We have always appreciated our Texas visitors, with their relaxed and congenial appreciation of all that Santa Fe has to offer, so when we had the chance to go straight to the source, we jumped right in!
SXSW may have been a rather wild introduction to the pleasures of a fellow state capitol, but it certainly proved that Austin is a happening town. With the inspiration of the creative and organized crew from TKO, the City of Santa Fe appreciated this opportunity to remind our neighbors that we are also a great destination for fun, filming and food. Thanks to the generosity of Roy Spence, we set up shop at GSD&M Idea City, together with our friends and partners, the Santa Fe School of Cooking. In no time at all, a big pot of green chile chico stew was bubbling away, complemented by yummy blue corn muffins and a basket loaded with our state cookie, the biscochito. Did you know we have a state cookie? Only one other state, Pennsylvania, has one, the chocolate chip cookie (a nod to Hershey, PA, no doubt). Courtesy of the cooking school, here’s a recipe for our state sweet (which, thankfully, is not too sweet). We know that the lard factor may be off-putting to some, but pre-dating Crisco, it is a traditional ingredient in New Mexican cultural cuisine.
Biscochitos (Makes 4-5 dozen cookies)
- 1 lb. (2 cups) lard or vegetable shortening
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. toasted anise seeds
- 6 c. flour
- 3 t. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- ½ c. brandy
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the lard, or shortening. Add sugar, eggs and anise seeds and cream again. Mix dry ingredients separately and combine with the shortening mixture. Add the brandy and mix thoroughly.
3. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle the cookie shapes with the sugar-cinnamon mixture and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.
With Santa Fe Spirits right beside us pouring out their “whiskey-ritas,” made with locally-distilled Silver Coyote malt whiskey, our New Mexico cuisine met its match! And we even had easy access to sample Austin’s food cart scene, since Roy Spences’s Royitos Airstream was steps away handing out tasty tamales and his signature hot sauce.
Santa Fe County Commissioner, Virginia Vigil, was on hand to extol the beauty and benefits of the greater Santa Fe area, and a panoply of Santa Fe’s artistic characters was in attendance. Todd & the Fox and We Are the West provided a musical backdrop for the sunny spring day. Jon Hendry and the lovely Michelle drove all the way in the Shoot Santa Fe 18-wheeler to show our city’s continued commitment to and appreciation of the movie industry. They brought along Stephen Guerin from the Redfish Group with a terrific interactive piece that gave viewers a 3-D visualization of last year’s Las Conchas Fire and, of course, screened films, among them Smoke Signals, by Native American film-maker, Chris Eyre, new head of the Moving Arts Dept. at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. And a pair of Canyon Road artists, Natasha Isenhour and Reid Richardson, created paintings on the spot that lucky raffle winners took home.
We’re waiting for the raffle winner of our cuisine getaway to come to town, but we hope that our Texas neighbors got enough of the taste of Santa Fe to head on up to cooler climes this summer, since March in Austin found us “enjoying” 81 degrees with 83% humidity…quite a challenge for us high-desert dwellers. Only one question remains, how can Austin have a greater variety of chiles in their market than we do?!?!?!? Guess it’s the Whole Foods Market MotherShip factor!