Great Old Magazines

July 13, 2015

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A carton has just arrived on my doorstep.  When I opened it I discovered that the wonderful people at Mclean & Eakin, a truly great bookstore in Petoskey, Michigan, had sent me armfuls of old Gourmet Magazines. I can hardly think of a better way to spend the morning.

I started with this issue, from July of 1958.  There are some fantastic articles in here, including a memoir by Lillian Langseth-Christensen (one of our best writers on Viennese food), and a lobster primer by Louis Diat, Gourmet's resident chef (in a previous life he was the creator of Vichysoisse).

There are also a few risible moments in the issue.  A reader writes to beg for a recipe for garlic soup, which he enjoyed in Madrid and the editors respond by telling him to brown 4 cloves of garlic in olive oil, add 2 quarts of hot stock and boil for 5 minutes. He is then to add 6 slices of toasted bread until it is soaked.  Then – this is the good part – he is meant to remove the garlic. After that he divides the broth-soaked toast between 6 bowls and tops each with a poached egg. In the fifties Americans were very, very afraid of garlic.

More to my liking is this very lovely recipe for cold watercress soup.  Perfect for this sultry summer day. (I'm planning to use small onions – we're experiencing a moment of serious onion inflation – and put it all into the food processor instead of a sieve. Times change. )

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Just for fun, I'm throwing in the back cover.  Miss Rheingold was a great New York fixture; when I was small the candidates' photos were posted in the subway, and we all got to vote.  It was, for me, one of the highlights of riding the IRT.

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