Not every recipe, or magazine spread, has to be flashy and innovative: sometimes less is more. Page 23 of the new issue of Brooklyn-based Peddler, themed ‘Grandma’, is the epitome of simplicity.
The first section of the magazine is fondly titled ‘Grandma loves sweets’, and page 23 features a warmly lit photograph of a ‘four quarters’ cake, by Katia Kelly. Originating from her French family’s scrapbook of recipes, you might otherwise recognise it as a Victoria Sponge Cake. There is something special about such a simple recipe – equal parts eggs, sugar, butter and flour – you know roughly what it will taste like just from the visual information alone, so if you’re anything like me, this image will have your mouth watering.
The photograph is delectably styled – a single slice taken from the cake, ready to eat, apricot jam laced with Cointreau splurging out of the yellow sponge. The champagne in vintage coupe glasses makes the shot – it elevates this from a simple cake to an event, a memory to be shared and enjoyed unreservedly. The brief note that accompanies the image gives just enough context, and just enough instruction, for it to be an enjoyable read and hopefully enjoyable to recreate.
Later in the issue, a quote from Kelly Neil notes, ‘recipes are threads that tie us to the past’, and this cake is just one example. Elsewhere in the different sections – titled Connect/Disconnect and Land & Sea – stories of migration, graft, or relatives lost and found all come together through recipes shared, half-remembered, or adjusted for ingredients available in new places.
The issue is full of beautiful food photography and heartwarming stories of grandmothers and their cooking. Billing itself as a recipe-driven journal, personal narratives are at the forefront here – the stories are as good for the soul as the food.
Editor-in-chief & Creative director: Hetty McKinnon
Art director: Shirley Cai
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