We had dinner at a friend’s house recently, and she served smashed potatoes from a recipe in a recent issue of Gourmet magazine. I’ve subscribed to Gourmet magazine at two points. The first when I was just learning to cook in the early 90’s, and again when Ruth Reichl took over as editor, in 2000. I liked the magazine, but after a two year subscription the first time and one year the second, I felt I’d had enough. The trouble of a monthly magazine, of reading it, testing recipes, was more burdensome than the recipes were good. Since I also subscribed to Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country at the time, I was fine with giving up Gourmet. (I’ve given up on Cook’s in the meantime; their overzealous solicitations did me in.)
Yet my friend’s potatoes were simple and delicious, so I thought I’d check out Gourmet again. My local library has it, so I checked out a few issues. Once I began to page through them, I found myself marking a very high number of recipes I’d like to try, many of which were simple, yet didn’t seem to skimp on quality ingredients and taste. It’s been several weeks, and several different issues, and I’m once again a fan of Gourmet. It has some great articles, like recent ones by Amy Bloom on Italian food, and Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl on little known treasures of the St. Croix River Valley in the WI/MN area (not available online). And it has a great selection of recipes, from simple to complex, from everyday to special occasion, that are well-written and turn out well.
A few of my family’s favorites have been Butterscotch Pudding, Chicken Tostadas, and Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach. I’m going to keep checking out the magazine from the library, rather than committing to a subscription of my own. Apparently it’s time for my once a decade go-round with Gourmet. Maybe it’ll last, this time.