My sister gave me this cookbook as a birthday token seven or eight years ago. She gives me a cookbook almost every holiday. She knows that I'm an eclectic cook, disorderly but very efficient, who never follows a recipe exactly and almost never produces the same meal twice. So what value can a cookbook have for me? Inspiration! Setting the bar! Tripping the trigger!
When I cook in the style Mr. Dent describes so eloquently, I aim not just to put New Mexico cuisine - that blend of Old Mexican, Native American, and Yankee pioneer - on the table but also to evoke the colors and rhythms of Santa Fe in my home. The task is made easier because I have a whole china chest of plausibly Southwestern dishes and plates from Old Mexico, plus a small but elegant collection of Pueblo, Hopi, Zuni etc. ceramics. I can't transport the sublime landscape of Santa Fe to my kitchen, but I can evoke its smells and breezes.
Cooking in this style is a lot like exploring the fantasy world of the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art. If you haven't visited this cuisine, or that museum, or the city of Santa Fe, or the landscape and historical beauties of New Mexico, stop! don't go anywhere else first! this is America's finest.