from Taos Pueblo, commented that these were Taos-style pies, which he could identify by the amount of crust and the raisin filling. Sure enough, Rose grew up on Taos Pueblo. I somehow resisted the frosted chocolate layer cake that was circulating at the other end of the dining room. A FEAST MADE FOR LAUGHTER I shared the table with an architect, a fire marshal, and an aviation mechanic. Charlotte’s husband, an Isleta tribal judge, hadn’t been able to get away from work yet, but was expected that evening. Conversation included bits about everyone’s careers, extended families, upcoming elections, and ongoing concerns about getting enough rain and the water level of the Río. Everyone laughed about Charlotte’s “mistake” of grabbing blueberry Kool-Aid at the supermarket instead of the expected cherry. Someone mused that it would be easy to see who had dined here by the people wandering the village with blue lips. These days, feast foods can include spaghetti, macaroni salad, and other pasta. Chicken enchilada casseroles are another favorite. The traditional Three Sisters of the Pueblo diet—corn, beans, and squash—remain at the heart of the meal, along with chile, which came north with the Spanish colonists and was readily adopted. Depending on the time of year, dinner might include a summer squash dish, calabacitas, and maybe slices of roasted pumpkin as the weather cools. A September feast day might feature more fresh green-chile preparations while a spring one, like San Felipe’s, relies more on the dried-red variety. I asked Rose about the now-common broccoli-grape salad that pops up at feast days all around the state. Rose chuckled and told me, “You’re asking at the right place. I believe the salad was first the creation of a German chef who oversaw the San Felipe food service in the early days of our casino. All of us who worked in the food service loved the flavor and freshness. We started making it for every communal meal. It spread like crazy.” A FEAST FOR THE SOUL Before eating begins, a prayer is said, and a bit of food is thrown to the four winds, put in a sacred receptacle, or baked into the fire used to prepare it. The late artist Pablita Velarde explained it in the foreword to Marcia Keegan’s Southwest Indian Cookbook : “Since the spirits help to raise the food, it possesses great powers to heal the body and mind.” I think about a concluding bit of hospitality I’ve experienced at Acoma, where my friend Aleta “Tweety” Suazo always sends guests home with individual goody bags filled with fresh fruit and feast day cookies. In the years since that first feast day at Laguna Pueblo, I’ve been able to regain my focus on the culinary offerings. However, I’ve learned that the greatest sustenance from a feast day comes from the sense of community, a heaping helping of hospitality, and celebration. JUNIPER LAMB-AND-CHILE STEW Francisco Vázquez de Coronado brought sheep into what is now New Mexico in 1540, and they have remained a major part of life here since, particularly among the Puebloans and Navajo. Both Native peoples make a stew similar to this, though traditionally they use mutton rather than lamb. Pueblo cooks often serve the stew on the annual feast day of their village. During high summer, you might want to switch out the posole for small sections of corn on the cob. It’s delicious either way. I based this specific version on one from Pueblo Indian Cookbook , edited by Phyllis Hughes and first published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in 1972. The tiny volume has remained in print continually since then, and has sold upward of 90,000 copies. 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 / 3 cup chopped wild celery, or regular celery stalks with leaves 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of surface fat and cut in ¾ to 1-inch cubes Salt and freshly ground pepper ½ to 1 cup chopped roasted mild New Mexican green chile, preferably fresh or thawed frozen 1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano, preferably Mexican, or more to taste 4 to 6 juniper berries, crushed 2 cups cooked posole, preferably, or hominy, or 2 large ears of not-too-sweet corn, cut through the cob into 1-inch-thick rounds Warm lard in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Toss lamb cubes with salt and pepper to taste, then add them to pot and cook until browned. Pour in 3 cups of water, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Stir in chile, oregano, and juniper berries. Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1. hours. (Add more water if mixture gets dry.) Stir in posole or fresh corn sections. Continue cooking uncovered until meat is very tender and stew thick and reduced, about 30 minutes more. Degrease stew, if you wish. Adjust seasoning and serve hot, ladled into bowls. Adapted from American Home Cooking , © 1999 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books. SAGE-AND-CHEESE FEAST DAY BREAD The Puebloans who live along the Río Grande continue to bake bread in the beehive-shaped adobe hornos first brought to the region several centuries ago by the Spanish, who acquired the idea from the Moors. The most common Pueblo bread is an uncomplicated crusty round, often called adobe bread. This feast day style, also crusty and chewy, uses more ingredients but is no more difficult to prepare. Lucy Zamora, of Taos Pueblo, and Lucille Hummingbird Flower King, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, showed me how they bake their bread, which encouraged me to develop this version for the conventional home oven. Makes one 1-pound loaf 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 2 teaspoons molasses 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening 2 teaspoons salt 4 ounces creamy, fresh goat cheese, crumbled ½ cup cottage cheese 1 teaspoon dried sage, or more, to taste 3 to 3¼ cups unbleached bread flour Combine yeast with molasses and 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water in the work bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside until foamy. Heat 1 cup of water with lard to lukewarm in a small pan. In an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix together on medium speed yeast mixture, water mixture, salt, cheeses, sage, and 2. cups of flour. Beat for about 3 minutes, then add additional flour, . cup at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough, no longer sticky but with a satiny sheen. Pat dough into a fat disk. Wash out bowl, coat it with oil, transfer dough back to it, and turn dough to coat it with oil. Cover bowl and set it aside in a warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in bulk, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down dough, kneading it a few turns. Pat it back into a fat disk and return it to bowl. Cover and let it rise until doubled again, another 1 to 1. hours. Shape dough into a 7- to 8-inch round loaf. Let it rest briefly while you finish preparations for baking. Place an empty, heavy skillet on lowest rack of oven and, for best results, a baking stone like those used for pizza on middle shelf. If you don’t have a baking stone, substitute a heavy baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400° F. Transfer bread to heated baking stone or sheet, using a large spatula. Before closing oven, pour . cup water into skillet to create steam in oven. Close oven immediately. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° F. and continue baking for 40 to 45 more minutes, until bread is brown on top and sounds hollow when thumped. If it thuds rather dully, it’s not yet ready. Cool loaf on a baking rack. While best the day it’s made, the bread makes good toast for several more. Adapted from A Real American Breakfast , © 2003 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books. BROCCOLI-GRAPE SALAD The previous recipes are reworked versions of Pueblo classics. Broccoli-Grape Salad popped up in more recent years, but has spread like wildfire. This version comes from an Acoma friend, Aleta “Tweety” Suazo, one of the best cooks I know. She uses a sweet-and-sour poppyseed dressing rather than the more typical Miracle Whip or mayonnaise. It’s as pretty as it is refreshing. Serves 6 POPPYSEED DRESSING ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar ¼ cup honey 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon chopped onion 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil 1 tablespoon poppyseeds 1 pound raw fresh broccoli, florets and tender stems, chopped into bite-size pieces ¾ pound (about 2 cups) seedless purple grapes, halved 2 cups roasted cashews Salt In a food processor, combine vinegar, honey, sugar, onion, mustard, and salt. With processor still running, add oil slowly and continue mixing until dressing is well-combined and thick. Spoon out into serving container and stir in poppyseeds. Dressing can be made 3 to 4 days ahead, if you wish. Combine the broccoli, grapes, and cashews in a bowl. Stir together with about three-fourths of dressing and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day before serving, with remaining dressing on the side. Read Cheryl Alters Jamison ’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm. See more of Douglas Merriam ’s work at douglasmerriam.com","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f996","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-august-2014-87027/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-august-2014-87027/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-august-2014-87027/","metaTitle":"Feasts for the Senses","metaDescription":"
UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS
AUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic)
AUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo)
AUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare)
AUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption)
SEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San
