Food & Wine & Me: The First 10 Years

Well, Frank finally talked me into it.  I’m finally going to give up my collection of Food and Wine magazines.  This is not an easy thing to do, although I admit fully that I haven’t looked at, opened or really even thought about them for years (except every time I glance up at the top shelves of my kitchen and see them.)  I’ve had this collection since 1991!  I was still living in San Francisco in a cute little one bedroom apartment out in the Sunset with Frank.  We were newlyweds!  The magazines made the move to our new house in San Leandro the next year and I had a special bookshelf just for them and my cookbook collection in the kitchen.  Just about the time the bookshelf was getting completely full we made the move to Texas (2005.)  The big question:  Do they stay or come with us?  After much deliberation they were allowed to come on the trip (although the bookshelf didn’t make the cut.  It wasn’t in the best of shape by this time but, when you buy a $10.00 bookshelf from Ikea you can’t expect it to last forever.)  So, we got to our new spacious digs and began unloading and unpacking and the next big question became, where shall I put this huge pile of magazines that I’m never going to look at again?  We were broke, broke, broke, having been paying the mortgages on two houses and not yet having sold the old one so even a $10.00 bookshelf was out of the question.  Looking around the kitchen I noticed that there was a perfect shelf space on top of the cupboards so I made a makeshift bookend out of a glass champagne bucket and a piece of flagstone, hopped up on the ladder and stacked them all around the kitchen shelves.  They eventually ran completely around the room.  They started by the glass door to the porch, wound over the oven, took a little break over the door to the laundry room then resumed over the coffee maker, wine fridge and headed on over to the refrigerator.  Eventually I did run out of room so the last two years have been stacked in the front bedroom. Thus the impetus to get rid of them:  Frank claims he needs that space for his textbooks.  Textbooks?  Really? 

So, a couple of weeks ago I gave in and decided to get rid of them.  Now, as I said, this has not been an easy process.  It’s not like I can just haul them all down and chuck them in the recycling bin.  First I had to take them all down and clean them off with a wet cloth.  Remember, they were way up high in the kitchen so you can just imagine the grease and dust that had accumulated over 5 years.  After lovingly sponging them all down I put them all in order and laid them out on the living room floor.  While deciding where they should go (Library?  Good Will?  Craig’s List?)  I got the bright idea that I should leaf through all of them and see what memories pop out at me.  Three weeks later I’m finally ready to jot some of them down.  So, here goes:
1991   The first thing I notice is all the people that are still alive:  Julia Child is writing articles, Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn pose in an American Express ad,  Robert Urich smiles happily out of a dog food ad.  Then there are the “new” chefs:    Bobby Flay opens Mesa Grill in New York, Jeremiah Tower smirks  in a Dewar’s ad (what happened to Jeremiah Tower?)  Thomas Colicchio had hair!  He was named one of America’s best new chefs in 1991. 

Then I noticed this hideous article:   

Besides “lite” beef, supermarket shelves may soon be stocking leaner pork raised in response to concerns about dietary fat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that pigs fed a diet of whole soybeans – which contain soybean oil have higher ratios of polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat in their bodies than those fed a standard diet. For example, bacon from the pigs on the soybean diet had twice as much polyusatured fat and 8 percent less saturated fat, makint it a healthier product. (Denise Fortino. ) 

So, this is who we have to thank for over 15 years of skinny, tasteless pork.  Thank goodness that trend is going away.

December:  Wow!  My Panettone recipe.  I so clearly remember making this at Christmas time at my sister Jordon’s house.  She and Paul were still in their first house in Pioneer and the entire family had spent every single Christmas there since Jordon was pregant with Lindsey in 1984.  We would always come up 3 or 4 days before Christmas and cook, cook, cook.  Many happy holidays were spent at that house.  I’d never made panettone and really only knew it from those dry boxes you always see popping up in the grocery stores at Christmas time but Frank and I had spent part of our honeymoon in Italy so I was inspired. This panettone was absolutely delicious:  moist, not too sweet, good fruit.  And it made great french toast the next day.    I’ve included the recipe for all of you to enjoy.

