Romula Yanes, Copyright © 2010 by Conde Nast Publications
America's first epicurean magazine had very ambitious plans. Although war was imminent, you wouldn't have known it from turning the pages. In this, the second issue, Gourmet's chef, Louis P. DeGouy ("de goo-ey"), taught his readers how to cook a duck. They could also read about "Famous Chefs of Today"; peruse the first installment of "Clementine in the Kitchen," the story of a French cook (the series eventually became a beloved book); and shop vicariously at a store that specialized in dates (it sold Deglet Noors, Golden Saidys, and black Hyanas). Turning to the menus, they found a rather elaborate celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, complete with oysters rockefeller, Creole soup, papaya balls, pompano fillets, pigeon pie, poinsettia salad (canned pineapple, pimiento strips, cream cheese moistened with French dressing, and paprika), creamed peas, and sugared yams.
But the best thing about the menu was the finale: crisp, chewy little cookies with a subtle almond scent. Although the recipe required a lot of work, readers would beg for it again and again over the years. Happily, the food processor has taken most of the labor out of these French-style macaroons, and today they are a breeze to make.