","cleanDescription":"UPCOMING PUEBLO FEAST DAYS AUGUST 4 Kewa/Santa Domingo (St. Dominic) AUGUST 10 Picuris (San Lorenzo) AUGUST 12 Santa Clara (St. Clare) AUGUST 15 Zia (Our Lady of Assumption) SEPTEMBER 2 Acoma (San Estevan) SEPTEMBER 4 Isleta (San Augustine) SEPTEMBER 19 Laguna (St. Joseph) SEPTEMBER 30 Taos (San Geronimo) OCTOBER 4 Nambé (San Francisco de Assisi) For additional dates of feast days at other times of the year, see newmexico.org/feast-days and indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/feastdays.html .   ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1980, a colleague invited our office staff to join her extended family and friends at Laguna Pueblo on the feast day honoring Saint Joseph. The rustic warmth of the experience is etched like a petroglyph in my memory—the village’s ancient adobes, the searing sunshine and deep shadows, the rhythmic music, the reverent dancers, the communal celebration. So stunning was the experience for a newly minted New Mexican that I simply plumb forgot about the food. It’s a testament to the beauty of such a feast day that I haven’t a clue as to what I ate. That’s pretty weird for me. Food is so central to my life that I know what I devoured, and where I devoured it, pretty much back to the chicken gumbo soup I wanted on my very first day of school. How can I not remember those particular stews, roasts, beans, salads, horno-baked breads, and chile dishes? Maybe dessert was biscochitos, bread pudding, fruit pie squares oozing juice, or those popular whole-wheat, horno-baked cookies. A MULTITUDE OF FEASTS I’ve been privileged to attend many more feast days since that introduction—at Acoma, Sandia, San Felipe, and Kewa (formerly Santa Domingo) Pueblos. Eighteen of the 19 New Mexico Pueblos celebrate a feast day (Zuni does not). Generally, the days start with an early mass and a procession with the figure of the patron saint. A specially constructed altar holds the saint for the day, and the leaders of the Pueblo will keep watch over the figure as people come to pay their respects. Feast day dances generally feature the Corn Dance, a form of thanksgiving to the spirits that have provided food. The dances include hundreds of people in traditional clothing or in striking regalia, from tykes to elders. Participating is quite a commitment, with multiple rehearsals beforehand. These activities are respectful and spiritual, but the mood is also upbeat and uplifting. Villages bustle with vendors offering arts, crafts, T-shirts, and loads of snacks. You might pass a family selling freshly roasted ears of corn, still smoky from an earthen horno, or hand-gathered, fresh-roasted piñons (pine nuts). Next to them, someone might be dispensing Day-Glo snow cones. You may even spot one of the odder treats—odd, at least, to me—the Kool-Aid pickle. Yes, it’s a big, green deli dill, soaked in red Kool-Aid. If you receive an invitation to a home, the food will be offered gratis to you and dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of others. One Native friend, who lives a very modern life in Albuquerque, prepares food without the benefit of electricity or running water in her family’s ancestral home at Acoma. At most homes, guests eat in shifts of maybe up to a dozen at once. People wait patiently in the living room or outside, using the time to meet other guests, many of whom have come from far-flung parts of the country for the warm reunion. Any invitee who’s ever attended is welcome for the rest of their life. What an honor. I just returned from San Felipe’s May 1 feast day. The Hollywood Casino, on I-25, may be the Pueblo’s best-known landmark, but once you travel west toward the historic central village, you quickly leave neon behind. In fact, on feast day, the neon isn’t even flashing. This is one of the two days the casino closes (a portion of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day is the other) so families can observe the festivities together. The asphalt track gets smaller as you approach the heart of the village, then completely disappears into cinnamon-colored dirt. Whether homes look old or new, compact or spacious, many have a well-used earthen horno, most of them as tall as me. The Río Grande courses through the middle of the village. One of my destinations was the home of Rose Tenorio, where her daughter Charlotte Little was helping with the feast. In daily life, Charlotte can usually be found at the tribal administrative offices, where she works as the human resources director. During the week leading up to the feast day, though, she’s one of the family’s main cooks and dishwashers, along with matriarch Rose and a retinue of siblings and cousins. Surveying the number of gleaming, 30-gallon pots and slow cookers on every flat surface, I commented on the immense undertaking such feasting requires. Charlotte gave me a radiant smile and said, “It’s made easy by our working together. What might be a chore becomes a labor of love when the preparations and