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Monday, October 5, 2009

Alas, My Gourmet Magazine is Folding Away, like a World Map

I can't believe it...Gourmet Magazine, now 70 years old, will be no more. How I loved receiving it month after month, and trying the new recipes, honing my culinary skills, and travelling the world vicariously. I started subscribing as a young bride in 1986 and renewed for nine years, and then renewed again only this year, 23 years later. The older issues are the best. The travel pages were as good as the cooking ones. Through them I visited the waterfront Jumbo restaurant of Hong Kong (cover March 92), savored a Spring Apres Ski Weekend with onion and sage stuffed pork chops with kielbasa and sauerkraut, with lemon sweet potato souffle (March 88), Dined alfresco in the snow in big sunglasses at the French Alpine resort cafe at Courchevel, site of the Winter Olympics (cover January 92). I hosted a small Opera Luncheon, tuning in to the Lincoln Center, to hear Pavarotti, and great tenors sing The Pearlfishers duet, on the stereo radio broadcast, while my guests savored crisp Cloud Merengues with their arias, chilled cucumber soup with their crescendoes. My artfully mismatched settings graced a black wrought iron table, brought chicly indoors, with sparkling stemware and clay, and little moss stained angel as a centerpiece. My cooking is always complimented, not because I studied at Cordon Bleu(my dream) but because I memorized certain recipes over time from the pages of Gourmet. I have collected a whole set of gorgeous unmatched china dinner plates to use as platters to highlight certain dishes, as in the pages of Gourmet. In them the food is impossibly beautiful, and it doesn't care and never did give a fig souffle how many calories it has, only that it is made with what is good and real, like real butter, unsalted of course, and the freshest local ingredients, lovingly prepared, with patience and appreciation. I understand Gourmet has published a cookbook (it's last?). I'm sure that it, as well as back issues on Ebay, will be snapped up by a great demand. I for one will be holding on to my memories, and my Gourmet magazine collection, which now seems even more valuable and timeless. You could learn and about the Sphinx and Cairo, Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesen, relive the Fashion, the passion, the jewelry, cruises and cars of the excessive 1980s and nostalgic 1990s. I made my pastors wife who just had a baby, a frozen Zabaglioni, like an icecream roll, tinted and scented with sherry. In a way, I'm glad that Gourmet will cease publishing, so that I can try to catch up, and try recipes that are now classic. In Gourmet, you made not mere meals, but once in a lifetime milesstones. If something should happen that civilization as we know it ends, at least we will have Gourmet to remind us of how glorious it once could be.//

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