Saveur Love

Hot and Sour Soup: Sun La Tang

The Adam Rapoport-ization of Bon Appetit magazine just hasn't worked for me.  I shouldn't fault Mr. Rapoport, but rather publisher Conde Nast which has parlayed Mr. Rapoport's GQ background into a marketing circus. From hosted dinners pairing chefs with fashion designers to a "Desk to Dinner" fashion line in partnership with Banana Republic, the mood of the magazine has shifted from food to celebrity and fashion, feeling more like Vanity Fair. I'm all for fashion, but BA has lost its food voice, which is what I was after when I clicked the re-subscribe button year after year. Captivating food happens outside of New York City or a celebrity-packed party, too.
Move aside, BA, and make way for Saveur. This breath-of-fresh-air publication is smart, elegant, and truthful. Intriguing stories are told from Pasadena apartments, Virginia woods, and Maine gardens, as well as from Paris, Morocco and New York City. A broad perspective of history passed down through mothers and nanas, as well as new discoveries and trends is told in the pages of Saveur. The story of food and its crucial place in our lives resonates.

The recipes range from accessible week night fare to imagination-stretching elaborate endeavors. Growth as a cook is potential as a reader, as well as comfort.
Soaking Shiitakes

The October issue of Saveur is a wonderful example, offering 101 classic recipes from all over the world. Lamingtons from Australia, Tortilla Espanola, Sauerbraten, and Senate Bean Soup. Caribbean Oxtail Stew, Saag Paneer, and Beef Stroganoff; each with a warm and personal introduction from its contributor (cook book authors, chefs, and food writers.)
The Suan La Tang, Hot and Sour Soup, was perfect on a chilly evening. In three simple steps, a spicy, warming, substantive soup came together. It was as delicious as any I've ever had in any San Francisco Chinese restaurant. Its acquaintance was made like this:
Hot and sour soup is a culinary contradiction. In it, the mildest ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth. It is often administered to the unwell. Other cultures soothe their sick with bland milk toast and chicken broth, but the Chinese kick their sick in the pants. This soup doesn't just warm you; it burns through you and brings you back to life. —Mei Chin, from "Sour and Spice"
I encourage you to subscribe to Saveur if you don't already. I get nothing to tell you that. I just happen to think it's one of the best $20 you'll spend this year.
Living Room, Before and After
On another note, last spring I told you about a big remodeling project that My Baby and I were undergoing at our city house. I thought I'd pass along some of the before and afters.
Master Bath Redoux
 We're coming along! It looks great, and feels wonderful, too.


  1. Thanks for passing along the soup recipe, Pam. I read my sister-in-law's when I visit but really it's time for my own subscription. BTW, how gorgeous is your home! You've coped with some awkward ceiling shapes with absolute charm.


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