As we wind down to the end of the year, we’ve got a lot of feelings. It’s just been a whirl of wind, hasn’t it? Almost like we somehow had an entire year that didn’t exist? And many years from now, this period will be a paragraph in history books—the great COVID-19 pandemic of 2020...the year they changed the water. We don’t know, just kidding. Like you, however, we’re ready for it to be over. At this point, if arbitrary new beginnings based on calendars and little else are more welcome than whatever hellish time loop we feel like we’ve been stuck inside. Today’s the day the food starts, or at least gets better? All we know is L’Forkette ordered another pie from Whoo’s Donuts for the big day, so whatever else happens, at least there’s that. We’re sorry to say by the time you read this it’ll be too late for you to order your own Whoo’s pie, but, like, you can support the place in 2021 if you so choose.

Otherwise, the gift we’ve chosen to give ourselves is a nice and easy edition of The Fork. We don’t know if you know this, but our food (adjacent) newsletter is painstakingly crafted by hand week after week (except on special weeks when we rest), and we think it’s pretty long and enjoyable and full of cool information, and we also think it doesn’t have that gross-ass, disingenous contempo-influencer air that’s all like, “Hey, guys, it’s us, The Fork. We just discovered a wonderful guava face scrub we can’t live without. Make sure you blah blah blah.” We try to be real with you, so here’s us being real: We could’ve done one of our patented history lessons, we could’ve gone down the rabbit hole on Christmas goose or made Dickens jokes. We could have been like “Here’s some cookie recipes we found that sound awesome!” or “Don’t eat a field roast, new vegetarians—it’s not worth it!”

But, like, what are we? Made of time? Do we just have all day to be like “Yule is a Scandinavian thing celebrated as far back as the Vikings, and they celebrated from December 21 through January—the whole-ass month of January?”

Just imagine if we were like, “Sure, it’s kind of Jesus-themed now, but the only reason we associate Christmas with Mr. Christ is because in 330-something AD, Pope Julius I CHOSE THAT DATE to better assimilate the pagan festival of Saturnalia, wherein the pagans tried to bone Saturn (and yes—we mean the planet)?

Who has the time right now?

Are we just so without responsibilities that we can spend precious hours leading up to the holiday by writing something like “Pretty much the reason geese are associated with Christmas is because they’re extra fat and juicy toward the end of the year because certain crops started dropping their yields as it got colder so said geese are all full of corn?”

Because we don’t really care about you. What? You think we looked up a bunch of cookie recipes, wading through nonstop “This is the actual best cookie of the season!” claims, then showing our friends with kids what we’d found and asking them which one sounded the best for family time? For what it’s worth, they said this one from favfamilyrecipes.com looked like it would be the most fun to use as an activity for kids, but we don’t care if you actually do it.

Nor do we care that the Santa we all know, who dresses in red and is always drinking a Coke for some reason, was dreamt up by artist Haddon Sundblom as an ad campaign for Coke. Sundblom DID do art for Playboy later in life, which we actually DO what you to know. That one bit of information’s on us, Fork Fans.

This is how it happens, Fork Fans. We set out to do kicky little “Veggie chips suck,” pieces and wind up here. In reality, though, we’re pretty into it. It’s fun and you talk to us. And hear us now as we say with sincerity that we know this year has been hard, that things are only getting incrementally better, that the $600 the government wants to send you feels like the insult cherry on top of the insult sundae that has been 2020...but we also know that whatever commercialism has seeped into this time of the year, it doesn’t change how it brings out some of the best in all of us. Maybe you can’t see people like you normally would (and we’re begging you not to go places and get people sick...BEGGING!), but you can still revel in the love if you’re lucky enough to have people who love you.

If that fails, here’s a Christmas goose recipe from Gordon Ramsay. Who says you have to make it December 25? Pope Julius I? Joke’s on him—he’s been dead for hundreds of years!

Also

-We’ve mentioned Palace Prime before. It’s the new Santa Fe restaurant going into the old Palace Saloon location on—get this—Palace Avenue. Turns out Chef Fernando Ruiz is ready to go as of this week (Dec. 23, which would be yesterday if you’re reading this the day it comes out, which would be a Thursday...and Sunday comes afterwaaaaaards). Anyway, here’s a link to the newest piece of info we have. Go wild.

-We’ve also mentioned this before, but we feel it bears repeating, because smoked meats. Don’t forget that Cristian Pontiggia, the big ol’ chef at Sasella, has opened a deli for the pandemic times. Think of it like a version of the restaurant you can take to-go. Or don’t. Whatever.

