Despite the school plays and misinformation bandied about this time of year, the real origin of Thanksgiving is probably a bit more complicated than we've been led to believe. Yes, we'd believe that some people ate food like lobster and swans way back in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists were around, but we'd also bet that since white people are usually trash, it was way shittier than just a meal.
We're also aware that in 1565, Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé hosted a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida (a city with which Santa Fe shares a mildly contentious who-has-the-oldest-house-in-the-country beef), which could be part of the deal and is obviously earlier.
And that's not even mentioning how the holiday wasn't much celebrated outside of the northern states until, like, the very late-1800s. Heck, we didn't even do the whole Thursday thing (which is a weird day if you think about it) until President Harry "Superstar" Truman decreed it would be so in 1948. Just think—if Dewey had defeated that guy, we'd be living in a whole different universe by now.
Still, The Fork ultimately enjoys the idea of a holiday centered around eating till you're sick and mumbling something about the things in your life you like. Of course, The Fork doesn't eat turkey anymore—and frankly didn't much care for it to begin with—but we're still down with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and such, even if Dorcas Reily, the inventor of green casserole, died earlier this year. We're definitely on the lookout for a good vegetarian gravy this year, too, so shoot us some ideas.
So here we are, with two weeks to go before the big day, planning, conniving and cooking up excuses to get out of traveling to whatever Godless small town our family is guilting us over. Stay tough, y'all, and keep it thankful
Open on Thanksgiving
We made so many calls, dear readers, and have compiled a list of places open for Thanksgiving in case you're one of those people who like that. This is not every last restaurant in town that'll be open, obviously, and some not listed are open but have filled up already. Enjoy.
La Casa Sena
Not only are they taking reservations for the day itself, La Casa Sena does various levels of full-on meals with things like red chile-glazed turkey, roasted lamb, green chile gravy, truffled mashed potatoes and … damn. Sounds good. But it ain’t cheap—we’re talking $179.95 to $199.95, but when you factor in how you didn’t have to do anything, it might be worth it.
A very nice person named Jennifer told us that they’d be open from 1-9 pm on the big day, that reservations are strongly recommended and that despite the prix fixe menu, there are choices during every course. Solid! You should also know that Chef Martin Rios has been nominated for Beard Awards a whole bunch of times. Double-solid!
Plaza Café Southside
OK, they’re not open ALL day, but one of our favorite places to get French toast of all time does hang around till 3 pm. Maybe a pre-dinner brunch?
Fenix at Vanessie
They piano bar, they hotel, they stay open on Thanksgiving.
A very nice person on the phone who didn’t mention a name told us that if you’re ordering pies from the Maven, to try and give them 48 hours notice. A week is better (which means, like, you should hurry), but they’ll do their best, and also their pumpkin pies are outta control.
-Once again, we're excited to feature the Santa Fe Master Gardener Association newsletter in The Fork because we have a soft spot for newsletters, and because writer Peggy Rudberg has broken down some pretty cool Thanksgiving info.
-If you're the type who wants to eschew frozen turkey because factory farming is shameful and disgusting and because you fancy, let it be known that Embudo Valley Organics, otherwise known as the "home of the happy turkey," provides something like 1,000 turkeys every year around this time for people who took a look around and said, "No. Y'know what? I'm fancy!"
-Did you also know that the Plaza lights are flipped on the day after T-Day in Santa Fe? We'd make a tired joke about Christmas music here, but we love those lights—we think they look pretty, OK?!
-If you can get mobile on the big day, Zuni Pueblo is hosting a super-cool event known as the Christmas Light Parade. We hear it's smart to pop in the visitor's center when you get there to pick up more information.
-If you're down Albuquerque way, the Roadrunner Food Bank is always looking for volunteers. Think on that and help out if you have some time.
-In non-Thanksgiving news, did you know that Mayor Alan "Fast Company" Webber has proclaimed November Vegan Awareness Month in Santa Fe? That's cool and all, and we salute vegans, but we're not sure a month is needed in that every vegan we know has made us ACUTELY aware that they're effing vegans at every possible chance they get. Lord knows we were being a sanctimonious prig that three days we went without cheese. Anyway, be aware of veganism for the rest of the month, OK? OK.
