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Learn about New Mexico’s history and cuisine


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The Roswell Public Library will be having two special presenters on Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m. to talk about various aspects of New Mexico history. Former State Historian Robert J. Torrez has contributed significantly to the preservation of New Mexico’s historical documents and cultural properties and will be speaking about three women from New Mexico history: Cleofas Jaramillo, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca and Agnes Morley Cleaveland.

Author Lynn Cline will talk about “The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes & Tales from New Mexico” in which she chronicles the fascinating history of New Mexico cuisine through the stories of 12 iconic figures. These trailblazers include artists and authors, gamblers and outlaws, entrepreneurs, and the ancient Pueblo people, all of whom had a hand in shaping the region’s celebrated cuisine. Each story is inspired by history–fictional imaginings of a day, or a moment, in the remarkable lives of these mavericks. “The Maverick Cookbook” will be available for purchase and signing!

This program is being sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council, the Roswell Library Foundation and refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library. For more information, you can visit the website at roswell-nm.gov/405/, call 575-622-7101 and like us on Facebook.

Book Talk by Amanda Davis
Reference Librarian

The Roswell Public Library has many books about New Mexico cooking in the Southwest Non-Fiction section. Many of the recipes will be similar from book to book such as enchiladas, chile Rellenos, sopaipillas and green chile stew, but as anyone who has lived here can attest to, everyone does it in just a slightly different fashion.

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In “New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions” by Sharon Niederman, the recipes are almost secondary to the wonderful showcase of people that are featured. The pie recipes are provided by residents of Pie Town: a family’s traditional crust recipe and the owner of the Daily Pie Café herself. The pictures that are included aren’t typical of most cookbooks, either. Some feel like they would be at home in a family photo album and others showcase preparation techniques, such as how to shape Tuda’s biscochitos. You’ll find yourself engrossed in the narrative as the author travels around the state to find out about the cuisine that’s unique to different New Mexico locales from Chimayó to Carrizozo.

For those looking for Native American Indian recipes, there’s “Hopi Cookery” by Juanita Tiger Kavena. This book provides very traditional recipes and the information on how to prepare them using such as how to dress a rabbit, peeling chile, drying greens and making jerky. The meat recipes are done over an open fire, but there are a few modern ones like hominy made with soda and Hopi coffee creamer. This book is a straightforward collection of recipes, but it contains a great many of them and ones that definitely won’t be found in other books.

Lynn Cline’s “The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes & Tales from New Mexico” is definitely another one to check out if you like a historical and visual impact with your cookbooks. Cline has selected various figures throughout New Mexico history and provides well-researched stories that would stand up in a book of their own. But here they’re served up with recipes from around the state such as El Delirio Empanaditas and Grilled Juniper-Marinated Venison for Santa Fe artist Gustave Baumann and Cowboy Biscuits and Son-of-a-Gun Stew in honor of Billy the Kid. The food is brought to life by the photography of Guy Ambrosino and each dish looks like it could be picked up right off of the page.

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