Aaaaaaand—We’re Back

We’re back from our glorious Thanksgiving week off wherein we made mashed potatoes with garlic and rosemary that were so perfect, the spirits of Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain and a not-yet-dead Gordon Ramsay (who was probably just having a run of the mill out-of-body experience) appeared in our kitchen to say how awesome we are. Did y’all have OK holidays, too? Hope so. We really do. We hope you were cool and didn’t see a lot of people and just ate as much as you could and so on. So, yeah—we’re back.

And we’re back with something that’ll hopefully help you out a little as we phase into the last horrible month of this last horrible year—a gift guide! Kind of! See, SFR’s regular print edition has one that runs a wide gamut of things that are locally available, and we wanted to do a similar thing that’s a tad more food-based. We hope it helps and that you check out the SFR one because it’s got some pretty good stuff in there.

Here we go:

Gift Cards For Restaurants

It’s a sad but true fact that some of our favorite places might not make it through the pandemic if we don’t support them harder than ever, so instead of buying some dumb iPhone or whatever, buy hundreds of dollars worth of restaurant gift cards to local places. Is your friend or family member into chile? Get ‘em cards from Atrisco, from La Choza, from Posa’s, from Café Castro. Are they into burritos? Get ‘em cards from Burrito Spot, or Burrito Co., or Felipe’s Tacos. Chinese? Yin Yang or Chang’s Dumpling House. Pizza? Try Pizza Centro or Pizzeria Espiritu. Even if such-and-such place doesn’t specifically have gift cards as we know them, we’re betting they’ll figure out how to help you if you just call and ask.

Coffee Subscription

If your stupid friends and family are anything like us, they wake up some days and think “Shit! Why didn’t I get coffee?!” but with a subscription from Ohori’s Coffee Roasters, there’s no reason to fret. Simply visit the site and place whatever coffee or tea you’d like into your cart, then select the subscription service thing once you start checking out. You can pick it up, they can mail it—if you live within the city limits, they’ll even deliver it to you on specified days for a small fee. It’s some of the best coffee in town and it just got soooo much easier.

Cooking Classes

We know SFR just featured this in a print edition, but it bears repeating—you can take cooking classes online from the Santa Fe School of Cooking, and you can even get ingredients you need through the class portals online. What a cool gift and subtle way to say “Stay home, dammit!” at the same time.

Boochin’ It Up

We assume most of our massive audience is in Santa Fe, but even if you’re not and you’re looking for something hippies like, Honeymoon Brewery does gift sets. What is Honeymoon Brewery, you might be asking? Well, it’s a kombucha brewery that marries everybody’s favorite mushroom-based draught with booze. Did somebody say drunk yoga? Anyway, follow the link above for special kits and sets based on the giftee’s preferences. Like, for example, do they like something hoppy? Honeymoon has it. Something a little more all-encompassing? They have it. Check it out and give the things.

Choco-Artistry

We don’t know if you’ve ever had the prickly pear bar from Art of Chocolate/Cacao in Santa Fe—but hear us now: IT IS AMAZING. And that’s only the beginning. The celebrated Midtown choco/coffee spot (try their coffee, too, btw) has all kinds of cool gift sets like a six-pack of brownies plus coffee, 8 oz or 1lb cacao nib bags, a care package crammed with coffee and assorted chocos—plus candles, soaps, lip balms, truffles and more. Seriously, this place rules.

Breaded to the Max

You know how bread is, like, one of three things all cultures everywhere just happened to do before ever engaging with any other cultures (the other two are making swords and making booze)? That’s probably because bread kicks ass, and in Santa Fe, Bread Shop bread kicks ass. By the time you read this, the shop will have returned from a brief holiday break, and they’ve got all kinds of loaves, gift cards, olive oils, salts, jams—and knives (kind of like swords)—and other little things you could ever want. So adorbs, so good for gifting.

