Monday, February 27, 2006

Red Beans and Ricely Yours

“I showed up with pancake mix, a ham, syrup and a bottle of bourbon, and slept on a recliner.”
Penzey's Spices, my "go to" spice retailers, also has a new food publication called Penzey's One. It is set up around an interesting theme. Since their spices are used by home cooks, the publication features home cooks.

I have not really been grabbed by the features or recipes so far. However, I may be influenced by the fact that in over a year there have been three issues. Count 'em. Three.

I know that it is difficult to get a new publication up and running on a regular basis. Chow, a real favorite of mine, is a case in point. However, the folks at Penzey's have a tendency to natter away in the magazine as if there is nothing odd going on.

A redeeming factor is that the third issue, which I received last weekend,focuses solely on Gulf Coast cooks who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Penzey's retail locations suddenly found themselves with lots of Katrina survivors trying to replace lost spices. When this happened even in Milwaukee the Penzey's folks knew they had to change their focus for this issue.

Maybe they should find this sort of focus more often because this issue is one that I liked. They have a couple of samples up, about New Orleans resident, Judith Wenger, and one of the most famous New Orleans native of all, Louis Armstrong. I truly loved the story of his hard childhood and how he learned that helping others was the way to live a good and fulfilled life. I hope that Penzey's One has found their focus and future issues live up to the standard set by this one. You can subscribe here.

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