In between eating fresh ham, sipping on a Sicilian red, and consuming more TV than is probably recommended, I made my way through Lucky Peach‘s winter issue “Feel the Joy.” Despite the gingerbread men splashed across a red background, this journal covers everything from the holidays with which most Americans are familiar to some of the more unknown traditions of places like Beijing. Since it does have such a holiday (read: events that occur between November and January) feel to it, I was hoping to have this out to you all before this time was over. However, stuff happened, so you’re getting it now.
This hefty journal is one with which you’ll really want to spend some time, whether you call yourself a foodie or not. Peter Meehan’s article “Feast of One Fishes” bursts with sharp hilarity; Lisa Hanawalt’s art is colorfully fun; Joseph Azam manages to craft an essay that captures the discomfort that tinges the traditions of many Middle Eastern immigrants yet also highlights the beauty of these holidays. These aren’t just words strung together to talk about food, but also complex pieces that underscore how holidays impact one’s life.
Just as interesting as the articles are the recipes that offer both twists on classics and more exotically enticing food like Punjabi Goat and Potato Curry. There isn’t one that I wouldn’t try. They sound so good that I’m actually considering buying Manischewitz just to make the cocktail listed about halfway through this issue. Whether or not I actually take the plunge and buy some Manischewitz, I will definitely be attempting to make the Olive Oil and Wine Cookies that sound right up my alley. Not only do I love cookies and wine, I’m also pretty positive that the olive oil makes them healthy. If all goes well, I’ll probably write a blog about them; if it doesn’t, I’ll still probably write a blog about it. Keep an eye out!
Each turn of the page is a surprise that gives new depth to the word ‘holiday.’ It’s the kind of stuff that I’ll never throw into the recycling bin. The only bad thing that comes with this issue of Lucky Peach is the slight twinge of sadness I feel when thinking on how journalism like this may eventually only be available online. No matter what anyone says, reading things online never gives me the same feeling of joy as a sturdy magazine in my hands. Just based on this issue, I can tell you that my subscription to this quarterly is more than worth it, but if you want to test the waters first, you can order this individual journal on their website as well. For those of you who have already read Lucky Peach, I would love to hear your thoughts…unless you didn’t think it was awesome, in which case I would prefer never to hear from you again. On that sentiment, I’ll wish you all a happy holiday season and I’ll be back later this week with a review of the donut that changed my life.