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Early Winter 2023: Rituals

Early Winter 2023: Rituals

It’s the time of sandhill cranes in central New Mexico, shifting light, and the last flash of yellow before leaves brown and fall, opening a horizon more vast even as we spend more and more of each day in darkness. It seems that at this time of year, more than any other, we become aware that we are subject to planetary forces, that we are cosmic. From feast days to solstice gatherings, from solitary rites to sprawling family dinners whose center of gravity is the table, we reach for anchors, rituals that can ground us.

In this issue of edible, we explore a multiplicity of practices through which New Mexicans find shape, meaning, and sustenance. Nancy Zastudil, connecting to the local landscape as a runner, sets out to shift the source of the energy that powers her runs from hyperprocessed fuels to real and local foods. Grower and poet Mallika Singh visits with a Diné farmer who sees centuries of Indigenous lifeways in the Los Ranchos land where he grows corn and community. In Albuquerque, we tour a small chocolate factory in the far North Valley and a backyard winery in the South Valley—learning, both times, what it means to start from scratch. Not least, author and archivist Denise Chávez reports on the firestorm she initiated in the form of a poll about New Mexico’s state cookie. In sharing not only die-hard opinions but moving memories and notes from family recipes, she reflects on how a cultural heartbeat can pulse through one simple dish.

As Chef James Campbell Caruso tells Candolin Cook, “when people sit down to dinner, it is the most intimate of rituals.” In that spirit of sharing, we’re showcasing dessert recipes contributed by six generous local bakers and chefs. Consider their recipes, along with the stories in these pages, as an invitation to experiment with tradition—with or without gluten or lard, whipped cream or pumpkin spice. Whether we’re spiritual or secular, these are months where many of us find communion at the table and in the kitchen, once again immersed in traditions that remind us to celebrate the keepers and makers who give richness to our place.

It’s the time of sandhill cranes in central New Mexico, shifting light, and the last flash of yellow before leaves brown and fall, opening a horizon more vast even as we spend more and more of each day in darkness. It seems that at this time of year, more than any other, we become aware that we are subject to planetary forces, that we are cosmic. From feast days to solstice gatherings, from solitary rites to sprawling family dinners whose center of gravity is the table, we reach for anchors, rituals that can ground us.

In this issue of edible, we explore a multiplicity of practices through which New Mexicans find shape, meaning, and sustenance. Nancy Zastudil, connecting to the local landscape as a runner, sets out to shift the source of the energy that powers her runs from hyperprocessed fuels to real and local foods. Grower and poet Mallika Singh visits with a Diné farmer who sees centuries of Indigenous lifeways in the Los Ranchos land where he grows corn and community. In Albuquerque, we tour a small chocolate factory in the far North Valley and a backyard winery in the South Valley—learning, both times, what it means to start from scratch. Not least, author and archivist Denise Chávez reports on the firestorm she initiated in the form of a poll about New Mexico’s state cookie. In sharing not only die-hard opinions but moving memories and notes from family recipes, she reflects on how a cultural heartbeat can pulse through one simple dish.

As Chef James Campbell Caruso tells Candolin Cook, “when people sit down to dinner, it is the most intimate of rituals.” In that spirit of sharing, we’re showcasing dessert recipes contributed by six generous local bakers and chefs. Consider their recipes, along with the stories in these pages, as an invitation to experiment with tradition—with or without gluten or lard, whipped cream or pumpkin spice. Whether we’re spiritual or secular, these are months where many of us find communion at the table and in the kitchen, once again immersed in traditions that remind us to celebrate the keepers and makers who give richness to our place.

 

BISCOCHO/ BISCOCHITO-TUDE

BISCOCHO/ BISCOCHITO-TUDE

Author and archivist Denise Chávez reports on the firestorm she initiated in the form of a poll about New Mexico’s state cookie.

Penny Rembe

Penny Rembe

Penny Rembe of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Farm is the recipient of the 2023 Local Hero Olla Award.

Slow Burn Coffee

Slow Burn Coffee

Slow Burn Coffee, the 2023 Local Hero for Beverage Artisan, Nonalcoholic, operates out of a hundred-year-old adobe building, which patrons are drawn to for its design and natural light as much as the coffee itself.

The Mouse Hole Cheese Shop

The Mouse Hole Cheese Shop

The Mouse Hole Cheese Shop, the 2023 Local Hero for Food Shop, features a wide array of local products that pair well with cheese, from jams to crackers to tinned fish.

Planty Pumpkin Cheesecake

Planty Pumpkin Cheesecake

Karina Cake’s Planty Pumpkin Cheesecake uses oat and rice flour, cashews, and coconut cream, for a gluten-free, vegan version of this holiday classic.

Gluten-Free Rolled Sugar Cookies

Gluten-Free Rolled Sugar Cookies

Heidi Moir, owner of The Bakehouse Off the Wheaten Path, adapted her grandmother’s recipe to create her version of Gluten-Free Rolled Sugar Cookies.

Microgreen Johnnycakes

Microgreen Johnnycakes

Our Microgreen Johnnycakes are perfect for a sweet breakfast or for topping with savory ingredients such as beans, avocado, or cilantro crema.

Baked Tomato Farro Risotto

Baked Tomato Farro Risotto

This edition of Last Bite, brought to you by Rio Grande Credit Union, offers a budget-friendly recipe for Baked Tomato Farro Risotto.

Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast

Elizabeth Bibiano offers up a sweet and savory version of Vegan French Toast that features an array of aromatic spices along with the traditional maple syrup topping.

Backyard Chemistry

Backyard Chemistry

Sheehan Winery has evolved from a backyard vineyard into one of New Mexico’s top-rated wineries.

Chocolate Education

Chocolate Education

Eldora Chocolate in Albuquerque represents an era of small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate.

Savoring Spain

Savoring Spain

Candolin Cook sits down with James Campbell Caruso, chef and owner of La Boca in Santa Fe.

+Rainbow Farms

+Rainbow Farms

Mallika Singh visits with Joshuaa Allison-Burbank, a Diné farmer who sees centuries of Indigenous lifeways in the Los Ranchos land where he grows corn and community.

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