Sunday, November 6, 2005
November Sundays and the Joy of Holiday Magazines
Well Halloween is over so everywhere there are signs of Christmas. I don’t know why we always have to rush to the next thing rather than savor the moment, but that’s what we seem to do here in Canada and the U S anyway.
Looking back, I seem to start a lot of my posts with “this is my favorite season” or “I love this time of year best of all”. It seems that really every season is my favorite (although I really dread the long gray, gloomy, dreary, bleak, bone-chilling….you get the idea….days of winter. Even though I have been known to whine about the heat of summer, I love it for the colors in nature, when everything is in bloom and the wonderful fresh local produce that taste even better than they look– fruits and vegetables in abundance, each one more flavorful than the next. And let’s face it, the beginning of winter is gorgeous – white snow everywhere, covering dead grass and leafless trees, that chill just cold enough to turn cheeks rosy and not enough to keep us hibernating, the change of wardrobe (I love my winter coat and boots for the first month or so). I finally get to wear those sweaters and scarves I spent much of the year knitting (and too much of the year too hot to wear). The problem comes around the end of January – snow is dirty and piled too high by the side of streets (hard to park the car), everything looks gray, and there’s no fresh local produce to speak of. Although lots of the imported stuff looks great, it a) costs a fortune and b) has very little flavor. It’s almost like eating a photo – some things are better to look at than eat.
But I digress, I love THIS time of year because it’s the perfect time of year for long walks – the air is crisp, like the leaves under foot. I love it for the soups and stews and holiday treats. I particularly love it because this is when my favorite food magazines are filled with holiday delicacies. So I started my Sunday morning in my usual fashion – reading the NY Times in bed with my honey and eventually wandered downstairs to spend this gray and rainy afternoon on the couch reading my latest purchases (I’ve added links to the magazine sites so you could all share in my pleasures): Waitrose Food Illustrated that has the most GORGEOUS cover of spices (you can almost smell it), Cook’s Illustrated : The Best Recipes for Holiday Baking, Gourmet (this one focuses on Thanksgiving),Cooking Light holiday cookbook (it’s so wonderful that there’s a cookbook that focuses on great taste AND is healthy),Saveur (that has the most gorgeous pumpkin pie on the cover), Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies (they all look amazing), fresh (not a holiday edition but has some great Fall slooooow cooking ideas) and, last but not least, Food and Travel UK (unfortunately they have no website yet) with a stunning Turkish lamb shank with couscous for the cover).
Happy reading – there’s nothing like looking at gorgeous food shots, sipping your favorite tea and thinking about which recipes you’re going to try first. What’s your pick? I’m sure I’ll share mine later this week.