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Good-Bye Gourmet

October 6, 2009

What a surprise and shock to read that Gourmet will cease publication with the November issue.  Although I haven’t subscribed regularly for some years it was the first food magazine that I got a subscription for after I was married, when we lived in the apartment on Overlook and Kenilworth.  A college student selling magazine subscriptions had come to the door…

When we moved south (or maybe it was when we moved to Brahenahl Place) I got rid of some of my accumulated issues, but I still have the earliest ones.  My first issue is December 1964: it has a recipe for Dutch Babies–how could I have missed that, though then I probably didn’t know what a delicious puffy pancake  it was.  Many recipes I wouldn’t cook now and probably wouldn’t have cooked then either (Hare Pate’, Snipe in Orange Sauce, Venison, Woodcock;  Shrimp Scampi calling for two pounds of butter).  But I’m going to read Cider Ferment and Cheeses in a Blue Vein, as well as Coconut Caribbean by Shirley Sarvis.  The writing was always so charming, elegant, erudite.

Manca’s Famous Dutch Babies

Break 3 eggs into the bowl of a mixer set at low speed.  When the eggs are well blended gradually add 1/2 cup sifted flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue blending the mixture.  Add 1/2 cup milk and blend thoroughly.  Spread the bottom and sides of a cold No. 8 iron skillet with 3 tablespoons butter or margarine.  Pour in the batter and put the skillet in a very hot oven (450 F.)  Bake the Dutch baby until the crust is brown.  The sides and sometimes the center will puff up unevenly.  This is the normal appearance of the finished product.  Cut the pancake into 2 sections and pour over them melted butter or margarine to taste.  Sprinkle each piece with a few drops of lemon juice, a liberal quantity of maple syrup, and, finally, confectioners’ sugar, for decorative purposes.  Serve with nicely browned bacon and good coffee.

That’s the recipe as it appears in Gourmet, December 1964.  I wouldn’t use margarine nor would I serve it with bacon.  The recipe I’ve used for years, from The Plain Dealer, is similar but calls for just two eggs.  It calls for melting the butter in the pan before adding the batter, and I’ve always sprinkled a little dark brown sugar over the butter; and served it with confectioner’s sugar but never maple syrup.

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