September food magazine round-up

R* and I are off for a long weekend at the beach in Montauk on Long Island. Reading magazines on the beach is one of my favorite things, all the better if they are about cooking.

Before this month's magazine collection gets all sandy and forgotten at the bottom of a beach bag, I wanted to do a quick round up of what's in the mags so far.

When I saw the cover of September's Everyday Food, I let out a disappointed sigh standing at my mail box. The cover promised "Foolproof Family Favorites" but I have plenty of pancake and spaghetti, chocolate chip cookie, and meatball recipes, thank you. I scanned through the magazine, not expecting much, but then I saw their "In Season" section about plums: honey-roasted plums, chicken with plum chutney and a plum upside down cake. Of all of this months food magazines, the plum upside down cake the thing I am most likely to try.

Everyday Food also has a quick story on what Italian Seasoning is and how it can be used. The idea of all that dried, green stuff mixed together never appeals to me, but I have been known to shake Italian seasoning into a sauce in a pinch. I'm interested to see Martha Stewart's Everyday Food experts have to say about the green stuff. The magazine also has a section, "Have you tried molasses?" Well, no, I haven't tired molasses, Martha, but I'm not sure I want to make molasses-glazed turkey breat and acorn squash. I'm a bit of a turkey once a year kind of guy, but we'll see.

September's Real Simple has a very Everyday Food-ish tear-out section promising "6 basic recipes, 30 meals: a tear-and-save booklet. The promise of some real simple during the week recipes to solve my "daily dinner dilemma" was enough to make me spend $4.50 to pick this one up at the newsstand. I love the philosophy of learning how to make these 6 basic things well, including golden chicken and pork cutlets with roasted tomatoes, and then adapting and expanding on these to make, for example, chicken curry or pork with apple slaw. I'll try a couple of these recipes by Sara Quessenberry this fall.

Domino, more of a home decorating and entertaining magazine, made me laugh: trying to convince me that oysters "should stary in a leisurely lunch". They feature the grippy gloves, reproduction 19th century platter, hors d'oeuvres forks and everything else you'd need to buy to do an oyster event at home. No thanks, with more months with Rs in their names coming up, I'll head right to Oyster Bar in Grand Central and leave the shucking to the professionals. They also suggest using parsley as a centerpiece: leave it in the rubberband and just stick a few bunches in a bowl or a vase. Anyone ever do that?

The best food stuff in Domino is a two page spread on Alice Temperley's stable turned into a kitchen in London. The kitchen is modern and bright, but not steel-y or minimal. I'm tearing those pages out for inspiration the next time (gulp!) I might re-do a kitchen.

Another dream kitchen is on show in the September issue of Martha Stewart Living. Martha gives us a "first look at Martha's NEW kitchen" in Bedford. The space is 750 square feet -- 100 square feet bigger than my entire apartment -- with nine feet ceilings. The best article in this issue, though, is the Courtyard Cocktail Party, complete with recipes for Lillet cocktails, tortilla espanola and leeks in vinaigrette. I wish I was invited to that party, helped at French General in LA.


Anonymous Mr. S said...

martha's new kitchen is roughly twice the size of my entire apartment. to keep from getting depressed by this, i'm trying to convince myself that i wouldn't know what to do with that much space.

herbs can be a nice centerpiece if you forgot to buy flowers. i've done that before. garlic scapes are even better.

(slow morning at work...)

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Mr. S said...

enjoy Montauk, by the way.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous ann said...

i was kinda disappointed in this month's martha after last month's
omg, that last issue was SO amazing food wise; preserved tomatoes, beet salad, etc, etc. just thinking about all the goregous pictures and recipes still makes my heart go pitterpat!!!

enjoy montauk! eat a lobster roll for me ;-)

12:59 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Nice mag roundup, thanks. Have a great beach weekend -- lucky thing!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Mr. S, your garlic scape center piece sounds amazing. You happen to have any pictures of it or more information?

Ann, I don't think I spent too much time looking at the August Martha, I'll have to check it out. I agree that the new issue is good but not great. Drooling over Martha's bigger-than-my-apartment kitchen and the tapas Spanish/French party were the highlights for me, but I didn't feel the need to run into the kitchen and cook any of it.

Can't wait to tear into the November nad December issues of all the food-ish magazines. They are always my favorites.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Mr. S said...

I should learn to document my cooking and related stuff (like centerpieces) a lot better than i do. My garlic scape centerpiece was fun while it lasted, but i didn't take any photos. As I recall, it lasted for almost a month, and the scapes looked even better (and more gnarled and alien) when I mixed them in with some poppies.

Opening oysters at home can be fun, and will save you loads of cash, but nothing beats the atmosphere (or key lime pie) at the Oyster Bar. However, I figured out a fantastic way to cheat at a friend's barbecue out in NJ last weekend - throw the oysters (or cherrystones, in my case) on the grill and close it up for 3-4 minutes. Once they start popping open, they're done. I squeezed a little lemon juice on them, to punch up the flavor, and was stunned by how good they were. The flavor was intense and a little smoky, and the texture was fantastic - they were just barely cooked, so it was almost like eating them raw, but they were slightly more firm. I guess this is why people live in the suburbs.

Like always, I forgot to take photos. Sorry...

7:13 PM  

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