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Gourmet Magazine’s first issue was in January, 1941.Now, after 68 years, the magazine is closing because of losses. The loss incurred by me and my daughter not receiving our monthly installment of Gourmet will prove to be great. Gourmet repaired our torn relationship as cohesively as a piece of cellophane tape…seamlessly. While Gourmet was a classic in the magazine industry, it was our chosen standard.

The definition of gourmet fo und in the Merriam’Webster Dictionary is “a connoisseur of food and drink.” But, this magazine not only represented gourmet recipes with fine drinks to accompany them, it represented us, two women who looked forward with whetted appetites at what the newest issue would include. As soon as it arrived, either my daughter would call me or I would call her and we would exclaim, “Have you got the new Gourmet?”

We were giddy with excitement as we poured over the beautiful glossy photos of food designed to spur our creativity, not dreaming it gave us a subject that was neutral and therefore safe to talk about. And we did, we salivated as we discussed the newest chicken recipe or the best recipe for cauliflower ever or the most delicious recipe for brownies, imagined. Simple food made simply gourmet, with an added spice, or a trick of leavening, but always something we had never heard of or thought of, which of course made it even more exotic. Who, but the creative minds would think of putting coriander seeds and curry in shortbread cookies…yum. Because of Gourmet magazine, my daughter and I speak openly about all things predicated with a recipe.

Gourmet gave this to us. We are saddened to be losing Gourmet. It is like losing a dear old friend we could count on to visit every month with glorious surprises, no matter what life brought us. We could face the new month armed with an artisanal of new recipes, and a new outlook, because what we were making for dinner would be splendid and provocative. Not only would we discuss the out come of the evening, but our table guests could not help but discuss the marvelous use of watermelon, or chocolate, even if it was just our husband of many years.

And when we were stuck inside by weather or with children we could travel the world to Korea, China, Pakistan or Ireland. Anywhere Gourmet got to go they took us with them. We lived well with our Gourmet’s tucked next to our other cookbooks, decorating the shelves with year’s worth of memories only to be thought of as we run our finger down their spines. Each issue tempting, calling for us to open it and remember the candied bacon, February 07, or my granddaughter’s first birthday; October 08 the black pepper frozen yogurt, or the day my former husband passed away. Our entire lives are marked with Gourmet.

We will miss our monthly installment of Gourmet, The Magazine Of Good Living, but we will always make, trade and taste the recipes we have treasured like a child treasures found mementos.

My daughter and I would like to thank all of you who had anything to do with its production through the years and to let you know how much you mean to us. We will always consider the magazine, Gourmet, The Magazine Of Good Living, our family cookbook.

Mare Contrare is an award winning playwright and an award winning short story writer. She currently lives in Key West, Florida where she is pursuing a career writing for Young Adults. Most recently she participated in the New York photography show A Book About Death,, sponsored by the Emily Harvey Foundation.

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  • Jill Konvitz November 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    What a wonderful letter. Thank you, Mare
    Gourmet is a true loss