Panettone

 by Nick Malgieri

½ cup milk

1 envelope active dry yeast

3 2/3 cups flour

1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon white rum

3 whole eggs, at room temperature

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

½ cup diced candied orange peel

½ cup dark raisins

½ cup golden raisins

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until lukewarm (110 degrees).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast.  Place 2/3 cup of the flour in a bowl and stir in the milk-yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until almost tripled, about 1 hour.  (The sponge may fall abruptly toward the end; this is normal.)
  2. Fifteen minutes before the sponge is ready, place the stick of butter in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle.  Beat at medium-high speed until light.  Add the salt, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and rum and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and egg yolks.  Beat 1/3 of the eggs into the butter mixture until smooth.  On lowest speed, beat in 1 cup of the flour until fully incorporated.  Scrape the bowl and paddle.  Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour in two batches, beating well after each addition.  Add the sponge and beat on the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic, about 5 minutes.  Finally, beat in the candied orange peel and the raisins.
  4. Scrape the dough into a buttered 2 ½ quart bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.
  5. Butter and flour a 9 by 3 inch springform pan.  Stir the dough with a rubber spatula to deflate, then scrape it into the prepared pan.  Cover loosely with a buttered piece of plastic wrap.  Set aside until the dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Discard the plastic wrap.  Bake the panettone in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, until well risen and deeply colored.  Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a thin knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Transfer to a rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the side of the pan and slide the panettone off the base onto the rack.  Brush all over with the melted butter and let cool completely.

We definitely had more time in those days to cook.  We even made our own candied orange peel.   I believe that same year I also made an extremely time intensive focaccia.  It had to rise for something like 12 hours.  It also was really, really good.  I did not include that recipe because it’s insanely long.   However, I’m sure you can find it on foodandwine.com.  That Italian Seafood Feast looks very familiar.  Not sure if we made it that Christmas but I distinctly remember preparing one at some time or another.

 Wow, this lady in the Saturn ad opposite the recipe is wearing a dress that looks suspiciously like one of my bridesmaids.  That’s a little disconcerting but perhaps a coincidence since I got married in 1990.
1992 –I seem to be missing April and May.  This is not really surprising because we moved from San Francisco to San Leandro and Food & Wine often has a little trouble negotiating new addresses.  I do remember being rather upset about those two missing months since it was going to ruin what was, up until then, a pristine collection.  Ah well.  I hope whoever ends up with all these treasures will understand and forgive. There’s an interesting article here about Distinguished Restaurants of North America. There are 15 listed in Texas; and  not one of them is in Austin, which just confirms my opinion of this town as NOT a great food mecca.  I didn’t get any other memories of this year but I guess that’s not too surprising since I got pregnant in February and gave birth in November.  I may have had a few other things on my mind besides cooking.
1993 – I found what has to be the most lukewarm review of the French Laundry Restaurant ever written.  Admittedly, it had just opened but considering the incredible press it’s gotten over the years this review is hilarious:

For intimacy, I recommend The French Laundry, named after a former tenant of the building. The prix-fixe dinner costs $46, and while some might describe a $46 meal featuring a small chicken as being taken to the cleaners, there are compensations. The wine list is extremely inexpensive, and the experience of eating here is soothing. Once you book a table, it’s yours for the evening. You’re welcome to stroll through the backyard garden between courses if you wish. The herbs and spices growing there find their way into polenta with orange zest and rosemary or chanterelle mushrooms sautéed in butter and thyme.

Hmm.  These Potato Nests with Crème Fraiche and Caviar look surprisingly familiar.  I believe they may have found their way onto our Christmas table.  Also, here’s my old friend  Apple Cranberry Pie.  Can’t tell you how many times I made this pie over the years.  (The secret my friends is orange zest.)
1994 – April. This cover rings a bell and this issue is definitely well used. The cover is sporting a picture of the Lemon Pudding Parfait.  Man, I used to make this dessert for any special occasion.  It’s basically lemon curd lightened up with whipped cream, layered with whipped cream and raspberries in a tall, pretty glass.  Very, very easy and very, very yummy.  I didn’t realize it until looking at this recipe but I’ve adapted this recipe and have offered it in my catering repertior (Jill’s California Catering)  all the time.   Instead of a parfait I put the lemon cream in little tiny tart shells and top them with a couple of raspberries.  Always a success.   August – Ah, these summer pies and tarts.  I distinctly remember making these for my cousin Robert’s daughter’s wedding ceremony.  He was living at some cute little place in Napa or Sonoma  (he was always living in some cute litle place in Napa or Sonoma) and he and I had a lovely afternoon in the kitchen before everybody else arrived.  I remember making mountains and mountains of tabbouleh.  Come to think of it, we might have actaually made the fruit pizzas from next month’s episode because I also have a vague memory of pizza, pizza, pizza.  Our boys (mine and my sister Julie’s who are all about 6 monts apart) were running around naked covered with blueberry juice and big grins.  They were so cute!!!!!!!!    Oh man, these Potato salads!  This was a great month.  Julie has been making the goat cheese and red pepper one almost every Easter since she found the recipe.  Pretty sure she uses feta instead of goat though.  Enjoy!

