You’ve Been Warned

Here are some thoughts you’re probably having about this week’s episode of L’Fork being about Valentine’s Day, and explanations as to why you are incorrect:

“But, The Fork—it’s not for many days!”

False. It’s a mere 10 days away from the date we send these out, possibly later depending on when you see this week’s edition.

“But, The Fork—my partner doesn’t care about V-Day!”

False. They do, even if they say they don’t. In fact, ESPECIALLY if they say they don’t.

“But, The Fork—we can’t just go out into the world and eat someplace romantic!”

True-ish, but you can bet the usual suspect type restaurants will be doing prix fixe something or other. Bet on it.

“But, The Fork—I’m sad right now, nothing feels good anymore and the thought of doing anything special seems hard when I’ve barely been out of my pajama pants in months!”

OK, fair enough, we get it, but if there’s a time to try and get it together, it’s probably now.

One of the things we really like about L’Forkette is that she’s kind of a sucker for holidays, but not in the way you’d think. No, she’s not jumping on the bed come Feb. 14 screaming about diamonds and shit, and she doesn’t really lord it over anyone else who doesn’t love holidays because of those many Christmas mornings during which Papa Fourchette sat us down and said “Petite Fourchette, vos cadeaux dovient etra perdus par la poste!” But you can always count on her picking up some kind of treat. Heart-shaped candy, for example. She’ll also put out our tiny, adorable Christmas tree like clockwork (sorry, Papa Fourchette...you’re kind of the worst). You can also probably bet on a decent meal. Because she cares, dammit! And, really, that’s all anyone is looking for—proof that someone cares (though, ladies, we’d point out that you can bring the romance, too, rather than just sitting there wondering why your partner sucks).

A few small ideas:

-The Chocolate Maven sells all kinds of treats and even ships if you’re not from around these parts but are dying for a specialty box of choco-cherry brownies or heart-shaped cakes or cookies. Order here.

-Why chocolate so specifically has become the V-Day treat du jour is anyone’s guess, but Kakawa Chocolate House has alllllll kinds of good stuff. Order here.

-As we said before, local restaurants are right now feverishly putting together menus with such daring items as grilled salmon and some kind of chicken thing, plus potatoes (mashed, probably), veggies (probably asparagus) and some kind of soup that you know well...butternut squash, maybe? They’ll also for sure do creme brulee and maybe a strawberry shortcake because strawberries are red, like your engorged-with-love heart. Will we list them all? God, no. That would take a lot of phone calls and emails and we’ve got things to do. Can you find them on your own? Yes! We believe in you? Why, then, are you reading The Fork? Pshshsht—because you love us.

If you’re not obsessed with Billy Bragg, are you even living? Valentine’s Day is NOT OVER YET. But you don’t wanna end up like Billy...making songs with Wilco like a jerk.

If a holiday’s coming up, you know what that means, regulars! THAT’S RIGHT, YOU BEAUTIFUL EFFING PEOPLE!!!!!

A Totally and 100% Truly Accurate Fact Lesson: V-Day Edition!!!!

-While most of us think of V-Day as an enduring tribute to the slaughter of Vally “St. Valentine” Valens, a guy who did some kind of thing for people who wanted to get married or gorge themselves on Russell Stover candies in...some year...some historians now think there was maybe some other guy called Valentine who tried to bust Christians out of prison, then wound up in prison himself. The legend goes, he sent himself a note with a crude early drawing of the “Hang in there!” kitten for some reason, which is why we now send ourselves flowers at work from our “partner.”

-The day we know and dread didn’t become a real holiday until the 1300s thanks to people in the middle ages winding up with too much chocolate and searching for a way to sell it. Naw, jay-kay. It WAS in the 1300s that it became associated with love, though. Before then, it was just dusty, old-ass Pope Gelasius’ order that it be about sainthood and stuff. Stupid church.

-In the 1993 episode of The Simpsons dubbed “I Love Lisa,” a young Ralph Wiggum gives Lisa “Sax-a-ma-phone” Simpson a card reading “I Choo-choo-choose You” with a picture of a train emblazoned ‘pon its cover. Ever since, totally awesome and funny and just, like, really clever and smart people have held onto the joke like some sort of comedy barnacle even though it was only mildly funny to begin with (and that episode’s real yuks come from the radio DJs). Anyway, we bring this up because did you know mass-produced V-Day cards only became a thing in 1840? That’s not even all that long ago for a thing we now all feel like we have no choice but to do. Giving flowers for the day dates back earlier, to King Charles II of Sweden. Boosh.

-Nearly 150 million V-Day cards are given out annually these days. Yikes. This is interesting and coincidental, as Russell Stover’s candies disappoint nearly 150 million V-Day revelers annually.