Chile, Chile, Chile

OK, so we get that you might think of this as touristy or whatever if you live in Santa Fe, but check out The Chile Shop. No, seriously, check them out. They’ve got soooooo many things and sooooo much chile. In fact, they even have an entire section on the website called “Gift Ideas” that seriously has some good-ass gift ideas. Like, a chile ristra that’s actually made of lights? Rad. Cool spoon rests for cooks? For sure. A chile windsock? Tubular. Books, bags, coasters, bowls and retablos? Beyond brugal to the ultimate max times a billion!

BOOZE!

If all else fails, Google “New Mexico winery” or “New Mexico distillery” or “New Mexico brewery” and get something from anyplace in this state. They’re all pretty good. Like Gruet. Or Noisy Water. Or Vara. Or Santa Fe Spirits. Or Tumbleroot. Or Santa Fe Brewing Company. Or Second Street Brewery. Or Bosque. Or, or, or, or, or........gift cards galore. Make it happen. Keep it local. Hang 10.

Of course, we’ll sure you’ll tell us about any places or things we dared miss. Just maybe try to not drag our mom into it this time? Thanks! Oh, and as always—we’ll probably share the best things you suggest.

Also

-New Mexico food banks are set to receive $5 million in funding that came out of the special legislative session to help bring more meals to hungry people throughout the state. If recent social media chatter about demand is any indication, this couldn’t come soon enough.

-You know the New York Deli on Catron Street? It’s good! And it’s also changing its name to New York on Catron (apt). Apparently the business that bore a striking menu similarity and name to the Southside’s New York Deli is owned by different people, so this is, like a move to help alleviate any confusion.

-The Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute Executive Director Kierstan Pickens announced she’ll step down from the role at the end of the year. In an email, Pickens says she wants to thank anyone who supported the institute over the years, and that a recent $50,000 grant should go a long way toward helping things along.

-Speaking of the Farmers Market, they’ve got an online gift shop up right now. Here’s a link. Go to it. Spend the dollars. Support the farmers.

-Albuquerque’s Sawmill Market food hall (like a food court but fancy) is all about to-go food. We get this might not help the Santa Feans, but if you’re in Albuquerque, you should know it’s open and ready.

-We’re hearing you’re maybe interested in an updated takeout list featuring restaurants doing takeout. We’re waiting to hear a little bit more about the state’s new red-to-green framework pandemic response thing before we get into it, but know this—the next few months are going to be crucial for restaurants. So please just assume whatever place you love would love to hear from you and try to put in an order. Reminder, though, that The Cowgirl will not be around for the next three months, Il Piatto is done-zo for now and if we don’t keep it real with all these places still doing things, we’ll be having lots of “Why didn’t I order sooner?!” convos coming up.

More Tidbits

-Apparently the McRib is back at McDonald’s across the country this week. Hooray? We’ve never had one because Jesus, why would we? But if you’re in the market for one, there’s a site that crowdsources sightings of the somehow illustrious (and also gross) sandwich. Here’s a link to that, weirdos.

-Keeping it going with the gift theme, HuffPost has some ideas for the chefs in our lives. And we’re about to become more serious if for no other reason than the color aesthetics on some of these things are cool! Also, should we get an air fryer? We keep thinking about it but are still dumbfounded by the concept of air frying something. We don’t even know if that’s how it works, and no—we’re not going to look it up.

-Generally speaking, we like to share the social writing from eater.com, but we’re not about to argue with the site’s new piece about the best cookie recipes around according to its editors. This reminds us that we have developed our own oatmeal cookie recipe...would you like to see it? You would! We’ll include it below!

L’Fork’s Patented-Ass Oatmeal Cookie Recipe!

OK, so we’ve developed this recipe over the years into the kind of thing we personally love—but we’re not sure if everyone else will. If you actually make these cookies, will you let us know? We don’t often share our recipes with the world because we figure why would people want to make something suggested by a faceless abomination with no name—but we promise you this cookie’s gooooooooood! We also want to encourage you to not worry so much about making it the exact same way as listed. Most of our touches were brought into play by messing around.

