The Perfect Sentiment

My little sister just sent an email to the editors of Glamour magazine that I had to share here. What’s the relevance? A  significant contributing factor to the development of my love of food.

I just want to share my family’s story about a particular Glamour magazine article, and say thank you for many happy meals, and even more wonderful memories.  The first dinner my mother ever cooked for my dad was found in your August, 1976 issue (page 120).  A “Romantic Dinner for Two”, written by Anne Semmes,  featured Veal Scallopini with Mushrooms, Fettuccine (Alfredo), Sliced Tomatoes with Basil (widely known today as Caprese salad), and Fresh Peaches in Champagne.  My mother tore out the page, primarily because it was “tomato season” and she thought the salad sounded delicious.

Not too many months later, mom met a young man of Italian heritage.  A few dates went well; It was time to cook for him.  Looking through her cookbooks and files for ideas, she came on your page and realized she had the entire menu.  She made the dishes exactly as printed, with one exception: instead of veal, she used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Dad has always said of that dinner that he “arrived completely smitten with her.  I left deeply in love”.  Not too many more months later, they were married.  They celebrate their wedding anniversary next month.

The entire meal has become a family favorite, our “special” meal.  Mom has never used anything but chicken, and we prefer a Sauvignon Blanc to champagne, but otherwise it’s still the original recipes you published.  The page has been saved, and brought out at least twice a year for as long as I can remember.  My dad eventually had it laminated before it completely disintegrated.  Though difficult to tell from the scan, this page bears all the earmarks of being well loved.  It wears them proudly; like battle scars, those creases and stains and folds all have their own story.

It’s since been passed on and shared with many family members, friends, and especially dinner guests, who invariably demand the recipe.  It was the first dinner my sister made for her husband, and I’ve made it for my boyfriend, too.  And mom still reads Glamour.

Thank you again for the important part you have played in our family story.

Samantha Riccio

Our family has grown up eating this meal. It it still the recipe that’s used for fettuccine alfredo, it is still the chicken I crave when I miss home. It is one of the first memories I have of cooking, and I remember learning to cook with mom. Most of all, I remember all of us sitting down to eat . . . and silence.

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