Friday, March 21, 2008

Susan Quick Where Are You?

Hello my name is Serendipitous Girl and I am a magazine-aholic.

It started when I was a teenager and read Sassy. Then, when 18 and waiting at the airport to pick up a boyfriend, I grabbed a Cosmo. Eventually Cosmo lead to Glamour and every month I'd head to my dealer (aka Barnes & Noble), purchase my drug of choice and inhale it in one sitting. Cosmo was fun, but I loved Glamour. Glamour encouraged down time, gave me lists of 30 things to do before I turned 30 and they had Susan Quick.

Susan Quick introduced me to couscous, rustic pies, homemade ice cream and decadent chocolate pudding cakes that were cooked in huge latte mugs. Her recipes were true to her name--quick and always easy. Inevitably I'd open up the magazine to her page first. Until the one day when I opened Glamour and frantially searched its pages, Susan was gone. I panicked. What was I supposed to do? Were my newly encouraged culinary skills going to get canned like Susan had been? And speaking of cans, was that what I was going to be reduced to? Campbell's Soup, Chili con Carne and Chef Boyardee? I was devastated and it was as if I were going through a break up. I boycotted cooking, magazines and the kitchen until In Style came around a short time later. And then I was sucked back in--recipes, parties, pretty dresses and horoscopes. In the words of Judy Garland, "oh my!"

Over the years my tastes have grown and expanded-- if anything in sheer volume. In Style and Glamour are still very much around, but they have been supplemented with Sunset Magazine, Bon Appetit, Real Simple and a slew of others. At some point I will confess to the number of magazine subscriptions I maintain but not now. We're just getting to know each other and that number feels almost as precious as that pesky number on the scale ... which you don't get to see either.

This morning, while in the middle of a "going on vacation meltdown," I sat on my couch for a few minutes and opened up the Better Homes & Gardens that just arrived. I tagged a few recipes, all of which I think Susan would approve--risotto with lemon and asparagus, chicken breasts with artichokes and crimini mushrooms and tomato and shrimp soup. Spring has arrived! I'm off to Seattle for the weekend, so cooking will have to wait. But you can bet that next week, when I'm in the kitchen--chopping, zesting, roasting and sauteeing--I'll stop for a moment, raise my wine glass and toast my old friend, Susan Quick, who I imagine is somewhere doing the exact same thing.