-Conversation hearts began as medicated lozenges thanks to one Oliver Chase, a Boston pharmacist who created a way to make simple meds but then switched to candy like them hearts and Necco wafers (everybody’s least favorite candy). Does anyone know if they have dirty but respectful conversation hearts out there? Like, ones that read “That Butt,” or, like, “Let Us Do It Together Consensually?” We’d wanna know.

-Something like 6 million people get engaged on V-Day, which we guess is smart if you’re bad at remembering anniversaries, but also, wouldn’t you wonder if it was just about the pressure of the day? Like, all sitcoms have one of those “Oh, no! I forgot it’s V-Day!” episodes, and this would save you from that, maybe, but isn’t it kind of like wanting to buy a condo in some weird town where you had a great vacation? Like, it’s great, but it’s not quite real on that day, you know? Are we making sense?

Also

-In the SFR offices, a friendly fight broke out over who has the better fries—Palacio or Cleopatra? We know y’all have really strong fry thoughts, so we’re not asking you, but rather TELLING YOU, that it’s a tie. They both have great fries.

-We received word that a canned alcoholic bevvie called RancH20 will soon be available at Santa Fe retailers. What is it? Why, it’s carbonated liquor in a can. No, it’s not hard seltzer—it’s liquor, friends. We can’t decide if it’s awesome or sad that someone reading this just thought “FINALLY!” but we can tell you that we don’t know how to say the name. Is it “Ranch-Twenty?” Is it “Ranc-H-Two-Oh?” Is it “Ranch-Two-Oh?” It’s very confusing. Here’s the site.

-If you’re still looking for V-Day treats, the folks at Vinaigrette/Modern General are offering up cherry heart pies. You must order by Feb. 11 to for sure get one. Know that.

-Y’know, many people ask us “The Fork? When will we have access to quality, movie theater caliber popcorn again?” We just laugh, tousle their hair and say, “Don’t worry, dear reader, for Violet Crown Cinema is now in the popcorn/candy game every Saturday alongside the Farmer’s Market.” That’s right, frenz, from 10 am-1 pm, you can get a candy and a bag o’ popcorn for just $5. They also have one of those virtual cinemas going.

-Despite our fave blog Hut Life, telling us it had happened, we learned the hard way that you can’t quite get Detroit style pizza at Santa Fe’s Pizza Hut. We will say this, though, for the pan pizza we got with mushrooms, olives and red onion—not bad at all. Tasted like when we were a petite fourchette.

Obviously.

More Tidbits

-Since we live in a world wherein people whine things like “WHEN IS THE SHAMROCK SHAKE COMING BACK TO MCDONALD’S?!” through their bespittled lips, we just wanted to let you know that the Shamrock Shake (it’s green, we have no idea what it tastes like) is returning to the fast food chain, and soon! There will also reportedly be a Shamrock Oreo McFlurry, though we’re not sure about the green/black color scheme for a sweet treat.

-Follow this link to a video of Claire Saffitz (who rules) making a coffee cake that we really would also like to eat. Like, we don’t 100% want to make it so much as we want Claire to float down, coffee cake in hand, and just give it to us. Anyway, in the vid, she’ll teach you how to do it at home.

-With food delivery apps becoming ubiquitous as hell (or UAH if you’re nasty), smaller restaurants that don’t want to deal with all the money-grab bullshit to which the apps so obviously aspire are having to get smart by offering up their own delivery versions or working with other small local companies. Do what you can for the little person, that’s what we always say. Learn more here.

-You know that thing where it’s bread but, like, you just rip out a chunk to eat it? We think they’re called “Li’l Chunkies?” Anyway, the folks at delish-dot-com gathered nearly two-dozen Li’l Chunkies recipes for your making pleasure.

-We’re told Super Bowl LV is going down this Sunday, Feb. 7. We don’t much care because sports are meaningless and we just don’t wonder about who threw what ball with what apparatus through or into what receptacle, but we do like weird food and reasons to eat it, so check out this piece from the ancient year of 2012. It’s there that the fine folks of HuffPost count down bonkers Super Bowl food items.

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, editor/publisher Julie Ann Grimm recounts her sourdough journey while relating it to Lonesome freaking Dove—and all in three moves or less.A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received 30 *We’re hoping how much we don’t give a shit about the Super Bowl means a few more letters.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader) “Nescafé is extremely popular in parts of Europe (along with Fanta orange), and what people will do is pour a packet of dry Nescafé into a glass and then pour a Coke over it. And stir, once it stops blowing over with foam. Yummmmm. Fortunately I didn’t have to do any of the driving, but I met a guy who had a job delivering used BMWs down from Germany and he swore by it.” *We asked Rachel T. if the guy is still alive..because of the Coke-coffee. She doesn’t know.

Actually Helpful Tip “Next time you’re in Telluride, try the 3-1-3 from Brown Dog Pizza.” *Thanks for that, Jeff D. We might even drive up there right this second for that if not for this lousy pandemic.

There should be a rapper called Shamrock Snake, The Fork