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on the downward side of the age mountain.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Purge and Ponder

It was a day of purging and gloom. It was time for me to come to terms with 30 years of cooking magazines that have formed culinary insulation in our garage. Let it be said that there was a time when the collection was smaller and in use. The magazines were divided by month and used for inspiration when I created catering menus.

But alas that was 25 years ago and now they had been breeding at a brisk clip of 4-6 magazines a month for way too long. You do the math and figure it out. My NSSP (Not So Silent Partner) has been quiet on the growth. He only whimpers when the magazines are in the house. Once they make the move outside his only interaction is to avoid them when parking the car. After an hour of speculating my day’s activity he surfaced to view my paltry results.

I turned with tears in my eyes and with clenched fists beat him on his chest saying, “Why didn’t you stop me! Why did you let me continue with this collection?” He gloated at my despair and walked away!

What was the catalyst? You might ask. It all had to do with a chance meeting of a budding chefflet who came into In Good Taste lusting after Art Culinaire magazines. I dropped my voice and like a dealer looking to sell drugs I told him of my horde of not only Art Culinaire but other untold culinary magazines waiting for a good home. And that dear friends is why I spent a beautiful, actually sunny, warm day in my cold garage humping boxes and shifting the stash from monthly organization to title.

Many had old addresses and had been with me from my divorced swinging single time when I dashed around Boston in my Toyota Celica ST. Then there were the years represented in our address in Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, and now Oregon.

I held firm not to read anything, I did flip through, but resisted ripping random recipes out. I found out that Gourmet changed from paragraph recipes to our ingredient/explanation style of today in 1983 and with that a narrower collection evolved. I kept those magazines prior to that bench mark. My ever trendy Bon Appetits received the same harsh treatment with only a few of the oldest staying.

I was merciless! Away Cuisine! Be gone defunct Pleasures of Cooking! Adieu Australian Taste! Never breed in my garage again Cook’s!

And when I was done I had moved the magazines from one side of the garage to the other, broken up the old moldering boxes and liposucted the collection from 28 crates to a svelte three.

Having gotten rid of one crate to my new culinary friend I dream of a steady stream of foodies clamoring for the rest of my booty ($25-crate included). If not it’s off to recycling!

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