Dixon Co-Op Deli Celebrates One Year!


March 17th marks the one year anniversary of our little deli being open. It all began in August of 2012 when I began working on converting the KLDK Radio Station room into a commercial kitchen. Much research went in to floor plans, equipment, plumbing and electrics and the finer details of getting permitted through NM Environment Department. Soon it was clear that we were working with a very small space, there was not enough money to do what we wanted to do and that everything takes longer than expected. A floor drain had to be put in, the floor had to be refinished, washable wall material had to be installed and the place had to be rewired all before we could begin to move the kitchen equipment into place. I learned at this point that no you cannot squeeze an extra 3 inches out of the length of a room no matter how badly you want to. The floor plan had to be revised again and again. Once all this had been accomplished there was a waiting period for the frigid winter to ease up a little so…the water could thaw and we could have actual running water in our new sinks! Oh I was so nervous before our final opening inspection but all went well.

This past year has been a learning process and a joy. Ever since the Co-op opened I knew that I wanted to run the Deli when it eventually opened. It has been nothing like I pictured…I always thought of a big, open kitchen with beautiful glass display cases filled with delicious prepared foods and fine baked goods. We would have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a glass of milk for two dollars, beans and rice for a dollar and plenty of seating space. Some of these things seem to be attainable in the near future, others simply aren’t possible. What is possible is that the Deli will continue to grow and flourish. We will be able to offer more prepared food items, we will have more display space and I will be able to bake to my hearts content. For now it seems that we have reached a good middle ground. I am enjoying interacting with the community. I am deeply satisfied with being able to provide food for others to enjoy. The best is yet to come!

Thank you to all who have been loyal supporters. Thank you for your suggestions, for your encouragement and for your continued support!


Hitting the Refresh Button on the Board of Directors

Every January, the membership gets to elect a new Board of Directors for the Co-Op. This year we have 6 candidates and 4 open seats. President Jeff Spicer and Secretary Emily Romero have finished their two year terms and have decided to make room for fresh faces. Vice-President Krystofer Meadows no longer lives in Dixon and so she is resigning here at the midpoint of her term. Treasurer Ron Monsour is the only one of the current board guaranteed a seat for the upcoming year. Ken Youens-Clark who was appointed a seat when Clark Case resigned will have to face the electorate to keep his seat.

So let’s waste no more time in getting to know the 6 board candidates for 2014:

LisaAnnCroppedLisaAnn Edenfield

I would love to serve my community by becoming a board member of the Dixon  Co-Op. While my family is new to the Dixon area, we intend to make it our home. We have lived in northern New Mexico for the past five years-two of those years were in Pilar. My family originally comes from Florida-fifth generation. I have a son who attends Dixon Elementary and a daughter attending UNM and a son in the National Guard. 

 I am a nursing coordinator for adults with disabilities. I have been a nurse for 22 years. I believe healthy, local foods are imperative to the well being of my clients and my family. The Dixon Co-Op provides this to the community and I would be honored to be part of that process.


Amalio Madueño

Amalio is Principal of Community Development Consulting Associates, a private consulting firm & consultant to NM Tribes, local governments, institutions, nonprofits, private business and corporations. Currently a contractor to the Community Programs Office of Los Alamos National Laboratory on development of regional community development programs, projects, infrastructure initiatives, plans and projects. Areas of expertise include: legislative proposals, finance, fundraising, feasibility analysis, strategic planning and entrepreneurship training. Prepared and packaged $25+ million in approved community projects since 1992. Consultant to more than 2,000 small businesses in New Mexico. Assisted the very first Co-Op board with feasibility study and business plan for establishment of the Dixon Coop in 2002.


 Patty Nielsen

I have lived in the Embudo area for most of the last 47 years. I have been involved with the Co-op since it’s inception, serving on the board, as a volunteer cashier and as a sometimes manager. I would like to represent our invaluable volunteers in board decisions and support the staff in their decisions, and to draw more of the community into membership. As a farmer, I hope to expand the sale of locally grown produce on a more year round basis, and to encourage customers to use and enjoy these products.

