To Browse the Bookshelf?


I left an ominous post earlier this month. I wanted to explain further.

I’m lazy. My subscriptions to Gourmet and Bon Appetit were due the month before Gourmet’s last printed issue. I bought Gourmet’s Thanksgiving ode in the super market. I didn’t buy Bon App. I have not since renewed.

I look at my kitchen-dedicated bookshelf: with one row dedicated to old food mags. I look at my bedroom bookshelf: with one row dedicated to old food mags. I look underneath my bed: one fat mess dedicated to old food mags.

You will also notice this trend with my clothes. They’re old and everywhere. But I’ve been *trying* to shop within my own closet this season. Create different combinations. Wear shirts with different skirts and different shoes and different rings.

Do I try this technique with my Cooks Illustrated June 2007? And my Cooking Light March 2009? The mags I never made it through, some still adorned in shrink wrap.

Or do I try a new publication? Food and Wine? Saveur? Cooking with Paula Deen?

Will I miss out on the hottest new ingredient or trend or city or restaurant or microbrew if I limit my food reading to dated pages?

I also have counted about 50 cookbooks around my apartment. Do I try the “shop your closet” with my bookshelf and cook a new dish every week? (Although how much fun could that be?)

I haven’t cooked a fucking thing this year. I need some inspiration.

(And yes, I’m in on the joke. I’m so lazy that I’m trying to make New Year’s resolutions a month into 2010.)

(Photo: Becca Nelson)

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  • Nicky January 21, 2010  

    I have to say I started out with Bon Appetit and Gourmet, but over the years I have fallen for Food and Wine and Fine Cooking. I absolutely love Fine Cooking. I can honestly say there isn’t an issue where I haven’t found a recipe to try. The last issue it was an amazing devil’s food cake. The extra cooking guides they did at the holidays were in my go to pile.

    If I am looking for a quicker recipe that’s still delicious I tend to use Everyday Food the little Martha Stewart magazine. It’s a great resource for recipe using the ingredients that are currently in season.

    Hopefully, you will find your muse this winter and get back on track.

  • frani lieberman January 21, 2010  

    hmm… i shed many a tear for gourmet and sadly accepted Bon Appetit as a shoddy substitite. BUT i just got a Saveur promotional card in the mail and here’s how they got me. if you subscribe, you’re entered to win a beauty of a stand mixer! imagine that?

    also, a friend just got me Gourmet Today and i’m going all julie powell except without the french focus and the blogging- so really not like julie powell at all….

    anyway the answer is- get a few food magazines because they ARE inspirational and the photos are pretty. BUT for the hottest new ingredient or trend or city or restaurant or microbrew you fear missing, just read the food blogs….

  • Britannia January 21, 2010  

    You could just do the eat out, replicate at home method, this way you get to try new restaurants and new dishes (the trend). One night the following week you try and replicate it, make it your own with the tweeks you would normally (improving skills and technique) and you get to cook (actually hands on cooking).

    Obvi, the only downside to this is you will be eating the same or similar dish twice in two weeks.

  • Mrs. L January 21, 2010  

    I’m so guilty. I subscribe to pretty much every food magazine out there. And I have many many pages in these magazines bookmarked. And I have stacks of these magazines everywhere. Don’t ask how many times I actually cook those recipes. I must get better at that….

  • Robyn January 22, 2010  

    I love food magazines.. always my first stop when I go to Barnes and Noble. I just subscribed to Cuisine at home, I really like their “tips” page. I too am guilty of clipping out recipes and stacking them on the shelf in hopes of making the recipes soon. Lately I’ve been getting most of my inspiration from food blogs like yours:)

  • dad gansie January 23, 2010  

    Interesting combo of mags. Robyn I too save recipes; hopefully someday to try them

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