Planning Makes Perfect (Or Something)
One of the best things about being The Fork is that we get to eat out a lot. It's a bullet we're taking for the team for more than one reason, but suffice it to say we just want to be up-to-date on all the restaurants out there and how good they taste. Here's a breaking bit of info: Santa Fe has a lot of amazing restaurants.
We'll be clear that we're still ordering in as much as we can right now, particularly from restaurants we can't imagine living without (like Felipe's Tacos…again…from where we just scarfed a gloriously delicious burrito), but we're also cooking at home more regularly these days and, in an effort to keep from having to go to the store any more than is absolutely necessary, getting into the idea of meal planning. We've most often been the sort who prefers to decide what to eat in the moment, but everything is changing and it's harder to live like that, so—what to do?
We're hopefully going to devise an effective plan, we're hopefully going to devise our own recipes. We're hopefully going to let go of the idea that heating up a frozen whatever from Trader Joe's is the same as something fresh. From our buds who take cooking and meal planning to a whole new level, here's three things we've gleaned are the most important:
- Make a list
We’ve always just gone to the store and gotten what looks good, but as we’re starting to plan more to avoid leaving the house as much as possible, we’ve been keeping an ongoing list that we edit based on mood, time, available items, etc. In other words, anytime we think something sounds like it would be good to eat, we add potential ingredients to our list and then change, pull or alter them when necessary.
- Have decent equipment
It’s possible a lot of why your home cooking situation sucks is the stuff you have. We know money is tight all over just now, but even some basic upgrades (bigger pan, sharper knife, etc.) can help.
- Really think about how food affects your mood
Right now tensions are high, and while we can knock back oven pizzas with the best of ’em, we’re trying to eat more kale, more mushrooms, more spinach, more produce that keeps us upbeat. This might fall under the header of “research,” and it might strike you as silly, but our home cook friends all said (unprovoked) that they’ve been forced to take stock of their moods and implement that into their planning.
Of course, that's just three small things, and even then, these are just starting points that feed directly into all sorts of other questions. Plus, even if you do those things, that doesn't mean you magically know how to cook. Luckily, there's a whole gigantic-ass world out there full of tutorial videos. It all depends on what you like, but this week we'll ask you—did you know the Santa Fe School of Cooking is doing its part to help out Santa Feans by offering a series of free cooking instructional videos? It's true, and there are already a few up now, including red chile and pork tamales. ¡Orale!
You'll find others on the site, too!
If it's ingredients you're after, we've heard horror stories about delivery times through grocery apps such as Instacart (though, to be fair, some folks we know got their food quickly, so who knows what's up), but they're not the only game in town. There is, for example, Squash Blossom, which we've mentioned before lots of times because it's amazing and which will deliver fancy-ass veggies your way for a nominal fee. We also just learned this week that restaurant distributor Just the Best is going the home delivery route with amazing fresh veggies and amazing seafood. There's reportedly a $40 minimum for orders, but that's OK because it'll be a loooooooot of stuff and we're all doing what we can to keep local biz alive right now.
Meat-eaters might wanna think about the Dr. Field Goods Butcher right now. They're open a few days a week still, and head butcher Gabe Archuletta is a beast when it comes to killer cuts. Homeboy literally went to culinary school to butcher the best for you. Side note? Archuletta is one of our all-time favorite local musicians—he's a beast on the drums, too! Follow the shop on Facebook for the most current information.
Desserts aren't always easy because as we've learned time and time again on television baking shows, that kind of alchemy just doesn't come naturally to everyone. Still, if you're looking for a fun way to learn to do some intricate things, Fork favorite program The Great British Baking Show has a master class series available on Netflix. It's as good a place as any to start. We can also recommend the New York Times cooking section which we grant you has a paywall, but making kickass desserts might be worth the few bucks. There is, to our knowledge, no home delivery service specifically for baking ingredients but, thanks to a recent article by our frenemies at the Santa Fe New Mexican, we know that local delivery service Fetch will get any weird-ass thing you want. To be honest, we already knew about Fetch, but we believe it's the duty of all local newspapers right now to signal boost other newspapers. Anyway, Fetch could probably bring you baking stuff.
Lastly in this week's opening comments, our editor reached out to our friend Natalie Bovis, aka The Liquid Muse, to hear about what kind of cocktail she might recommend right now. Ever the champion, Bovis made us a special one-off video to literally show you how to make it—and it's called Fork It (which we love).
