How sad. After nearly 70 years in print, the beautiful and highly revered food magazine is out of publication. One of the magazines we so consistently anticipate each month. One that stops me in my tracks on the front porch when it arrives to quickly flip through and digest the luscious photography and dinner party menus. I get just inside the doorway when I text Snakes, “Gourmet is here”! And if I happen to forget, I can count on a “hey, you didn’t tell me Gourmet came today” once he gets home. With November as its last issue (sniffle), I felt a farewell party was in order.
I assembled a lively cast of 8 and got to work. I had to keep it fairly simple since I’d be pulling it together solo. Lots of work at the under staffed paper these days (campaign season around the corner) translates to later nights for S. Basic charcuterie with crusty french bread coupled with Manhattans, got conversation flowing and laughter rolling. We shifted to the dining room for a creamy italian chopped salad. Delicious and well received. For the main course I braised lamb shanks from a recipe I found on the epicurious iphone app, oddly I couldn’t locate it on the website, although there are some equally delicious looking ones there. Lamb shanks are a fool proof show stopper. Few people prepare them at home and I’m not sure why. They are simple, hearty, and impressive for a dinner party, although 8 guests/shanks would be my limit. I served them with these Tuscan beans, making use of this season’s final tomatoes. An ideal pairing for a chilly fall night. We ended things with fresh roasted figs and homemade honey ice cream. Much wine and laughter.
Although I had envisioned us all flipping through the back issues and reading, wide-(and maybe a little teary) eyed, our favorite recipes to each other, that never materialized. (Though I can’t imagine why. That sounds like so much fun to me, getting all nostalgic and dreamy about gorgeous food. Bursting into tears over an impeccably styled menu for 12. “Look at this girl’s skirt! God, I wanna wear that to a dinner party where they’re serving bouillabaisse. Wouldn’t that be amazing?” ) One can only plot the course of an evening so much until the conversation flows with its own momentum, and in hind sight that’s probably a good thing. With our fireplace crackling and our bellies full, I felt we’d payed our proper respect. Unsentimental me is actually considering holding onto these remaining back issues and cringes to think of the discarded ones. Are they worth boxing and hauling around the world? A reminder of a toasty fall evenings of good food and better friends? An Easter dinner prepared with favorite aunts? A summer time supper club on Belle Isle over looking downtown with the mastiff on guard? Countless weeknight dinners in 15-30 minutes? I think I may have answered my own question.