Looking Backward

July 19, 2016


These are dispiriting days.  No wonder I find myself leafing through the pages of old magazines, dreaming of a time when you could travel to London without going through metal detectors, and spend an entire week in London – hotel, meals and theater included – for less than five hundred bucks.

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City not your thing?  You could travel rural England for about the same price.

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A time when I might actually be inclined to make a strawberry charlotte so complex  it required five separate recipes.

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Come to think of it, this might be the perfect recipe for today, an antidote for this relentless cycle of terrible news. And since it’s raspberry season, I’ll use fresh instead of frozen fruit.

This issue, incidentally, is filled with fantastic recipes: Nina Simonds’ take on Chinese pork. An ode to fresh coriander. And lots of interesting ways with lamb.  Not all of them are as time-consuming as this one; I’ll post more tomorrow.


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  • Patti Lynch says:

    Wow, those trips sound amazing and were such good deals! I wish we could use a time machine to go back and experience them now!

  • John says:

    My memory isn’t what it once was, but in one of your books (“Comfort Me With Apples,” I believe) you were detailing your love of cooking and you wrote something to the effect of “… I even enjoyed recipes that had 25 steps to them, just for the fun of it.” I often think about that line because when I have the time, I do love going to seven different stores for odd ingredients to make a dish that takes most of the day to prepare. I’m assuming a lot here, but I think many home cooks feel the same way. Enjoy the Strawberry Charlotte!

  • MaggieToo says:

    Ruth — You’re not the only one enjoying these vintage issues of Gourmet! I recently wanted to create a 40th anniversary dinner for a client who was married in April of 1976, got a copy of that month/year of Gourmet, built her a dinner around it, and gave her the issue as a gift. Great, great fun — and by magnificent coincidence, that issue was devoted to her hometown, Charleston South Carolina. These old Gourmets are treasures; I still miss the magazine so very much.

    (A post I created on Chowhound got lots & lots of great suggestions, too, and gave me the idea for the dinner:

  • admin says:

    Maggie, that’s a great thread. Really fun to read all those seventies suggestions.

  • I miss Gourmet very much and treasure my old magazines and recipes I have in folders. Ruth, I just started reading “My Kitchen Year” and I just love it. I already made several recipes but I love the writing and the mood of the book. It is beautiful and as one who loves cooking I can relate to it. For some reason this was one of your books I had not read. Thank you!

  • Sandra says:

    Seems like simpler times should have been coveted. Maybe they were. Love your blog and your heartfelt comments.