gourmet magazine coverOur family has always valued exceptionally prepared food using long proven recipes. For Christmas dinner, my aunt, a professional cook, comes to my home to help me prepare my German grandmother’s Rouladen, which we serve with egg noodles and red cabbage. She has taught me to keep notes on quantities, cuts of meat that work best, and any alterations we make to the original recipe.

It was at my aunt’s house, as a young girl, that I first saw Gourmet magazine decorating the coffee table in the living room. The glossy covers often had food that I didn’t recognize, but given her background, I knew it must be an important professional resource, and everything in it must be good.

Over the last few years, things have changed. While we still make the traditional Christmas meal, the recipe needs to be gluten free, which makes holiday meal preparation an exercise in caution as much as a celebration. As for where we get our recipes, rather than cut out of the paper or a magazine, we find them online and share them via email. When I want to make something with leeks, it’s a whole lot easier to search for it online, rather than shuffle through an archive of magazines. This approach, while more efficient, doesn’t have the same leisurely experience of paging through a magazine, being inspired to make something you wouldn’t have thought of on your own, like pumpkin soup or a peach crumble.

I haven’t picked up Gourmet in years, so I guess it is not a surprise that the magazine is going under, as announced today in the Wall Street Journal. With magazine advertising dollars being shifted to online publications, we will lose some of the old standbys. There will come a day that print magazines as we know it will no longer exist, along with print newspapers and television networks.

While I embrace the digital publishing model, I still love magazines. While I know you can do a lot with it, you can’t dog-ear the page of a Kindle.