You might call me a food magazine junkie. I get a few of them each month, justifying my addiction with the hope that I’ll make at least one recipe from each magazine that crosses my threshold. This doesn’t always happen, but like everyone who sees many too-perfect pictures of fun, trendy food, I like to put little dinner fantasies together in my mind (yes, this is why they call it food porn).
I invariably cut out lots of dessert recipes, as if saving potential caloric intake could prevent a future famine in our household. Well, first I fold pages over in the magazines, then I hoard a stack of to-be-cuts, then I cut. I stack them on my recipe pile in our office, to be first stuffed (as soon as I get to it) into the blue “to be tried” binder, which is itself completely unorganized but at least contained, and then later filed in an orderly fashion into the big white binder, which actually has little clear plastic sleeves cleverly labed with things like “pork” and “holiday cookies.” Once tried, successful recipes (ones that I think I might use again) go into the big stripey accordian file, again, organized by dish. Could understanding this system really be all that difficult? My husband seems to think so. He thinks it’s just a big mess in the corner.
Anyway. Food magazines. I get: Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Sunset, Eating Well, Cooking Light, and Cook’s Illustrated. I buy occasionally, and have been meaning to subscribe to: Saveur, Fine Cooking, and Northwest Palate. I have stylistic objections to, but am actually secretly (well, not anymore) curious about: Martha Stewart’s FOOD. Sure, I may miss some pieces and recipes from some, but how many could I really keep up with, right? And if I had to limit myself to, say, three, which three, and how?
Here’s how I’ll vote magazines off my (coffee table) island: I’ll smell them.
Last night I opened up Gourmet’s December issue to make the Fragrant Indian Brittle that sounded so exotic yet holidayish. Beautiful and delicious. But the entire time I was cooking, this sickly floral waft from the perfume sample hidden behind some tasty-looking page nearby mingled with my curry and cardamom. Do I really want to smell rich old lady when I’m cooking? No. So get that stink out of my food porn.