 I have experience in business management, and would like to help the store find a secure financial path.


Eddie Scheps

I have lived in New Mexico for 19 years and owned land in Dixon since 2005, which is also when we joined the Co-op. We built a home here in 2009 and my wife and I plan to live here full-time in the spring. 

From 1974-1987 I worked in retail and wholesale natural and gourmet food companies and have run my own successful business for 27 years. I have a keen interest in food, cooking and grocery stores. I would like to help the Dixon Co-op grow and continue to serve this community.


Christen Vogel

I have lived in Dixon with my family for fifteen years. In that time I have been an active member of the community. This includes the Dixon Elementary PTO, The Dixon Studio Tour, the Family Literacy Program, and others. I would like to offer my time and experience to the Dixon Coop board.

I left the corporate world as a graphic designer to begin a new phase in my life as a mother. I learned very quickly that it was the most challenging job I would have. In those twenty-three years of raising three children I’ve spent my fair share of time in grocery stores large and small. My experience planning and budgeting for a family of five will be a valuable insight for the Dixon Coop board.

In the twenty-eight years of marriage to Jim we have renovated three homes on our own as well as managed the construction process of our current home. This is a testament to my patience and ability to see things through to a satisfactory finish.

My husband Jim and I also have our own business, Vogels’ Artshop, where I am responsible for the bookkeeping, ordering supplies as well as creating frames for my husband’s paintings. In short, I keep the business running like a well-oiled machine.

I have many attributes that can serve to bring a fresh perspective to many of the challenges involved in keeping our thriving store alive and well for many years to come.


Ken Youens-Clark

I have been a resident of Dixon well nigh 3.5 years. I’m a professional computer programmer, an amateur musician, and live with my wife, Lori Kindler, and our three children on the first arroyo. I assumed a vacated Co-op board seat in 2013 and so have some experience with the board and its mission.

Join us at the General Membership Meeting Sunday, January 26th at 3pm at the Dixon Elementary gym as we announce the winning candidates. This event will be followed by a potluck, so bring something to share if you wish. Oh… and ballots are at the store. And just a reminder that your membership needs to be current in order to vote… and one ballot per household.


Congratulations to Patty, Ken, Amalio and Christen. Our newest board members!

Mag’s Pies

Tool of the trade.

Tool of the trade.

by Maggie Greenwald

Some of my fondest memories are of peering up to the old wood plank countertop in my parent’s kitchen to watch my mom make pie crust. She was seemingly fluid in the motions of measuring flour, adding butter and water. She never seemed to exert any effort in to blending the flour with the chilled butter. The dough would form into a nice ball without ever sticking to her fingers. I would wait, blond fluff ball hair sticking up all over, for my mom to roll the dough, then to fit it in to her favorite pie pan before collecting the scraps and making me a small treat. She would roll those few scraps in to a small circle, sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon, then fold it in half and crimp the edges with a fork. How did she do it so effortlessly? I was always ready to eat my treat right then but had to wait the excruciatingly long 12 to 15 minutes for my little pastry to bake to a golden brown flaky perfection. What was put into the pie crust was never of much concern. Whether it be freshly picked, then painstakingly pitted wild cherries from the banks of the acequia or eggs whisked with half and half and just a pinch of nutmeg for quiche I could always be sure it would be delicious.

