Sphere and Cuisine

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It’s still hard for me to believe that this was the first shelf seen when walking down the stairs to my Culinary Cellar.  It was two years ago this summer that all of this and thousands more cookbooks and recipes were under seven feet of water and mud after a devastating and freak flood.  To me, it feels like yesterday.  But for my loyal readers, you know that it all changed and the cellar has come back to life.  Hundreds of incredibly generous cookbook lovers across country and a few around the world have sent over 2,000 cookbooks to help rebuild, and they are still coming on a regular basis.  I’ve had at least a couple hundred more sent just in the last month.  The love of cooking is always there for many people, and the desire to help a fellow cookbook collector is the most heart-warming experience that I can’t even put into words.  My heart is so full that I still think it will burst from gratitude.  For more than a week I have been pouring over all the books sent recently, and they will be the subject of blogs to come soon.  But today I want to talk about the new collections of my favorite vintage monthly magazines, Sphere and Cuisine.

Look at the first photo where my beloved little James Beard bear is sitting.  Right above his hat are black file holders with collections of both magazines.  In this photo you can see them all lined up and organized by each year.  I had all of the Sphere’s from its charter issue of February/March 1972 to its last publication in December 1978.  I only had a handful of Cuisines at that time and was trying to find all of those issues which were published from January 1979 to December 1984.

1972 issues (left) and 1973 issues.

1974 and 1975

1976 and 1977

The 1978 issues were called just Sphere, and changed to Sphere’s Cuisine for the last three issues.

The December issue on the left was the last Sphere’s Cuisine, and Cuisine began January 1979.

Cuisine 1979 and 1980.

Cuisine 1981 and 1982.

Cuisine 1983 and 1984.

All of these issues are possible to own because of one of my generous readers, Kathy M. from Ohio.  She wrote and said she had to downsize and didn’t know what to do with them all but wanted them to have a home where they would be treasured and loved as she did.  I assured her this would happen.  As I mentioned, I only had a handful of Cuisines and now I have every single issue.  I have had Spheres sent over the past couple years and now I have them all separated and boxed along with Kathy’s.  I am in food magazine heaven.  I need to go out this week and buy file holders like I had before.

As my fellow Sphere enthusiasts know, I have been writing monthly blogs about each issue and I was up to the Spring of 1976 although I have gotten behind on this (and my blog itself!) because of our house renovation, but I’ll catch up soon.  I’m also looking forward to writing about the books too.

Thank you again, Kathy, for your kindness and generosity.  You have made the Culinary Cellar even better than ever.

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10 Responses to Sphere and Cuisine

  1. Lisa keys November 5, 2019 at 4:29 am #

    It is really quite wonderful how all these treasures have found you

    • Debbie November 5, 2019 at 8:04 am #

      It’s beyond wonderful!

  2. Barbara Retherford November 5, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    As I’ve mentioned to you before, I loved Sphere also and still have several of them. I also mentioned that we had a group of 5 or 6 couples that got together monthly for our “around the world” dinner. We used Sphere magazines for our themes and recipes, and they were always a hit. I also loved the crafts and fashion they presented that went along with their theme that month. I don’t think there’s anything like it anymore. So enjoy reading your comments about them!!

    • Debbie November 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm #

      You are right, Barbara. There is nothing like Sphere anymore, which could be one of the reasons so many people remember it well. I love that you have done the Sphere dinner parties! I have heard from others who have done the same thing, and in some cases, it has become a tradition for them. I’m so glad you are enjoying the Sphere blogs. I love writing about them.

  3. Judith Puckett November 6, 2019 at 6:00 am #

    Yes, we don’t have a Sphere or Cuisine replacement any longer. And do I wish I had not discarded mine, you bet! We can easily find recipes on the Internet and in Magazines but quite often there are misprints, missing ingredients, or calls for a $5.00 spice you only need a teaspoon of and then it sits on your shelf. I don’t remember having that problem with Sphere recipes, maybe someone proof read or actually made the recipe before they put it in the magazine.

    • Debbie November 6, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

      Judith, I agree with everything you said, which is why Sphere recipes are so unique. They can’t be found unless the magazines can be found.

  4. Denise November 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    I’m so happy for you, Debbie…. and excited for all of us as you share the magazines! So nice of you to share, Kathy. I had never heard of either magazine before reading about them on your blog. Of course, I’m excited to hear about the cookbooks as well. : )

    • Debbie November 6, 2019 at 9:28 pm #

      Thank you, Denise. I am so lucky to have people find my Sphere blogs who remember their favorite recipes from the magazine, which I could not have done without readers like Kathy who have sent me all the issues. I love trying to find everyone’s favorites for them. It’s an adventure! And now I can find Cuisine recipes as well. Cookbook blogs are coming too!

  5. Milana May 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm #

    Wow, I can’t believe you have all of those Sphere magazines! I once had all of them too, but after a couple of moves had to let them go. But that is the magazine that inspired my magazine career (still publishing today!) and a good many wonderful craft projects. Delighted to see these pictures and remember what an exceptional publication that was. Thank you for the trip down memory lane!

    • Debbie May 28, 2020 at 8:33 pm #

      Milana, Sphere has that affect on many people! Such a great magazine. I am intrigued it inspired your magazine career! What a testament to Sphere.

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