Gourmet: We'll always have Thanksgiving
In a way, it was appropriate that the final issue of Gourmet would be in November. The Thanksgiving issue is always the most anticipated -- at least from a full-time food writer's perspective. The gluttonous holiday is both a highlight and a chore for food writers. Regina Schrambling said it best in an article last year in Slate: "Every fall, writers and editors have to knock themselves out to come up with a gimmick — fast turkey, slow turkey, brined turkey, unbrined turkey — when the meal essentially has to stay the same. It's like redrawing the Kama Sutra when readers really only care about the missionary position."
Ruth Reichl and her team were under that pressure -- plus, without knowing it, the pressure of producing the last-ever issue of Gourmet. How would they do the turkey this year? Would the editors successfully strike a balance between tradition and something vaguely original?
I think they pulled it off. There's plenty of tradition: a cider-glazed turkey, cranberry-orange relish and a cover shot that is about as old-school as it gets. But the editors got plenty creative with desserts. In addition to the sweet potato tart tatin I'm making this year, I'm thinking of going for Gourmet's gingerbread and pumpkin trifle, and, possibly, the spice cake with caramelized pears and maple butter cream.
For me, it's a keeper. What do you think?
-- Jane Black
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