The first time I tried to make my own pie it was the height of peach season on one of those years that we all have so many peaches some of them even end up in the compost heap or tossed to the chickens. Those peach years as I fondly remember them only come about once every 7 years; sometimes less, sometimes more. So I sat at the kitchen table, like my mom did, and peeled and sliced the peaches. Only for me it took much longer than it did for her. I dutifully mixed the peaches with a sprinkling of sugar and flour and some lemon juice to set aside while I prepared the crust. The cold butter was not ready to be mixed with flour. So I set to breaking it apart with my fingers, squishing and kneading until I ended up with a sticky mess of smooth butter and flour. Why did my mom ever use water? I then sprinkled the old Mexican oilcloth tablecloth with some flour and set out to roll the dough. It would not roll. It squished about, sticking to everything in sight and showing no intention of ever becoming a contained, somewhat firm flat disk that my mom always managed to make. I finally resorted to hand pressing the dough in to the pie tin. I did not pre-bake the crust. I simply poured the peaches in to the melting crust and baked it. No top crust, no lattice, not even a crumble topping. Well, the peaches in the pie did taste good. The pastry, however was a gooey, doughy, undercooked mess. At that time I was a teenager and not willing to take advice from anyone, especially not my mom. Otherwise, she could have explained the finer points of pie pastry and saved me from many more failings in the pie making world. But I loved pie, especially the buttery, flaky crust that houses the filling. It must have something to do with my Scandinavian heritage. We always say “butter makes it better”. I did not give up.

It wasn’t until I took a pastry class at UNM that I really began to understand the science behind pie dough. The butter is standoffish and must not be handled too much. It is cold and prefers to be that way. Butter does not want to mix with flour. It wants to be lightly coated, suspended in soft layers of gluten webs. It wants to melt at its own pace and be bothered by nothing. The pastry dough takes on the butter in an all enveloping wet but not sticky understanding as the water and flour come together to create a space for the butter to melt. This is how flaky, buttery pie crust comes into being. It can be no other way, unless one uses lard. But these days lard has a pretty bad reputation. And it doesn’t taste good on toast.

So once the butter and flour with a little ice water reach their consensus of who belongs where, they need a rest. Once again butter prefers to rest in a cold place so into the refrigerator they go. This is the time to prepare the filling. After their rest the pastry dough shall be first flattened, then rolled. But not rolled in a back and forth motion. No, that would anger the gluten strands of the flour and make them act tough. The dough must be rolled as little as possible, always starting in the middle and moving in a firm decisive motion to the outside. Once the dough resembles a thin but not too thin disc, it must be folded gently into quarters and placed in its pan. Butter is not done telling us what to do. The crust must then be filled with pie weights or dry beans and baked so it won’t shrink down the sides of the pan in a lazy I-will- not-do-as-you-say kind of way. Then and only then may we fill the crust with the intended and somewhat unsuspecting filling. What kind of filling? Does it really matter? Not so much.

Now I can whip up a pie crust in no time. Just like my mom still does. I even make small pastry treats with the scraps of dough for my kids sometimes. Did I have to go to culinary school to learn this? Yes and no. It is as much a part of me as growing zinnias in the summertime and loving this small village in Northern New Mexico as it was to say “ No I can’t learn this from you, I have to learn it myself”. But I didn’t learn it myself–it was part of me all along.  Other things I did learn in school like how to measure in the palm of my hand and why an egg is better cooked when it is brought to room temperature first. But that is a whole ‘nother story.

I work at the Dixon Market now. It is great to be a part of my own hometown’s social hub. The day-to-day demands of making sandwiches and soups, keeping accurate inventory and other associated tasks seems to have robbed me of my creative license. SO it is with great pleasure and excitement that I will make pies to be sold in the market for the holidays. For Thanksgiving I will create traditional pies that I associate with our beautiful fall season. Smooth, custard like pumpkin spice pie, Fresh apple pie and the ever not-too-sweet pecan pie all placed delicately and decisively in the sassy pastry pie crust that I have come to know and love so well.

Happy Holidays, Happy Fall and I hope to see you soon at the Dixon Market.

I cup of flour, one stick of butter and a tablespoon or two of cold water.

One cup of flour, one stick of butter and a tablespoon or two of cold water.

Pea size chunks of flour coated butter.

Pea size chunks of flour coated butter.