Potato Salad with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Peppers

3 pounds medium red-skinned or California white potatoes

3 large red bell peppers

6 ounces soft goat cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

1/3 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1.       In a large pot, steam the potatoes over moderately high heat until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Drain and cool.

2.       Meanwhile, roast the red bell peppers over a gas flame or under a broiler, as close to the heat as possible, turning often, until charred all over.  Transfer the peppers to a paper bag and let steam for 10 minutes.  Working over a strainer set over a bowl, scrape off the charred skins and remove the stems, seeds and cores.  Cut the peppers into thin lengthwise strips, then cut cross-wise into ½-inch pieces.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of the juices.

3.       Peel the potatoes, halve them lengthwise and slice 1/3 inch thick.

In a large bowl, stir together the goat cheese, oil, red pepper juices and the salt and black pepper.  Add the potatoes, red peppers, scallion greens, sun-dried tomatoes and basil and stir gently.  Serve at room temperature.

 
 
 
 
 

Potato Salad with Poblano chiles and Cilantro

2 pounds medium potatoes

Salt

2 medium poblano chiles

¾ cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 scallions, finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1.       In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer until just tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain and let cool.

2.       Meanwhile, roast the poblanos over a gas flame or under a broiler, as close to the heat as possible, turning often, until the skins are charred all over.  Transfer the chiles to a paper bag and set aside to steam for 10 minutes.  Scrape off the charred skins and remove the cores and seeds.  Cut the chiles into ¼-inch dice.

3.       In a bowl, mix the poblanos with the yogurt, mayonnaise, scallions, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt and the pepper.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into ¾-inch dice.  Add the potatoes to the dressing and toss.  (The salad can be made to this point 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.)  Stir in the cilantro right before serving

 

1995 –Found a bit of a more in-depth and gushy review of  The French Laundry. The review was a full page this time instead of a paragraph: The prix-frixe has now gone up to $52 (4 course), $57 (five course) and $70 (9 course). There was a wonderful article on Jacques Pepin and his friends hunting wild mushrooms and cooking them. I remember how much I enjoyed reading it back then and thinking, “He’s got a great life.  How can I get a life like that?”  He looks so rugged with his little 3 day growth. November-This month is always the most used throughout the years and this one is no exception.  The page with the  Maple-Pepper Roasted Turkey is filthy!  Always a good sign for a recipe.  I seem to remember making this turkey 3 or 4 times throughout the years.   Torta Rustica. I think my mom makes this.   I could be thinking of that black bean torta she made that time at Stern Grove though.  It was dense.  December –  Oh, there are always such fun cooking recipes in December.  This issue features the  Mermaid Cookies w/Pumpkin Seed Scales.  I remember I was so excited by the pictures that I made a stencil out of cardboard and made these with my kids at school. (In my old life when I had a career and not just a ridiculous job for which I’m grossly overqualified I used to teach High School English and Foods.)  Hey!  The Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake!  This thing is a behemoth!  We always love to make some crazy, elaborate dessert for Christmas and usually end up throwing most of it out.  This really is a delicious cheesecake but it is easily 3 inches high.  I think it calls for something like 4 pounds of cream cheese.

1996 – January  Here’s another great recipe for Focaccia (by Lauren Groveman).  Now you’ll know where to find the recipe if you so choose.  Check out this wonderful litle recipe from Julia from the  October issue (Gosh I miss her!) –

Julia’s A Simple Little Hen

To broil-roast a large (1 ½ lbs) Cornish hen, cut out the backbone and flatten the bird by pounding down on the breastbone and ribs with your fist. Brush the hen all over with oil and melted butter, season well and set it skin side down in a baking pan. Broil for several minutes, until lightly browned. Baste again and brush all over with crushed garlic, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of dried thyme. Turn the bird over and broil it skin side up until browned. Finish by roasting a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, or until the legs are tender and the juices run clear. Cut in half lengthwise to serve. (Serves 2)

Can’t you just hear her telling us the recipe? 

Linguine with Tomato, Tuna, Garlic, Fennel and Lemon.  I used to make this recipe all the time.  Frank’s mother loved it!  I don’t know what happened but I seem to have lost my taste for it.  Perhaps I should give it another try. Now here are a couple of recipes that I still make all the time and EVERYBODY loves them.  Thank you Jacques Pepin:  Toasted Bread and Onion Soup,  and Chicken Ragout Jeannette.  The soup recipe is the easiest and most delicious onion soup you could ever make and the Jeannete is a dish his mother used to make.  You can make it with bacon but this is a recipe that I will actually go out and buy salt pork for.  It really makes a difference.  It’s basically a chicken stew with red potatoes and the pork and such.  He finishes it off with a shot of Tabasco which just sends the dish over the edge!  Check these recipes out.  You will not be sorry.  

