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Ruth Reichl
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Today’s Gourmet is from 1982, but if you excise the airbrushing and the ads - mostly for cigarettes and booze - it’s easy to feel that you're floating in ambiguous culinary time. Sitting down with this issue, I’m transported to Cartagena (eating ceviches and rich soups), and then South Carolina, where I’m drinking an egg white cocktail (which was, of... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Ruth Reichl
There were 6 of us. It was my brother's birthday, and his kids and I came from various places in the world to fete him. It was a total surprise for him. We kept surprising him with more people showing up. The BEST time ever.
Toggle Commented yesterday on London: The Finale at Ruth Reichl
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......Dinner at Dinner, continued "Powdered duck" This is duck that’s been dry-brined (“powdered”) then cooked sous-vide so it’s incredibly tender. On the side, an astonishing concoction of blood pudding and cream, along with ‘umbles - the offal. In this case, fried duck hearts. Pork with a ruffle of cabbage. The pork, thank you very much, is the black foot Iberico,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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Why did I never realize what a truly beautiful city London is? Maybe because it’s been years since I was here in summer. But you can’t walk more than a block or two before coming upon a park or a garden. Fountains play everywhere, and even subsidized housing flats are a riot of colorful wildflowers. Passed these flowers on the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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Landed in London, checked into the truly welcoming Charlotte Street Hotel. We walked in with some trepidation; it was a family reunion, and our little group spent months arguing over where to stay, switching back and forth between various hotels and an airbandb place before settling on this little boutique hotel. The staff was fantastic, the rooms attractive and comfortable.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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It's the weekend. And you are - if only in your dreams - in the country. In June 1984 Gourmet offered a few recipes to celebrate summer. I particularly like the idea of this cold lettuce soup - accompanied by what were - at the time - very racy hot pepper toasts. Today I'd probably use Sriracha - and top... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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It’s 1952 and Gourmet columnist Lawton Mackell is about to try tofu for the first time. The host of Ho-Ho restaurant, George Seto, has persuaded him to deviate from his usual favorite, winter melon soup, and order dow fo choy sum instead. What follows, under the title “Cowless Curds" is pure delight - and a reminder that the magazine was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Sometimes the ads are as interesting as the editorial. We're still in 1951, here, still in that same issue of Gourmet. I don't think I need to explain why each of these ads delights me. Although it's possible you'll miss that little line in the Blue Nun ad about vintage 1937 Auslese. Blue Nun, incidentally, was the largest international wine... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Sorry - can't seem to get enough of this January 1951 issue of Gourmet. There's a delight - and a riddle - on every page. Consider, for example, this ad for "fireplace oysters" from the "oldest oyster cultivators in U.S.A." I hoped that the J & JW Elsworth Company was still cultivating their oysters, but the only oystermen I could... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Without any fanfare, here is the Angel's Tit as published by Gourmet in 1951. I can hardly think of anything that sounds worse. Well, to be honest, these other Angel Drinks sound equally loathsome. There were, however, some really good suggestions in this issue - often in the form of ads. This, for instance: Since I've become increasingly interested in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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It's 1951 in Gourmetland, and Chiquita Banana is wiggling her hips (and cooking with coconut), men are (to everyone's apparent amazement) washing up, and inquiring minds want to know how to cook peacocks. Tomorrow, from this same issue, a recipe for haunch of wild chamois and, I kid you not, a drink called "Angel's Tit." Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
Hi Jennifer, I'm kind of amazed that there is a Paris vendor selling pourpier. When I was on a farm in Italy and asked if I could take some of the huge heaps of purslane they were throwing out, they all laughed uproariously. "Only for pigs!" they said. It made me sad; I'd never seen so much purslane in a single place before.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2015 on My Favorite Weed at Ruth Reichl
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It would be hard to imagine a mainstream epicurean magazine running an entire feature on eel recipes - but that's exactly what I found in the August 1951 issue of Gourmet. After an opening ode to the eel, the magazine offered a number of recipes. I liked these two best: And in case you've been thinking that Rheingold was the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Purslane! I love this crisp, juicy, slightly lemony green - and I was thrilled to find it at the farmer's market today. To my mind purslane makes every salad taste better - simply wash it well (the leaves tend to cling to dirt, so don't be careless about this), and strip the leaves right into the bowl alongside your garden-variety... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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You and I are going to live longer! That's the takeaway from a new scientific report that eating spicy food reduces your risk of death by ten percent. If you're a hot food fan - and that includes just about everyone I know - this is great news. But it turns out that Gourmet got there first. Trolling through a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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This is Mentaiko - spiced pollack roe. Originally Korean, it's become a Japanese staple. I think of it as soft Asian bottarga with a little chile kick. And I use it in almost everything I'd use bottarga in. Sometimes it stands in for uni, although more for texture than for flavor, and it makes a really delicious pasta dish. You... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
Cook and Farmer - you got me there. My guess? Some kind of powdered bouillon like Knorr. In those days it was a fairly common ingredient.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2015 on Very Corny: Gourmet, 1974 at Ruth Reichl
Giovanna, I love that story! What I want to know is this: which pan did you tell him to use? And by the way - great to hear from you.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2015 on Some Pig from the Past at Ruth Reichl
Judy, I hope you like them as much as I do! And GM - as far as I'm concerned, a little garlic (or a lot), is always a good idea.
Hi Sophie, I think the editors assumed that you'd add salt and pepper to taste. It was another time; they figured anyone reading recipes would have their own ideas on cooking.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2015 on Meet the Frog Man of Florida at Ruth Reichl
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De Pomiane's Cooking in Ten Minutes may be my favorite cookbook. If you don't know it, you're in for a treat. I wait all year to cook his extremely simple tomatoes in cream, which may be the first three-ingredient dish I ever attempted. All it takes is butter, tomatoes and cream. (Although I admit that I occasionally break down and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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As promised, that cherry soup from the tenth anniversary issue of Gourmet (1951). And then, just because I agree with the author, Samuel Chamberlin, that the trout recipe sounds delicious, I'm including that. Along with one for salt rising bread; this is different than the one Marion Cunningham gave me, years ago, but it too captures natural yeasts from the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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"Help!" a friend of a friend wrote. "I've lost the recipe for an easy cake printed in one of the last issues of Gourmet." She said the cover was a beautiful apple (actually, it was a beautiful quince). A group of us scrambled around, trying to find it. And here it is. You could make this with just about any... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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This issue of Gourmet, January 1951, has lost its cover. Which is too bad; according to the copy inside, the illustration was a pig's head in honor of the magazine's tenth anniversary. (The first cover also sported a pig's head.) But what's left is rich indeed. A great article by Louis Diat about the Ritz. Some fine Food Flashes from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Heading off to the farmers market, where I know I'll buy some corn. Who could possibly resist this time of year? And so, as promised, a vintage corn recipe from the stack of old Gourmet magazines. This one is from an October issue; in 1974, was there still corn in the markets in October? This year summer has been so... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2015 at Ruth Reichl