Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Issue of Good Living

Hearing about the demise of Gourmet magazine felt almost like losing my grandmother again. I never really read the magazine, but in my mind it was inextricable linked to her. She was a dedicated gourmand, for whom Christmas was not so much a holiday or even a family gathering as it was a series of meals—turkey, asparagus, and mashed potatoes like mounds of snow for Christmas Eve dinner; Hungarian coffee cake, sausages, and fruit salad for Christmas breakfast; and for dessert on both days, a tin full of sour-cream twists, butter balls, miniature linzer tortes, and toasted almonds and pecans, all homemade. Appropriately enough, Gourmet's inaugural release, in 1941, was a holiday issue.) Visiting her house, where she lived alone for my entire life, was a glimpse through a window to another generation, a very quiet one full of detective novels and Ella Fitzgerald's voice, the lingering perfume of cigarette smoke, and, as I recall, stacks of Gourmet in a wicker basket in the living room. My grandmother passed away when I was in high school. Luckily, she raised her four daughters to be exceptional cooks, and one of them is my mother. Any of my own knowledge of, or interest in, food emanates from her, and so in a way from Gourmet. It’s strange to realize I was emotionally attached to a magazine I barely ever opened, and now probably never will.


Lisa said...

Hey Avi - very interesting perspective of Gourmet magazine & mom! and very creatively written. I had no idea Gourmet was going away.

Your blog has some great posts...I'll have to visit more often.
XO, (Aunt) Lisa - from a very snowy Salida, Colorado

Meryl said...

I cannot tell you what a loss Gourmet was to me... I've been reading it since I could- it shaped me and my interest in food my entire life.