Wrap it up in plastic and put in the fridge to rest.

Wrap it up in plastic and put in the fridge to rest.

After 10 minutes or so, unwrap and roll away.

After 10 minutes or so, unwrap and roll away.

Keep Rollin'

Keep Rollin’

Fold in quarters to transfer to pie plate.

Fold in quarters to transfer to pie plate.

Pinch a nice border…. doesn't have to be too fancy.

Pinch a nice border…. doesn’t have to be too fancy. Put back in the fridge for a little more rest. Then…

Pour in your filling (in this case, pumpkin).

Pour in your filling (in this case, pumpkin).

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes and Ta-Da!

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes and Ta-Da!

Santa Rosa at the Co-Op


Flamenco Performance from 2012

Flamenco Performance from 2012

The Santa Rosa Fiestas happen in Dixon this weekend with music, food, neighbors crawling out of the woodwork, a parade filled with all manner of craziness, a King, a Queen and princesses. It’s almost too much to bear. Almost. But, bear it we will.

This year, the Co-Op will not have a float from which to pelt citizens with organic lollipops. Nor will we sponsor a table out in the library park. This does not mean we are not prepared to join in the festivities however, it just means we’re concentrating on servicing the crowd this weekend.

Inside the store we will still be serving up sliced watermelon to cool your core, and if the fare being offered in the park isn’t meeting your needs, there will be plenty of freshly made sandwiches, salads, salsa and sushi inside as well. There may even be some homemade pie (made by the deli queen, Maggie) not to mention our usual array of picnic items and of course, plenty of ICE CREAM! If you’ll be doing an early bird shift, peek in the store to see if there are any homemade breakfast burritos to help get you through the set up process.

As you may be aware, the Fiestas King this year is our own General Manager, Nelson Rhodes! Rumor has it, he will be handing out some serious Co-Op coupons on Sunday. So be sure to get a good roadside seat when the Fiestas Royalty roll by.

See you at the Fiestas and at the Co-Op!

Taking it to the Streets

As you cruise around the neighborhood this week, it’s possible that you’ve noticed a bolder market presence out on the highways and byways. At the store itself, you have (hopefully) seen Lynne E. Alden running around on the store portal roof. She’s been battling logistical problems in the prep stage, but seems to finally have gotten to the signage painting in earnest and is looking to complete the new storefront paint job in another week or two. Here is a photo of the work in progress:

The Coop gets a facelift. Midstage version.

The Coop gets a facelift – midstage version.

Out on Highway 68, both north and south of the Highway 75 turnoff, you will (again, hopefully) notice our new billboards alerting passersby who might not otherwise know, that there is indeed a grocery store just a few miles down the road. Many thanks to David Rigsby and Bob Lesch for the use of their properties for these installations. A big hearty ¡Gracias! to Ron Monsour, David Rigsby, Chris Carney, and Lee Mesibov for their muscle and engineering acumen on the project. Props too to Rene Disbrow who designed the signs, and of course to Clark Case for his work in putting those billboard constructions together.

How many volunteers does it take to put up a couple of billboards? More than it takes to defrost the ice cream display case….

Brandon, Einar and Lee defrost the Ice Cream display unit while Mickey merrily watches.

Brandon, Einar and Lee defrost the Ice Cream display unit while Mickey critiques


Thanks again to everyone for all they do to help the Co-op Thrive.

Why are you a member of the Co-Op?

Playing roving reporter, I hit up a few coop members at the Wednesday afternoon Farmers Market…

There are many reasons to join the Co-Op… they needn’t be rational. If you’re a member (if you’re happy and you know it…) tell us why in the comments below. If you’re not yet a member, please consider the benefits and ask for an application the next time you step into the store. Or visit the membership page and download an application there. If you’ve still got questions about what a membership is all about, a few of us from the Board will be on hand at the Co-Op on Saturday during our 8th anniversary party to answer any of your questions.