#48 | Plastic, Entrances & Exits, and Going Green
A few years ago, someone working in the packaging industry informed us that beer bottled in plastic was right around the corner. Naturally, we recoiled in horror. Drink a chilled craft lager out of a squishy plastic bottle? Feel the beer warming and sloshing and going flat in its container? Know that for each ale consumed, we would be liable for the deaths of countless marine animals? Thankfully, said someone was wrong. We turned out not to be the only customer who didn’t want squishy beer bottles.
But they were also kinda right. Because we ARE liable for the deaths of countless marine mammals. This is true even though we make a pretty solid effort not to be. Like when we go out to eat in a restaurant we used to like and our food is served in a styrofoam container in a plastic bag even though we’re dining in. Or when we go to a place with counter service, and we ask for a glass of water, and we are pointed in the direction of a stack of single-use plastic cups and a water pitcher. Not to mention when we order takeout or delivery, knowing full well that unless we are frequenting one of the very choicest, most responsible establishments, at least some amount of plastic will be involved in transmitting the food to our table.
Guess what? We are not writing to inform you that we have the solution to this problem. We are not even writing to tell you that Melanie Stansbury has a solution to this problem, although her email about a bill that would make the National Park Service stop selling water in disposable plastic products is one of the reasons we’re having this conversation at all. We think not selling plastic water bottles is generally a pretty good idea. But we also know that people find weird ways to get around these things, so we recommend that the folks in the House be careful about their wording. Like, what exactly is disposable, anyway? According to some, isn’t this whole planet disposable? We think we heard someone say that the other day, or at least we heard them mean it.
Postscript: we know glass is a problem too. The End.
Just kidding. The cool thing about glass, in addition to the fact that seabirds don’t choke on it, is that there might be a solution in sight, at least for wine bottles. It’s called lightweighting. We hope some New Mexico wineries get on the bandwagon.
We’ve consulted Diana Kennedy’s archives to find recipes for green mole and frijoles de olla, chilaquiles and sopas. Sometimes it’s the simplest ones that stick, like the beautiful salsa de chile de árbol, made from grinding toasted chiles de árbol, charred tomatillos, and garlic with salt and warm water in a molcajete. And sometimes we read the recipes and stories and methods she collected not because we plan to pluck a chicken by hand or prepare limones rellenos de cocada but just to read.
Kennedy died last week, at age ninety-nine, in her longtime home in Michoacán.
Entrances & Exits
Nosa Restaurant & Inn has moved into what used to be Rancho de San Juan Inn in Ojo Caliente. Chef Graham Dodds, most recently of Dallas, is doing a soft opening in the form of prix fixe weekend lunches while waiting on his liquor license and such. The deal is currently cash/check only, and reservations are required: make them at email@example.com or 214-924-4746.
The Compound has a new executive chef: Chef Weston Ludeke comes to Santa Fe by way of Charlottesville, Virginia. We won’t hold it against him that he’s worked with Gordon Ramsay (besides, we’ve been told Ramsay can actually be quite a dear). Plus, we share his expressed fondness for farmers markets.
Farther west on Central, we’re a little bummed to report that last weekend was the last weekend to experience the original iterations of The Feel Good and Modern General Feed and Seed. Owner Erin Wade plans to remodel both venues to respond to how community and dining habits have changed in the long wake of the pandemic. We know how Wade feels about certain delivery companies so we’re pretty sure that doesn’t mean she’s going to turn her atmosphere-rich venues into ghost kitchens!
And in Las Vegas, there’s a new sandwich shop on the scene. Waldero’s Wich’s opened down the street from Plaza Park in June and from the looks of things they roast their own chicken and make their own pastrami.
Peaches. Now is the time. Buy them from Matt at his stand next to Piccolino on Agua Fria in Santa Fe. Buy them from the Downtown Growers’ Market in Albuquerque. Buy them from Rancho Durazno at La Montañita Co-op. Pick them from your neighbor’s tree.
Tomorrow in Albuquerque, Kamarias Kreations is hosting a Summer Vibes Pop-Up from 10 am to 3 pm. Among the food trucks scheduled to be there are A Touch of Mississippi and Prisi’s Chamoy.
Regarding CHOMP Food Hall in Santa Fe, turns out that there will not be a grand reopening next Friday.
“People like the burrito man are the fibers that somehow keep us together,” writes Abe Villarreal in this very cool story from a June edition of the Silver City Sun News. “Reminders that underneath the layer of disagreement for which we all focus, there is a thicker, longer-lasting layer of selflessness that keeps our fractured state together.”
A bunch of fancy European dignitaries and sommeliers sampled some New Mexico wines, and reportedly determined that Josh Arnold of Wines of the San Juans makes a great tempranillo.
From our Sauce issue: Aria Chiodo considers the tomatillo in “Going Green.”