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Cook's Country magazine

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Wondering if anyone else out there just received the charter issue of this new magazine from the creators of Cook's Illustrated.

What do you think?

The new mag contains extensively tested homey recipes, the process explained in nerdy detail, which I like reading about, even if I don't always agree with them.

The sensibility of the magazine can be a little over-the-top goofy and folksy. Almost campy. Are they going to have a "Cute Baby of the Month" photo in every issue? A "Find the Hidden Rooster" contest? More reader photos of food sculpted to look like a pig (there are two in this issue)? I can't decide whether to laugh at it or with it.

Some minor gripes--

Suggesting the use of Crisco, and dissing lard, as a frying medium for their fried chicken recipe. Shouldn't they have tried using fresh lard (instead of "not the best" supermarket lard)?

Recycling the "Mystery Tool" feature from Cooks Illustrated. I like "Mystery Tool", but they already discussed egg toppers in an old CI issue, so it wasn't mysterious to me. Is the world running out of mystery tools?

Using--nay, STEALING-- almost verbatim, a never-published "Quick Tip" that I sent in several years ago (regarding the use of ice cubes to cool off a countertop for rolling dough in a warm kitchen). Did they think that I would forget? Hmph! Next time I have a revolutionary idea in dough-rolling, I'll keep it to myself! So there.

But overall, I'm happy to have another nerdy-obsessive food magazine out there.

Link: http://meglioranza.com

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  1. c
    Caitlin McGrath

    "The new mag contains extensively tested homey recipes, the process explained in nerdy detail, which I like reading about, even if I don't always agree with them."

    Sounds just like CI. It's hard to imagine getting homier than CI, which generally features unfussy (the end product, not the prep, once CI's involved) American recipes.

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      culinary nerd

      I disliked it intensely.

      2 Replies
      1. re: culinary nerd

        So did I. Really hated the tabloid format. Way too large to fit on a shelf conveniently. But would have figured something out if the rest of it held up. I copied the fried chicken recipe and one of the potato casseroles (just to feel I got at least something out it), threw the magazine away, and cancelled my subscription. Although the recipes were phrased in the usual, compulsive, CI way, the rest of the mag had a very happy-hands-at-home approach--not what I'm looking for in a food magazine.

        1. re: JoanN
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          ChowFun (derek)

          Funny, I made the fried chicken and the potato casserole winner.....I added more spice, but if you have been looking for that thick crusted-crunchy coating (like KFC extra crispy) this is it!! But spice it to your taste!

      2. I've been sick of those self-important jackoffs for years. The idea of a Country flavor of CI is like a rock-and-roll cover of a Chuck Berry song -- the original CI is already as country as a turnip green, they won't consider ingredients unavailable at WalMart and can't be bothered with anything difficult or demanding of finesse. When I say they're "country" I mean that in an unfavorable way, not in any complimentary, Southern Folkways etc kind of way.

        And as for the tips, I almost wrote them an angry letter when they published the secret of pouring grease out of a skillet without dripping -- YOU FLIP THE SKILLET OVER!!! CI EXCLUSIVE, MUST CREDIT CI!!! DEVELOPING!!! MEXT MONTH OUR SECRET METHOD OF STIRRING COFFEE WITH THE ROUND, DISHED END OF AN ORDINARY SPOON

        1 Reply
        1. re: john clark

          I agree, this is an idea that should have died once they had done their 5th 'perfect' grilled chicken and named 'Doritos' best tortilla chip. They have become annoying and so is their no-ads-allowed magazine with about 10 ads stapled and/or blown in to the pages. Its became too hard to get the ads out without ruining the magazine, so I quit getting it. I do give them points for the tasteful cover-art.

        2. "The sensibility of the magazine can be a little over-the-top goofy and folksy. Almost campy. Are they going to have a "Cute Baby of the Month" photo in every issue? A "Find the Hidden Rooster" contest? More reader photos of food sculpted to look like a pig (there are two in this issue)? I can't decide whether to laugh at it or with it."

          This sounds disturbingly like the country-cutesy no-ads cooking magazine called "Taste of Home". It's filled with recipes created by home cooks, mostly blandly flavored fill-'em-up casseroles with beef and mashed potatoes or the like. They hide a toothpick in every issue, and give away some appliance to the first person who finds it. They have pictures of people's magnet-covered refrigerators. They have "home-grown" handy-dandy tips on how to do practically everything. They highlight a home cook in every issue with pictures and info about her/him.

          I looked at the freebie one they sent me and tossed it. I think I'd toss this one as well. :-/

          1 Reply
          1. re: Linda W.

            From my understanding, this magazine is meant to appeal directly to the "Taste of Home" audience. I went to a presentation by Christopher Kimball once and he mentioned that Taste of Home has the largest and most successful subscription list in the biz, so I guess Cook's wanted to see if they could share. Thus the folksy accent that is not the typical CI flavor.

          2. Like others, read it and discarded it. There's much better quality in other food magazines than this one holds.