The first person I think of when it comes to cooking like a Texan is Enrique Madrid. You probably have someone you think of, your father, perhaps, or your grandmother. I think of Enrique, a historian, archaeologist, cook, defender of the borderlands, author, and lecturer whose family has been living in the area around what is now Redford for about 12,000 years. If you’ve spent much time in Redford, which not many people have, you’ve likely encountered Enrique, or at one point maybe you encountered his father or his mother, a schoolteacher who was awarded two presidential medals by George H.W. Bush for, among other things, building her own very good public library in the middle of the desert, book by book.
The Madrid house is a modest, rambling place alongside FM 170 not far from Big Bend National Park. In addition to the library, it once housed a general store and gas station, run by Enrique’s father, and since 1975 it has served as a kind of classroom where Enrique has performed God knows how many demonstrations of Mexican cookery for curious visitors. He is a generous teacher, capable of demonstrating a great many techniques related to the local cuisine, from goat slaughter to cactus harvesting, but his stock-in-trade is the refried beans demo and the