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I love the old Gourmet magazines ....

  • m

In trying to find some recipes for a little dinner tomorrow night, I pulled out my file of June & July Gourmets - back to 1990 or so. I just have to say - I love the "old" magazine. Found so many things I'd like to cook this summer. I have hauled these mags from a fifth floor walk up in the Village to a fourth floor walk up two blocks away, to Miami, DC and finally back to NYC (no more walk up). And, I am glad I did. Only wish that I had not, in a supposed flash of brillance, torn out the index page in the back of every mag before about 1996 with the idea that I would have them in one place to consult. Those pages, of course, are long gone.

One interesting item is an olive clafouti, served as a dessert - v. peculiar.

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  1. Sigh,,,,,,

    I had every issue of Gourmet from 1986 to 2000 stored in boxes.

    We moved in 2000 and somehow those boxes ended up in the basement, not in an upstairs closet.

    Sadly, we got water in the basement later that year and I lost every issue to moisture damage!

    I truly loved that magazine before all the changes were made. Not only the recipes were great, but the food and travel articles were outstanding. I still miss Laurie Colwin's writing to this day. ):

    At least I have all of the Best of Gourmet cookbooks so many of my favorite recipes are still accessible, and they are never leaving the kitchen shelf for a box in the basement!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Suzie

      any chance that someone still has a may (i think) 1994 issue with a lovely cucumber soup recipe? lost mine years ago, recall it fondly and can't seem to find it on epicurious.......

      and i'll add my cheers to laurie colwin! i still use her chocolate cake recipes and remember laughing out loud when i read her article on lentils so long ago.

      1. re: djk

        I'll take a look today. So sad about Laurie Colwin. M

        1. re: MMRuth

          thanks so much and my god, yes.

        2. re: djk

          I seem to be missing May 1994 - you might want to check the epicurious.com website - I believe they have old recipes there. But, if I run across the recipe - will post. M

          1. re: MMRuth

            you know, i have never seen it on epicurious but i checked again today and there was the recipe under august 1994! all this time i've been looking for may. who knew?

            thanks so much......

            1. re: djk

              You are most welcome!

      2. j
        Jonathan Saw

        BIG SIGH!

        I learned to cook and form tastes in my head by reading Gourmet and then making some of the recipes. My mother's secretary used to bring them in for me when she was done. This must have been back in 1983 or so.

        I liked the beginning changes that Ruth Reichl made in the magazine but now it seems like so muich fluff. I used to find certain issues that intrigued me after I let my subscription expire, but now it's been about 2 years since that happenned.

        I miss Laurie Colwin as well. I just re-read for the 100th time Home Cooking which includes some of her best, but I really looked forward to finding an article by her when she was alive. I still find myself thinking of her when I am "alone in the kitchen with an eggplant."

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jonathan Saw

          Yes yes yes! I miss Laurie Colwin so much. I started cooking (and subscribing to Gourmet) in the early 90s, and Colwin's laid-back but inspired approach to cooking was my touchstone. My copies of Home Cooking and More Home Cooking are splattered and fallling apart. I give copies as gifts all of the time.

          I also liked some aspects of the "new" Gourmet when it first appeared, but now it almost never fails to disappoint. Occasionally there will be something worthwhile--usually in the (always thin) "produce issue," but more often I flip through it in ten minutes and set it aside.

        2. Aieeeee! I can't believe somebody else had the brilliant idea of tearing out the index pages!

          I still have most of them, but I find I rarely use them. I finaly chucked out a bunch of them - put them on the sidewalk. They were gone in a moment.

          I, too dislike the new Reichl Gourmet. The thing I've always hated is that (aside from the Sterns' column, Road Food) the articles and travelogue stuff, even the dinner parties, are soooooo stiltedly elegant. They rarely list hotels under $300 a night and the guest pictured at their parties are always "perfect", with elegant clothes, youth, and great teeth.

          Something in me snapped (I think they've discontinued it now) when they had their first scratch and sniff perfume ad. Their ads get my goat, too....Porsche, Rolex, Prada, fancy liqueurs, jewels, etc.

          I can't imagine that their readership base is all rich folks. Maybe they count on us poorer slobs being drawn into trying to act like swells - much like so many kids today care more about the latest young star (don't know any of their names) than they do about themselves.

          Sorry to rant on.

          3 Replies
          1. re: oakjoan

            Funny you should mention the perfume ads. When that came along I cancelled my subscription. Now I'm down to Food & Wine, Fine Cooking and Saveur and I don't think F & W is long for my mailbox. I'm sorry about Gourmet because I do like Ruth Reichl.

            1. re: oakjoan

              I have to agree. I love to cook and I love to travel, well, i would do the latter more if my budget allowed...so hence, i must say i find all the focus on ritzy places I can't afford a little irritating. I'll never get there, or so it seems now...so i wish the mag had less focus on places w/spas and gourmet restos and more on cooking (less on entertaining).

              still, now and again there are some winner recipes, like this amazing apricot and cherry tart from two summers ago... I've made that many times and it's always delish and appreciated by my guests. So, i guess it's worth it!

              1. re: oakjoan

                I totally agree with you! The only reason I'm still a subscriber is because of the Sterns.

              2. Despite my mother's sometimes compulsive cleaning out of old mags, I've managed to hold on to ones I grew up reading from the 60s and 70s, as well as the later copies I saved myself. I also liked the first 10+ years of Bon Appetit quite a lot, too.

                To be fair to Reichl, I thought it had gone far downhill before she took over. She has just continued to take it in the direction the publisher obviously wanted -- food/dining as entertainment and lifestyle choice. These days they read like travel mags with the occasional focus on food. Feh. Those aspects were part of the old Gourmet, too, but they didn't crowd out the focus on the food itself until the mid 90s...

                1. I have my Gourmet copies from 1970-mid 90's (recent issues not worth keeping). I could hardly wait for it to appear at my door to see what the centerfold dinner was for the month - and it was usually doable and elegant. I still go back to the old indexes - just made a zucchini dish from 1974. I, too, miss the travel articles of affordable places.