2015 Gift Guide: Vintage Gourmets

December 2, 2015

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One of the best presents I’ve gotten this year was a carton of vintage Gourmet Magazines, sent to me by the wonderful Mclean and Eakin Bookstore in Petoskey, Michigan.  I’ve had so much fun poring through these old issues!

Last month, when a friend was celebrating a birthday, I wanted to give her the issue from her birth month. But I hesitated; I hated parting with a single issue. Still, it seemed like such a perfect present that in the end I wrapped it up. The issue made her so happy I was glad I had.

I was even happier when I discovered this site, which has issues going back to the forties listed month by month. You can also try Ebay, where the issues are less expensive but more sporadic.

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Gift Guide 2015: Super Sauces

December 1, 2015

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Full confession here: I’m addicted to Lady Jayne’s Worcestershire Sauce.  It’s richer, fuller, more exciting than any other Worcestershire sauce I’ve encountered, and even though it’s stunningly expensive ($27 for 3.4 ounces), I’m not surprised it’s sold out. The sheer complexity of this sauce makes absolutely everything taste better; until you’ve had a Caesar salad made with this, you haven’t had Caesar salad.

But it is, I said, sold out; the next batch, currently aging in Bourbon and Rye barrels, will be available sometime next spring. In the meantime, here’s a very decent (but definitely different), substitute.

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Col. Pabst Worcestershire Sauce is – no surprise given its pedigree – based primarily on beer. (It’s not Pabst, but a malt amber lager from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee).  Unlike the Lady Jayne, which begins with fresh anchovies, the anchovies here are in paste form, and they stay in the background; the major notes, in addition to beer, are apple cider vinegar, Demerara sugar, tomato paste, Tabasco sauce, soy sauce and salt.  There’s a hint of clove in the mix; some ginger and curry too. 

And should you be interested in trying a Lady Jayne product, let me suggest these smelling salts.  One whiff  helps get you through the day. And at $5, a vial 3makes an unusual stocking stuffer.

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You can click on the names of the products to go to the various websites, but for those who didn’t realize that, I’m including the links here as well:

Lady Jayne Worcestershire Sauce: http://www.ladyjaynesalchemy.com/new-products-1/worcestershire

Col Pabst Worcestershire Sauce, $13.95 for 16 ounces from http://colonelpabst.com/

Smelling salts: http://www.ladyjaynesalchemy.com/new-products-1/olfactory

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