We'd also remind you that Bovis is the mind behind the Cocktails and Culinary Festival, which sadly will probably be postponed this year but is otherwise glorious and annual and annually glorious. If you're even slightly interested in the finer points of cocktails and such, join Bovis' Facebook group, The Liquid Muse Cocktail and Culinary Club. You'll find a cavalcade of helpful information and soon you'll be some kind of cocktail genius.
As for the vid? Check it out here:
¡Where to Donate Alert!
We're going to keep the donation box thing going for awhile right now to remind you that if your'e in a comfortable position right now, it might be worth thinking about the people who aren't. If you can't imagine having to exist right now without food security, we invite you to think about how some people live this way every single day. Please, if you can, donate to some of these things below.
-Last week week, SFR brought you a story about Tesuque Village Market launching a pilot crowdfunding program to feed essential workers in the healthcare field (and hopefully to bring some of their own employees back to work), and we're happy to report that as of this writing, that campaign is up to over $4,500! If you wanna learn more or donate, you can do that here.
-Not only is Arroyo Vino offering a rotating menu of amazing takeout options on the regular, we hear the restaurant and wine shop has managed to hold onto all of its employees at this trying time. At $39 for a three-course prix fixe meal, it's a bargain, too! Oh, and they offer wine pairing suggestions.
-You may have heard that the governor ordered all liquor stores to close for the next little bit, and while we understand the kneejerk reaction is to make jokes about alcoholism, we'd point out that people struggling with alcohol addiction have every right to feel tense about that and do not deserve to die, which is a very real possibility. Luckily, grocery stores will still be selling booze.
-Meanwhile, at 35 North Coffee, folks can order subscriptions, get curbside pickup or even have it delivered (depending on where you live).
-Speaking of fantastic coffee, the very nice folks at REMIX Audio Bar donated some fresh stuff to the SFR staff during our recent deadline day. If that's not neighborly love, we don't know what is. Note that we all remained socially distant, and that the coffee was sooooo delicious and sooooo well timed that we could've cried. Thanks, REMIX!
^^^^^^^^^…it was so good!
-Turns out the Instacart advice we gave earlier isn't so ideal (which we say knowing there are plenty of people who will have no other choice and understanding that that's OK)—something like 150,000 workers are threatening to strike because of poor conditions. As always, we salute the people out there delivering things right now. We don't think it's a stretch to say people might not make it without them.
-Meanwhile, it's looking more and more bleak for restaurants across the country as our federal government continues to botch any form of assistance in this vital time, especially in the financial realm. Banks say they're not ready to help with loans yet, and even if they do, the interest rates are absurd. This makes it all the more important to order in when you can, folks.
-If you'd like to have an idea about how much the restaurant situation is fraught with peril, read this story about a North Carolina town where everything is about restaurants and potential closure could spell disaster. It's not so different in Santa Fe, especially with this summer's three major arts markets each announcing they'd cancel this year (that'll mean a lot of lost revenue for artists, but also for restaurants and hotels).
–This right here is just a link to a recipe for churros. We just thought you should know how to do that. We're gonna do it. We love churros.
-Not to be alarmist at this time, but HuffPost has some good advice for washing your produce in the coronavirus era. Let's all just try to do the small things, right? Like, if we do that and are extra careful, maybe we'll turn this around sooner than later.
Yeah, it's true, Easter is coming up on Sunday, April 12. And yeah, it's also true that many local restaurants are going to be offering stuff…like, special to-go brunches and what have you. We're not really big celebrators of the holiday (we're glad Jesus could get back up and around after dying and everything, though)—so we're not going to get into a whole thing. Just know that we knew, and we decided to do other things. No disrespect intended anyplace, and we hope those of you who observe have a great day while maintaining your distance from everyone. Sadly, this includes the pilgrimage to Chimayo, but it's better to be healthy than stubborn, right? Happy Easter, jabronis!
P.S. Maybe do an extra big/good job of hiding eggs for your kids if you want to get a little break going come Sunday?
In the print edition of SFR, our culture editor went looking into how two local organizations are feeding food-insecure youths.
A quick note before we get to the correspondence section: You were all wonderful this last week. So many kind and encouraging words which, frankly, we can all use right now. Keep being your wonderful selves!
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork's Correspondence
Number of Letters Received
*Still full of sincerity and nice-ness!
Most Helpful Tip of the Week
“Have you ever eaten anything?”
*We sure have, Like, all kinds of things, even!
Actually Helpful Tip
Numerous readers reached out with additions to SFR's ongoing list of restaurants open for takeout and/or delivery at this time. We're doing our best to keep it going while we're slammed with so many other things, and please make sure to note that every restaurant title is also a link that'll whisk you away to their sites, many of which you can order from directly online!
*Trés helpful, frenz!
Hopefully full of churros soon,