Somehow, and I’m still blaming somebody, I’m missing November.  I know I’ve scoured all of their houses but I’m positive one of my sisters or my mother has an extra November issue in their stack.  And I’ve always imagined  that it’s got the absolute best turkey, side dishes and pies in it.  This missing month still keeps me up at night.  Tragedy.

1997 – February- Here are some more really wonderful chicken recipes from Michael Roberts.  Michael Roberts had a restaurant called Twin Palms in Pasadena that we’ve all been to because we feel  have some kind of weird connection to him.  Turns out he is the partner of my sister’s friend’s brother.   Got that?  And just because we have that obscure connection we feel like we know the guy.  Anyway his recipes are fantastic and the restaurant was really fun and classy.  I remember going there with my friend, Lanai and Gino about 10 years ago.  Gino got a bloody nose and we were trying to staunch the flow with a white cloth napkin in the middle of the restaurant.  Oh, good times.  Perhaps I’ll tell you the story of when he simply had too much to eat at Vespaio’s and couldn’t make it out of the restaurant in time to deal with it).  Anyway, the recipes are different variations on sauteed chicken.  My two favorites are  Sauteed Chicken w/Herbs and Vermouth,and  Saute of Chicken and Shallots.   April – Interesting article on the Hill Contry by Molly Glentzer that I’m sure meant nothing to me back then.   She mentions Cooper’s BBQ pit, Fredericksburg, Jeffrey’s Restaurant in Austin, Luckenbach, all the shitty wineries, Enchanted Rock, & Central Market (which she seems to love as much as I do).   July Readers’ Choice: Restaurants.  1st place was Commander’s Palace, last was Tra Vigne.  My, my my, how times have changed.  The last time I went to Commander’s Palace (last summer) it was just so disappointing.  There’s no other way to say it but the food was just not good.  However, the 25 cent martinis (I think we had 19 between 4 of us) went a long way towards making up for the food.   As for Tra Vigne, well, I’ve spent some of my happiest culinary moments there.  The day after my friend, Amy’s wedding I went there with my sister, brother-in-law and best friend, Pete.  That was one of the happiest afternoon’s of my life.  The food was always spectacular but even more so, I just always seemed to be extremely happy every time I was there.  Michael Chiarello sold it many years ago but I think I’m going to be able to go to his new place in a couple of weeks.  I’ll definitely keep all y’alls updated. –

1998 – February  – Goat cheese soufflés w/thyme.  This is a keeper.  This is my neice, Lindsey’ favorite dish for us to make together.  They’re pretty darn easy and a total show stopper.

 

Goat cheese soufflé with thyme

 

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup flour

1/2cup milk

2 tablespoons dry white wine

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon anchovy paste

3 ½ ounces goat cheese,crumbled

1 ½ teaspoons thyme leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large eggs, separated, plus 3 large egg whites

½ cup grated sharp white Cheddar

 

1.                  Preheat the oven to 375.  Butter a 1 quart soufflé dish.  Add the Parmesan and turn the dish to coat it with the cheese.

2.                  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the flour and cook, whisking, until blended.  Whisk in the milk, wine, mustard and anchovy paste and cook, whisking, until the sauce is smooth and thick, about 8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese and 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in the egg yolks.  Scrape the soufflé mixture into a large bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface.  (The soufflé can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.  Bring the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.

3.                  In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of slat until soft peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the beaten whites into the soufflé mixture; fold in the remaining whites until just a few streaks remain.

Gently scrape the mixture into the prepared dish.  Sprinkle the top with the Cheddar, the remaining ½ teaspoon of thyme and some pepper.  Bake the soufflé in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until nicely risen and browned on top.  Serve at once.

Page 108 looks very well used but I don’t recognize any of the recipes on it. There is a little purple crayon mark so perhaps Gino was the one who was interested. July – Best New chef Michael Symon.  He’s certainly come a long way.  There sure are a  lot fewer” fall-out”s these days.  That’s what I call those little cardboard inserts that try to get you to buy more magazines.  I  Had 5 fall out in December alone. One of them had LaToya’s pager number on it.  Pagers.  Remember those?  La Toya was one of my students who turned into my favorite babysitter for Gino.  Wonder what she’s up to these days?
1999 – June. On Dana Cowin’s wedding article I found this scrawled in the margin in my handwriting: “Bof uf ‘em is extranomical fighters” Oba Carr 5/21/99.  That is hilarious.  I must’ve been watching the fights with Frank with the magazine on my lap and when I heard that quote I just had to write it down somewhere.  Extranomical.  Note to self:   find a way to use that word as often as possible. July  – One of the Best New Chefs is Rocco DiSpirito.  He kind of self-destructed didn’t he?  Also mentioned were John Besh, Marc Vetri, and Suzanne Goin who had the Best tip: “Always cut steak against the grain. A skirt steak’s grain can curve, so turn the meat as you slice.”  Of course I know to cut against the grain but that skirt steak tip is great.  I can never seem to get my skirt steak tender.  That must be the secret.  November  – Ah, once again my favorite month.  Here’s Jordons’ go-to for pretty much every Thanksgiving:  Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Shallots.