meals are shared. Plus, we get to catch up on all the news of family and friends as we work.” Charlotte and Rose’s menu included multiple bowls of meaty green-chile stew with sweet corn and equally hearty posole with red chile, whole pinto beans, and wedges of golden frybread for soaking up the juices. Platters of meatloaf were passed along with fried chicken, and a Jell-O salad studded with multicolored mini marshmallows was so ridiculously yummy I wanted to ask for thirds. Afterward came watermelon slices and fruit pies. My friend Norman Suazos, from Taos Pueblo, commented that these were Taos-style pies, which he could identify by the amount of crust and the raisin filling. Sure enough, Rose grew up on Taos Pueblo. I somehow resisted the frosted chocolate layer cake that was circulating at the other end of the dining room. A FEAST MADE FOR LAUGHTER I shared the table with an architect, a fire marshal, and an aviation mechanic. Charlotte’s husband, an Isleta tribal judge, hadn’t been able to get away from work yet, but was expected that evening. Conversation included bits about everyone’s careers, extended families, upcoming elections, and ongoing concerns about getting enough rain and the water level of the Río. Everyone laughed about Charlotte’s “mistake” of grabbing blueberry Kool-Aid at the supermarket instead of the expected cherry. Someone mused that it would be easy to see who had dined here by the people wandering the village with blue lips. These days, feast foods can include spaghetti, macaroni salad, and other pasta. Chicken enchilada casseroles are another favorite. The traditional Three Sisters of the Pueblo diet—corn, beans, and squash—remain at the heart of the meal, along with chile, which came north with the Spanish colonists and was readily adopted. Depending on the time of year, dinner might include a summer squash dish, calabacitas, and maybe slices of roasted pumpkin as the weather cools. A September feast day might feature more fresh green-chile preparations while a spring one, like San Felipe’s, relies more on the dried-red variety. I asked Rose about the now-common broccoli-grape salad that pops up at feast days all around the state. Rose chuckled and told me, “You’re asking at the right place. I believe the salad was first the creation of a German chef who oversaw the San Felipe food service in the early days of our casino. All of us who worked in the food service loved the flavor and freshness. We started making it for every communal meal. It spread like crazy.” A FEAST FOR THE SOUL Before eating begins, a prayer is said, and a bit of food is thrown to the four winds, put in a sacred receptacle, or baked into the fire used to prepare it. The late artist Pablita Velarde explained it in the foreword to Marcia Keegan’s Southwest Indian Cookbook : “Since the spirits help to raise the food, it possesses great powers to heal the body and mind.” I think about a concluding bit of hospitality I’ve experienced at Acoma, where my friend Aleta “Tweety” Suazo always sends guests home with individual goody bags filled with fresh fruit and feast day cookies. In the years since that first feast day at Laguna Pueblo, I’ve been able to regain my focus on the culinary offerings. However, I’ve learned that the greatest sustenance from a feast day comes from the sense of community, a heaping helping of hospitality, and celebration. JUNIPER LAMB-AND-CHILE STEW Francisco Vázquez de Coronado brought sheep into what is now New Mexico in 1540, and they have remained a major part of life here since, particularly among the Puebloans and Navajo. Both Native peoples make a stew similar to this, though traditionally they use mutton rather than lamb. Pueblo cooks often serve the stew on the annual feast day of their village. During high summer, you might want to switch out the posole for small sections of corn on the cob. It’s delicious either way. I based this specific version on one from Pueblo Indian Cookbook , edited by Phyllis Hughes and first published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in 1972. The tiny volume has remained in print continually since then, and has sold upward of 90,000 copies. 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 / 3 cup chopped wild celery, or regular celery stalks with leaves 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of surface fat and cut in ¾ to 1-inch cubes Salt and freshly ground pepper ½ to 1 cup chopped roasted mild New Mexican green chile, preferably fresh or thawed frozen 1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano, preferably Mexican, or more to taste 4 to 6 juniper berries, crushed 2 cups cooked posole, preferably, or hominy, or 2 large ears of not-too-sweet corn, cut through the cob into 1-inch-thick rounds Warm lard in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Toss lamb cubes with salt and pepper to taste, then add them to pot and cook until browned. Pour in 3 cups of water, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Stir in chile, oregano, and juniper berries. Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1. hours. (Add more water if mixture gets dry.) Stir in posole or fresh corn sections. Continue cooking uncovered until meat is very tender and stew thick and reduced, about 30 minutes more. Degrease stew, if you wish. Adjust seasoning and serve hot, ladled into bowls. Adapted from American Home Cooking , © 1999 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books. SAGE-AND-CHEESE FEAST DAY BREAD The Puebloans who live along the Río Grande continue to bake bread in the beehive-shaped adobe hornos first brought to the region several centuries ago by the Spanish, who acquired the idea from the Moors. The most common Pueblo bread is an uncomplicated crusty round, often called adobe bread. This feast day style, also crusty and chewy, uses more ingredients but is no more difficult to prepare. Lucy Zamora, of Taos Pueblo, and Lucille Hummingbird Flower King, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, showed me how they bake their bread, which encouraged me to develop this version for the conventional home oven. Makes one 1-pound loaf 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 2 teaspoons molasses 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening 2 teaspoons salt 4 ounces creamy, fresh goat cheese, crumbled ½ cup cottage cheese 1 teaspoon dried sage, or more, to taste 3 to 3¼ cups unbleached bread flour Combine yeast with molasses and 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water in the work bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside until foamy. Heat 1 cup of water with lard to lukewarm in a small pan. In an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix together on medium speed yeast mixture, water mixture, salt, cheeses, sage, and 2. cups of flour. Beat for about 3 minutes, then add additional flour, . cup at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough, no longer sticky but with a satiny sheen. Pat dough into a fat disk. Wash out bowl, coat it with oil, transfer dough back to it, and turn dough to coat it with oil. Cover bowl and set it aside in a warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in bulk, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down dough, kneading it a few turns. Pat it back into a fat disk and return it to bowl. Cover and let it rise until doubled again, another 1 to 1. hours. Shape dough into a 7- to 8-inch round loaf. Let it rest briefly while you finish preparations for baking. Place an empty, heavy skillet on lowest rack of oven and, for best results, a baking stone like those used for pizza on middle shelf. If you don’t have a baking stone, substitute a heavy baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400° F. Transfer bread to heated baking stone or sheet, using a large spatula. Before closing oven, pour . cup water into skillet to create steam in oven. Close oven immediately. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° F. and continue baking for 40 to 45 more minutes, until bread is brown on top and sounds hollow when thumped. If it thuds rather dully, it’s not yet ready. Cool loaf on a baking rack. While best the day it’s made, the bread makes good toast for several more. Adapted from A Real American Breakfast , © 2003 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, HarperCollins Publishers/William Morrow Books. BROCCOLI-GRAPE SALAD The previous recipes are reworked versions of Pueblo classics. Broccoli-Grape Salad popped up in more recent years, but has spread like wildfire. This version comes from an Acoma friend, Aleta “Tweety” Suazo, one of the best cooks I know. She uses a sweet-and-sour poppyseed dressing rather than the more typical Miracle Whip or mayonnaise. It’s as pretty as it is refreshing. Serves 6 POPPYSEED DRESSING ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar ¼ cup honey 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon chopped onion 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil 1 tablespoon poppyseeds 1 pound raw fresh broccoli, florets and tender stems, chopped into bite-size pieces ¾ pound (about 2 cups) seedless purple grapes, halved 2 cups roasted cashews Salt In a food processor, combine vinegar, honey, sugar, onion, mustard, and salt. With processor still running, add oil slowly and continue mixing until dressing is well-combined and thick. Spoon out into serving container and stir in poppyseeds. Dressing can be made 3 to 4 days ahead, if you wish. Combine the broccoli, grapes, and cashews in a bowl. Stir together with about three-fourths of dressing and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day before serving, with remaining dressing on the side. Read Cheryl Alters Jamison ’s blog at nmmagazine.com/tastingnm. See more of Douglas Merriam ’s work at douglasmerriam.com","publish_start_moment":"2014-07-02T16:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-16T04:52:42.656Z"}]});

Posts from July 2014