the comfort of gourmet

tunisian soup with chard and egg noodles 

this picture above is of a "tunisian soup with chard and egg noodles" that i made with fresh harissa paste. i found this recipe from gourmet magazine at epicurious, one of the only places i turn to on the rare occasion that i look for a recipe. it was delicious, comforting and nourishing, just how i feel about the magazine itself. 

i work in the magazine business and for some of the best consumer titles in canada. on the newsstand, we compete with the best consumer titles in north america, and some from the UK and australia. my particular job requires me to be familiar with our competitors so i read much of what's out there in the city, lifestyle, fashion, parenting, wedding and food categories. it's fun, i do love them. and i love them because they're good. my favourite magazine was domino, closed at the beginning of this very long year in publishing. today two of my other favourite reads were shuttered: cookie and gourmet.

i don't have children and am not about to. but i found myself reading cookie (once they found their footing) regularly and with great interest. most recently i devoured a powerful piece in their september issue on jenny mccarthy, and her quest to have parents think about their kids' vaccinations. it's something i've debated myself and think we should question more. other times i've tried quick and delicious recipes from cookie, including this arepas recipe that i'm glad i will always have now.

i really think bon appetit is a great magazine, but i found myself drawn to gourmet for much more than its recipes. really, i think i was drawn to gourmet for the same reasons i'm drawn to it's editor, ruth reichl. i don't know her except for a couple of articles or blurbs i've stumbled across, but they're ones she's written about her life, her losses, and now from her tweets, get to read a little about her great home, trips to the market and sips of coffee. small things, but she seems like a person who really feels things, at least that's what i find in her voice when i read her writing. there was a lot of feeling in the stories in gourmet. i didn't read them to get information about chilies in remote regions, but because the story about the family drying those chilies was somehow crazy interesting and really personal. the story about a small village in france where the farmer's market turns into a night kitchen didn't make me want to book a flight and descend on that scene, it made me want to slow my life down more and eat more with people who i love and who love food. it was a beautiful and romantic magazine and i will miss it. i hope ruth and the talented people who created that feeling can pursue their passions in their next adventures. i will be waiting eagerly to see what they do next.