 

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Shallots

10 Servings

5 pounds medium to large sweet potatoes

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon cardamom

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

¾ pound shallots, thinly sliced

 

1.       Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce the sweet potatoes with the tip of a knife and bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender.  Turn the oven down to 250.

2.       Slit the skins and scoop the potatoes into a large bowl.  Add the butter and cardamom and beat with an electric mixer at low speed until smooth and fluffy.  Season with salt and white pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm.

3.       In a large deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil until shimmering.  Add half of the shallots and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt.  Repeat with the remaining shallots.  Scatter the shallots over the sweet potatoes and serve.

(The recipe can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Store the shallots in an airtight container.  Rewarm and rewhip the potatoes; recrisp the shallots in the oven if necessary.

2000 – January   This has got to be the stupidest article ever: 

 A Wine for Every Sign  Here’s what Scorpio (which happens to be my sign) gets: 

For the always passionate Scorpio, home is where the heart is and both may be changing address. May I suggest a wine in a box? Perhaps an Almaden red? It’s easy to pack and carry for a crosstown or crosscountry move.

WTF?  A boxed wine?  Almaden boxed wine?  Is she kidding?

Here’s her suggestion for Capricorn, which if Frank’s sign.  (Frank, by the way, is bald and hates Sauvignon Blanc.  And I don’t ever think I would use the word “prudent” to describe him.) 

Prudent Capricorn, loosen that white-knuckle grip and let down your hair. This year marks the beginning of your quest for a ligher, more reckless spirit. A Merryvale Sauvignon blanc will pair quite well with your newly tousled look.

Nice work Beverly Cambron.  The good news is I don’t think the mag ever published her again. 

February  Discoverd this little article called The Frugal Gourmet.  I’ve actually been to this place many times in Dallas.

Take Breadwinners,  a café and bakery with a lush interior courtyard. Order coffee ($1.50) and you get a basket of fresh-baked breads on the house; it might hold sun-dried tomato bread and hearty spice cake. Leo’s Favorite Scramble ($8) is a mix of eggs, grilled chicken, ham, onion, tomato and Jack cheese in a sheen of hollandaise. (Mark Stuertz)

Gotta totally agree with Mark here.  Frank and I have spent many lazy Saturday mornings at this place, drinking Mimosas, checking out all the fake Dallas boobs, enjoying the delicious bread and occasionally indulging in one of their softball sized cinnamon rolls.

 October –  These were kind of cool.   Italian Cooking school tips: To make your own natural wine vinegar, place a slice of bread in some wine for 25 days. Put your rising bread dough “to bed” in a large bowl: Cover it loosely with a kitchen cloth and then with a thick blanket to keep it warm. To freeze basil, pluck individual leaves from the stalks and place them in a plastic bag. Blow a little air in the bag before closing it.

Strangely, no memories of November or December.

Well, that’s the first 10 years.  It only took me about a month to get through all of them.  Only 10 more years to go!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers out there.  Keep eating and reading.

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2 Responses to “Food & Wine & Me: The First 10 Years”

  1. jordon Says:

    I did the same thing with my Food and Wines and Bon Appetits but I went a step further: I tore out the recipes I liked, put them in manila folders and labeled them (appetizers, eggs and brunch, bread, pork, beef, etc. etc.) …. and left them on the floor near by my oh-so-full cookbook bookcase. Then we moved, I chose the recipes I REALLY liked and put them in my own cookbook to try. It was HARD to throw them all away …. but I did it. JORDON

  2. Robert Says:

    WOW! Very impressive research and dedication. I just threw out all my Architectural Digests and Vanity Fairs. I always just keep the November and December issues of Food and Wine, Bon Appetit and Gourmet (sniff) magazines. I just checked and the Prix Fixe at The French Laundry is now $250 and the wine list is anything but inexpensive. I ate there back in the day and thought $45 was really expensive and I brought my own bottle of Reunion. Walked around the garden one day with the chef. That was fun. Maybe she was a sous chef.

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