Condé Nast announced today that they would be folding Gourmet magazine, the nearly seventy-year-old food and recipe monthly. It is a sad day for food-lovers everywhere, myself included. Gourmet has a long and rich history and is a very well-respected magazine in the food world. It’s folding has shocked quite a few people, most of whom thought that CN would close the younger Bon Apetit over Gourmet. While the choice of magazine to fold does shock me, I can’t say that I am too surprised that food magazine are beginning to feel the brunt end of the great print media die-off. For one, food blogs have been increasing in popularity over the past few years, drawing higher influence and an increased amount of readers. As food blogs like Eater and The Kitchn have gained popularity, magazines like Gourmet have unfortunately fallen by the wayside. As food blogs have gained popularity they have also drawn the attention of advertisers. We don’t live in the dark ages of online advertising anymore, large companies aren’t afraid to advertise on established blogs and technology has allowed advertisers to track the effectiveness of their online ads. Sadly, this means that a lot of great magazines have been badly hurt by the drop in readers and the drop in advertisers. Hopefully, some day Gourmet can come back and regain its status as the best food magazine.
Gooseberries aren’t that popular in the United States, but they are enjoyed in parts of Europe where they are often used in jams and syrups. Before I made this gooseberry-ginger jam, I had never tried gooseberries but I was intrigued when I saw some for sale at the Greenmarket and was told they were a good alternative to sweet fruit. (I’m not a huge fan of sweet things.) Gooseberries also come shrouded in an aura of danger since according to Wikipedia–the most accurate, never-wrong source since Truth was invented by George Washington and Joe the Plumber back in 1821–the gooseberry is outlawed in some parts of the US! I have been told, however, that they are pretty easy to grow in containers–particularly if you live in an area that gets a good cold winter.
This jam, from Doris and Jilly cook, is really great. Everyone I offer it to goes mad for it. The sweetness of the sugar is undercut by the tart gooseberry and a hint of ginger gives it a sort of candy-like, but not too-sweet, quality. Perfect if you are trying to avoid saccharine jams. One note, about the recipe since they didn’t make a note about it when it was posted: the recipe will yield about 5 half-pint jars with a half-inch head space.
(photo via Flickr)
I have a (not so hidden) secret: I love preserving foods. There is just something about canning and preserving that gets me excited. This weekend I went on a preserving binge, making cabbage and radish kimchee (a spicy Korean fermented dish), refrigerator pickles, infused cherries in Grand Marnier as well as balsamic strawberry jam and home-cured bacon from recipes I got from Well-Preserved. I really cannot recommend this book enough, even if you are a novice. The book, by Eugenia Bone, is focused mainly on unique small-batches of food and covers a wide variety of home-preserving methods, not just water bath canning. The book also comes with several recipes for the different unique items to can or preserve (including apricot amaretto jam, zucchini flower sauce and pickled cauliflower) and I recently made some chicken breasts in a lemon sauce that I made with home-made preserved lemons (also a recipe in the book, preserved lemons are a staple of North African cuisine and provide a great sour/salty taste).
Anyways, enough of my rambling. If you buy one canning book for the rest of your life, buy this one! Otherwise go to my favorite canning site Canning USA to fill you in on anything else.
Herbs are probably one of the easiest and most versatile things to grow. Not only can you grow them year-round next to a sunny window, you never have to wait to start using your herbs in your kitchen. Usually, I use my herbs to add some spice to chicken or to add to a specific vegetable dish I am preparing. However, these two recipes are a great way to use your fresh herbs in a different way. Sage crackers (from A Bread A Day) are wonderfully soft on the inside with just the slightest hint of sage and salt. These crackers are also extremely easy to make and don’t require a lot of special ingredients. This mint chocolate chip ice cream (from The Kitchn) is a real crowd pleaser. My friends always ask me to make it for them when they throw summer parties. The only drawback is it takes a long time to make and requires an ice cream machine. After the jump, find the recipes along with some tips from me.