Monday, October 05, 2009

it’s hard for me to accept this

No more Gourmet Magazine.

You know what thought came to me first? Damn! I cannot expect to bounce grandkids on my knee X years from now and show them photos from the magazine that made me an American!

You think I exaggerate?

I came to the States with a love of food and with very little experience in cooking. The year was 1973. I was 20. I discovered Gourmet.

It was a tentative relationship at first. I worked as an au pair and had limited access to my employer's family’s kitchen (they had cooks and maids tending to that corner of the apartment).

But still, I adored Gourmet! This is the world I wanted to see. I had no money, I had no promise of a livelihood, but I had my Gourmet dreams. Stories about the eating world. I wanted to see that world.

Four years later I was married and suddenly I was cooking for real. It is in those years that I committed to cooking a fresh and honest dinner from scratch every day. I never stopped. Gourmet, the magazine, supplied the inspiration.

Over the decades, dinner parties were merely events that brought together Gourmet recipes. I never ever tried a recipe prior to a party. The instructions were so reliable that I could count on a great end result the first time around.

So many meals from those beautiful pages! Our family Christmas meal is a Gourmet feast, repeated again and again, since the kids were tiny.

I was especially thrilled when Ruth Reichl took over the editorship. I never really minded the veneer of elitism in the magazine (I mean, come on, it’s just a magazine), but when she stripped it lean of high brow fat, publishing articles on road food and street food and authentic food (in addition to the most exquisite food stuffs out there), I was happy as a clam (so good with garlic, wine… mmm). And when Ruth published books on eating and food, I read them all.

Last year, when Ed found a cheap way to subscribe to Gourmet for years to come, I purred. Here I am, a single woman, with much behind me and I have a Gourmet coming to me once a month. Even if I cannot travel as often as I thought I could, or should, even if I no longer do dinner parties as I once thought I could or should, I still have Gourmet.

No more.

In future years, I will remember the tragic consequences of the recession for many. And I will remember that I lost a tiny but ever so significant love: I lost Gourmet.