-We’re telling you a little early, both because we’re off next week and because we want you to have time to plan, but National Bagel Day is coming up on Jan. 15. Not to be confused with National Bagels and Lox Day, which falls on Feb. 9, this annual bread-with-holes holiday is a great excuse to reacquaint yourselves with Boultawn’s. You don’t need to send us “Actually, in New York, where I am from...” emails, because we’re really just in it for delicious green chile bagels. We’ve even heard tell of other offers at bagel spots, but it’s embargoed information. We’re not kidding, though we’re unsure what world we’re living in when we need to keep bagel deals under wraps.

-Santa Fe’s Beck and Bulow meat sellers are opening a butcher shop. You heard that right, carnivores and omnivores—Santa Fe’s getting a new butcher shop. “A return to old world butchery in this fast-paced digital world is something that Santa Fe is missing,” says CEO Tony Beck in a recent press release, “and we’re providing that.” The new building will be near the St. Michael’s/Cerrillos Road intersection (though we don’t have a specific address just yet) and will reportedly feature a mural from nationally-renowned Santa Fe muralist Sebastian Vela, who goes by VELA.

-If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea, you can’t go wrong with a gift card for the Santa Fe Farmers Market/Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Find those in $5 increments here.

-Merry Christmas to our buds at Edible New Mexico who just released the kickass Family Issue. It’s full of great stories (and a recipe for chile rojo con carne that looks bonkers good.

-What do you know about Stokli? Is it nothing? OK, just bear with us here. Stokli is a Santa Fe-based online general store dedicated to the growers and makers of the Southwest. For a nominal yearly fee, you can shop the site and be sure 100% of the money spent on the thing goes to the people who grew or made it. It’s pretty cool, and there are sooooo many offerings. Just click the link above and take a little test drive.

-Lastly in local news this week, astute and kind Fork reader Michaelene K. wrote to let us know folks can choose to link their Smith’s card to a charity of their choosing, and then the store will donate a small percentage of that purchase to the charity. As our new best friend says “It is a small amount, but it is better than nothing!” Indeed—so just do it.

SNL has been quite awful for a long, long time, but we do like this, so deal with it.

More Tidbits

-Only ’90s kids will remember that clinging to nostalgia will never bring you back those feelings of youth you’re still chasing, but that that won’t stop Doritos from re-releasing their ’90s-era favorites Doritos 3D. We’d point out that all chips are, in fact, three-dimensional, but these ones are kind of puffy. Ironically, we don’t give one shit about these but long for a time when we ate meat and the Doritos taco from Taco Bell was a part of our lives. That’s really more of an eight years ago thing, too.

-A former employee of celeb chef David Chang has an interesting piece up on eater.com about Chang’s new memoir. Its author, Hannah Selinger, says that while Chang at least tries to account for a high level of rage, he doesn’t much do anything to pursue accountability over the trauma he caused employees through that rage. Anyone who has worked in foodservice can tell you kitchens are not always the nicest places and that screaming is often the norm. As we evolve as people, however, it’s nice to think of a quality restaurant not being a whole nightmarish and dictatorial experience for the folks doing the cooking. Anyway, Selinger’s piece is an interesting read.

-If you follow this link, you’ll just come to a page with 10 pasta recipes. You’re welcome.

-TikTok, which we believe is some kind of bus, released its Food Trends of 2020 List, which includes things like hazelnut spread and ice cream cake and both donut and pancake cereals. We don’t think those things sound year-specific, but whatevs.

-Speaking of food trends, it’s kind of enjoyable to go back in time and see what experts were predicting at the beginning of the year. Did Eastern medicine make its way into our food? Did hybrid veggies become a thing? Note that any predictions made in 2020 are subject to the garbage fire year loophole wherein nothing counts and life in meaningless.

-This is from almost 10 years ago, but for some reason Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in gingerbread house form has been dancing in our heads. It’s pretty cool!

Finally

The print edition of SFR is all about winter, and that includes some pretty amazing-looking cookies and a format that’s different from the rest of the year! The SFR staff (and, by extension, us) will be off for the next week or so, so we hope this tides you over into 2021. You’re all great!

A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received 39 *Y’all love Ryan’s abuelita as much as we do!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader) “Do you need to resort to filth?” *Yes.

Actually Helpful Tip That Smith’s card thing from the local section is excellent and we hope a lot of people sign up! *L’sigh

Like some sort of horrible, shambling Baby New Year, The Fork