Ever since we humans figured out a way to keep ourselves from starving during the months after the harvest season, winter has been a time of feasting. Decadent baked goods, beautifully roasted meats and overstuffed bellies are the name of the game during the holidays, so why not celebrate your loved ones with the gift of (locally produced and sold) food?
Munching on biscochitos during the holidays is as quintessentially New Mexican as, um, well, munching on biscochitos during the holidays. But not everyone is a pro at baking these succulent cookies, which is why we recommend checking out the selection at Celina’s Biscochitos. Baker Celina uses a recipe passed down by her grandmother which makes use of the best traditional ingredients. Better yet, she’s also willing to experiment, resulting in the likes of lemon, cocoa chocolate chip, green chile pecan and my favorite, red chile biscochitos. Pick up a sampler box of five varieties at the storefront location, or look for them at stores like Keller’s Market. Your family and friends will thank you.
It’s no secret that Tia B’s La Waffleria has the best waffles in the city, with a lineup of sensational recipes like buttermilk, buckwheat, gluten-free blue corn and coconut and rice waffles. And lucky you! Tia B’s sells dry mixes in 3lb packages! Which makes it a perfect gift for the breakfast chef in your life, OR a great way to wake up the kids on Christmas morning ... or on all eight mornings of Hannukkah.
Speaking of waking up, this piñon coffee will also do the trick in as delicious a way as possible. If you know someone as hopelessly addicted to caffeine as I am but who appreciates a little something special to add a homey, sweet taste to it, the subtly piñon nut-flavored beans in this iconic burlap sack will make for a great, energizing gift. If you play your cards right, maybe the recipient will brew you up a pot on the spot, you know, to try it out.
We all know some poor ex-pat New Mexicans who languish through their out-of-state winters far away from the comfort of a bowl of fresh green chile stew or the deliciousness of a warm, buttered Frontier tortilla. Thanks to chilemonster.com, a New Mexico-based start-up, you can now send these poor souls a care package jam-packed with Southwestern goodness. From fire-roasted green chile to Frontier tortillas to biscochitos and even some red and green chile jelly, your pal will be eternally grateful for this taste of home.
3-wick red and green chile candles ($10.50)
New Mexico Candle Company 413 Romero NW, Suite C 891-2366 nmcandleco.com
Real New Mexicans know that the smell of roasted green chile is the very aroma of happiness itself. But, sadly, there are times when you aren’t cooking up New Mexican food and that wonderful, wafting scent is nowhere to be found. But now, thanks to the good folks at N.M. Candle you can light up this hand-crafted set and fill your house with that homey scent. However, as the website warns, “You should resist the temptation to try eating them!” We agree. The wax really sticks to your teeth.
I’ve been a fan of Coonridge’s goat cheeses for many years and in my opinion you can’t do much better when selecting a gift for that dairy-inclined person in your life. It ain’t cheap, but one taste of the dried tomatoes and garlic flavor or the flame-roasted green chile on a water biscuit should convince you that it’s well worth the price. Plus, the jars are pretty enough that you can totally get away with sticking a bow on top and leaving it in a conspicuous spot in the fridge.
Chocolate is the ultimate present, the one that will bring pangs of gratefulness to even the most hardened Scrooge in the land and Nob Hill happens to host one of the best chocolatiers around: the Chocolate Dude. Like some kind of Deadhead Christmas elf, the Dude labors for long hours to make chocolate perfect for holiday appetites. Our favorite crypto-candy delight is the Chupacabra crunch. Pick some up, place it strategically around the house and witness joy spreading at the exact same rate as smeared chocolatey mouths.