¡WEIRD THANKSGIVING INFORMATION ALERT!
In that most of us honestly know very little about the day, here's some stuff we found that's kind of interesting, or should at least kill, like, four minutes:
While George "Wiggity-Wiggity" Washington is known as the guy who made T-Day a federal thing, Thomas "Lazy Susan" Jefferson HATED it so badly because of early aspects of the big day involving prayer that flew in the face of his strong separation-of-church-and-state ideals—so he canceled it during his 1801-1809 presidency and was just like, "Naw!" It wasn't until LL Cool Lincoln held power, tall hats and a mustache-less beard circa 1863 that T-Day came back in an offical capacity.
That Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade you know and love so much (something like 50 million people watch it) started out in the early 1900s as the Christmas Parade in hopes that it would prime big spenders in the weeks leading up to C-Day. It was rebranded in 1927 to be more about Thanksgiving. We'd also mention that the Central Park Zoo used to lend Macy's animals to parade around, but we're pumped to say that doesn't happen anymore. It is Vegan Awareness Month, after all.
The song "Jingle Bells," written by some loser in the 1850s, was originally known as "One Horse Open Sleigh" and really used more as a Thanksgiving thing. It just became so popular that people started to perform the reprise/re-mix come X-mas. And, since our corporate overlords in America pretty much dictate how things go, it was forever tied to the consumerist December holiday.
Reportedly, more people drink in bars on T-Day Eve than any other day of the year. The Fork understands this well, given that our family is terrifying.
Whoever is the sitting US Prez pardons a turkey every year around this time. That's cool—we're glad they're doing something real instead of dealing with the horrors of our country.
Black Friday, the worst day of the year, is not only intense because of the cheap television tramplings that go down in big box stores across America, but because it is reportedly the biggest day of the year for plumbers and toilet fixings. It's so obvious if you think about it.
And finally, one year The Fork's mother used salt instead of sugar in a pumpkin pie by mistake, and it was awful, thereby creating our favorite tradition—lording it over her incessantly until it becomes not funny anymore and everyone goes home angry.
-As eater.com reports, Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa herself) cooked up some potential meals for politicians. For example, says Garten, she might serve Elizabeth Warren "lobster macaroni and cheese." But what about Trump? "A subpoena," Garten said. Booooooom.
-Eater also says we can and should eat pie for breakfast. You got it, eater.com!
-Meanwhile, a New York woman has filed a lawsuit against food company Miyoko's Kitchen for terminology on the package of their vegan butter substitute that might confuse consumers into believing the stuff works the same as butter when it really does not. At $6.99 a package, we might file this one under "live and learn."
-Are you sitting down? You should be, because we now know that there's such a thing as a wine advent calendar. Thank goodness.
-Even though The Fork is all about, ummm…….word usings that make sentences, ummm…goodly worded, we'll give it up to a group of Italian physicists who, through math, deduced the equation for the perfect pizza. It's something about brick fire ovens and proximity to historically significant sites, but still—it's a pursuit both just and noble.
-This is from the end of last month, but still cool and worth reading about: Starbucks has opened the country's fist signing store to cater to deaf and hard-of-hearing coffee drinkers in Washington, DC. Nice one, Starbucks! According to the president of nearby Gallaudet University, a deaf person herself, it expands on the definition of accessibility.
We'll be back next week with more food weirdness and more of our trademarked ability to make readers think "Why do i like this?!?!?!?"
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork's Correspondence
Number of Letters Receieved
*which is sad, because we were gone last week and expected a deluge!
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (edited slightly for length)
“I dunno, Fork, but I love you.”
Actually Helpful Tip (only slightly edited for content)
The one about how just because a New Jersey Dunkin’ served maggots doesn’t mean the Santa Fe one will.
*Duh. And we never said anything of the sort! Also, we hope this reader has bigger fish to fry than who does or doesn’t like Dunkin’.
In this week’s print edition of SFR, find information about the ever-expanding restaurant scene in the Eldorado subdivision. And don’t forget the Restaurant Guide from which said information spawned. We’re also getting to work on our year-end double issue, so keep your eyes peeled for that, and we hope all this Thanksgiving info helped. We know it’s not for a couple weeks, but we figured the next Fork wouldn’t give you enough time!
Don't you, fork-et about us,