Here we go!

You’ll Need:

  • A full-ass stick, maybe a stick and a half, of softened butter (leave it on the counter to soften, jeeze)
  • 3 full-ass cups of steel cut oats
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup (or a full-ass cup if you’re nasty—just make sure it’s real maple)
  • 2 eggs (or even 3, but note that 3 will make the mix more wet than seems right, but that just makes them crispier around the edges in the end, promise)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • As many chocolate chips as you think you can handle, but maybe start with 1 cup and go from there
  • An intimate knowledge of what “folding” versus “mixing” means, and when to implement those things without being told
  • You probably scoffed at that last item, but we’re making cookies here, so it’ll probably all be OK as long as they taste OK

Next:

  • Get a pretty big-ass bowl out and also a wooden spoon or rubber spatula or whatever you mix with (we don’t fuck with mixers because they’re scary).
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss the butter, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, eggs and oats into that bowl and start mixing them together by hand until they start coming together. You’ll feel it in your heart.
  • Add those oats and keep on stirring.
  • Add that maple syrup gradually while continuing to mix it all up.
  • Add those choco chips.
  • Voila, it starts to come together, possibly a little drier than you thought, but you can add another egg if you feel weird.
  • Let it sit and maybe do the following fully optional things.

The Optional Things:

  • We’ve been known to make a firm peak whipped cream or merengue in case we want to sandwich two cookies together...to do that, pour a container of heavy cream in a bowl and whisk like an emmer-effer until it’s thick and good (or use an electric mixer/beater thing...add however much sugar feels right to you).
  • We’ve also been known to melt down some milk chocolate to dip the bottoms of the cookies in. This means you have to wait until they cool enough to dip without coming apart, but to get uniformed melted choco, the name of the game is slow and steady...you can get hunks of choco at just about any store.
  • Either way, these things are up to you...just know that one or both together is awesome.

After You Do That (Or Not):

  • Ball up that dough using a spoon or your hand or whatever works for you (you’ll feel it in your heart)
  • Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet about an inch apart...they’ll expand, so just try to imagine how much they’ll expand and eyeball it
  • Bake them for about 12 minutes, though every oven is different so after about 10 minutes, maybe flip on that oven light and see where you’re at
  • Pull ‘em out and let ‘em cool
  • Maybe add the choco-dipped bottom, maybe sandwich around the whipped cream—maybe both? Your call!

Can We Talk About the Maple Syrup Part?

  • It’s a good idea right?
  • Yeah, it is!
  • Is that something you’ve often put into cookies? We’ve asked around and a lot of people told us they’re not familiar with doing that. We love it, though.
  • Seriously, send some photos if you make these. And reviews. We know not every cookie is for everyone, but these ones are tasty.

Can We Talk About the Choco-Bottoms?

  • That’s our favorite-ass way

And the Whipped Cream?

  • Good on everything, right? Right!

Did You Notice There Isn’t Specifically Sugar in the Recipe?

  • There’s not, but between the syrup and the cinnamon and vanilla and optional whipped cream and/or choco, you’ll be fine!

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, the real writers went full-on gift guide, plus a cool movie about Shane MacGowan!

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A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received

39

*Many people with many turkey feelings and WKRP in Cincinnati feelings

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)

“I’ don’t give a shit about COVID and I won’t let it affect my travel plans!”

*Ummm, but you should.

Actually Helpful Tip

“Mars got rid of the Mars bar, because they offered the Snickers with almonds in its place. Damn you easy marketing gimmicks. Do not be betrayed by imported Mars for those are just Milky Ways.”

*Easily one of the most significant bummers of our lifetime, but still good to know.

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Have yourselves a Forky little cookie,

The Fork

This is a how the McRib is made video, and we hid this all the way down here to not detract from the good-ass cookie recipe.