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.
It is really quite wonderful how all these treasures have found you
It’s beyond wonderful!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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. : )
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!
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!
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.
Hello. I am looking for Cuisine, October and November 1981. Specifically, two quick breads; one uses cinnamon and buttermilk, the other cranberry and buttermilk. Can you by chance confirm which issue has these recipes? I have most back issues but am missing those two. I have a fond memory of making these breads to take home to my family during my college holiday break. I am so happy you were gifted these amazing magazines.
Hi Laura – Check your email!
Hi Debbie! I was glad I found your blog, and was very excited to learn about the history of Cuisine magazine. I did not know about Sphere, but will have to look for it. My mother always got Gourmet, and when I moved out, I started getting Cuisine. I still have a few, but can’t find the one that had recipes for fruitcake. I believe it was in the fall of 1983. I was living in a shared house, and I had pans of brandied fruit and citron all over my room because I had no where else to keep them! Is it possible to get the recipe/s or find out which issue they were in? Thanks! I have followed you on Insta to make sure I get your posts.
Hi Liz- Thank you for the kind words, and I’m glad you have seen my Instagram. I have a vision in my head now of seeing brandied fruit and citron spread all over the room! I remember a fruitcake article with great recipes. I’ll look this weekend and get back to you. Thanks for writing!
Liz, check your email!
Great to see someone has a library of these magazines. We used to get them years ago, and cut out many great recipes. We have lost our copy of the recipe for the Linzer Apple Torte from the Dec 1978 issue shown on this page which we have loved to make at Christmas time. I can’t find the same recipe on-line anywhere. Is there any way you could scan or take a snapshot of the recipe and email it to Us. We would be grateful.
Dear R & R- I am reading your email about the Linzer Apple Torte just as I was going to bed, so I will look up the recipe for you in the morning. Watch your email for it!
I just emailed you the recipe!
Wow! What a treasure to find you! I loved Sphere and Cuisine, so sorry that I didn’t keep all that I had. One of my all-time favorite recipes came from one of them….it’s so long ago….I baked an apple bundt cake from the magazine I have in mind. I shared the cake and later loaned my magazine to a work friend who never returned it!!! IF memory serves, it may have been in a holiday issue 1980ish. If anyone has the recipe, I would love to have it. There have been many similar recipes, including one I just tried, but they don’t quite do it.
Hi Ellen- I’m glad you found me too! I looked through some Sphere issues but no luck yet. I’ll try the Cuisines next and get back to you if I find it. Wish me luck!
Wow! So glad to hear back from you so quickly. There must be someone, somewhere, who saved that magazine, or at least the recipe. The apple bundt cake has many similar recipes, close but no cigar. Butterscotch frosting in place of caramel glaze, etc. My recipe called for … if I recall…letting cake cool a bit in the pan, then punching holes in it and pouring in a little of the caramel glaze. Then, removing from pan and pouring remainder of glaze over the cake. Good luck! I think it would be a glad addition to many recipe files if found! My daughter suggested calling her favorite public library, so I’m going to try that as well.
I’ll keep looking, Ellen. The library is a good idea, or maybe someone else reading this post has the recipe. I wish I had a Cuisine index for all the issues.
So amazing to have such a collection!!
Coincidence that my question involved Cuisine & bundt cakes as well! I know it was an issue of Cuisine. The top bar was olive-like green. The cover may have had wine bottles on it. There was an article about either pound cakes or bundt cakes. It ha my go-to recipe for a bundt cake. Also a chocolate & yellow bundt and a coconut one.
Of all the carefully saved cooking magazines that got thrown out in a recent deep cleaning when I was not there to oversee, the loss of this article is a tragedy. If I at least knew the issue, I could try to track it down. And no, I sadly hadn’t incorporated the article into a scan or recipe program.
Fingers crossed that you might be able to identify it.
Carolyn, I feel so bad that your carefully saved cooking magazines were thrown out. I know that terrible feeling except mine were lost in a flood. I’m so grateful to have readers who sent me copies of all the Sphere and Cuisine magazines. I will do my best to find your cake recipes. It will probably take a while as I don’t have an index of all the years of recipes. I’ll get back to you if I find them. Thanks so much for writing. Cross your fingers!
Thanks so much. It felt like a miracle to find your site, particularly after learning of the forced demise of Cuisine. And the fact that there are two subsequent publications using the name.
I envy the depth of your archives! And quite understand that it’s an “as time is available” quest. But just knowing that the magazine issue exists in your basement is thrilling! Thank you
You are so welcome, Carolyn. I’ll do my best!
It was so great to find your website! I am looking for a lemon buttermilk pound cake recipe that is is the January 1983 issue of Cuisine. I have all the magazines from 1981 through 1984 and have been making that cake for years but somehow this issue has been misplaced. It is one of my favorite recipes and I haven’t been able to find anything that is even comparable. If you have time to look for it in your archives and send it to me, I would really appreciate a copy. Thanks so much.
Hi Colleen- I found your recipe! Check your email.
I’m looking for a recipe that was in the 1983 Nov. edition of Cuisine. This edition had James Beard on the front. The recipe is for a light fruitcake with dried and candied fruit. We retired and moved out of state leaving my collection of cooking magazines behind! 🙁 Thanks for any help you may be able to give.
Karen, I know exactly which issue you mean. I loved that pull-out cover of James Beard, showing the back of his head then opening up to the front of his face! In fact, I loved it so much I had it framed. My daughter had it hanging in her New York City kitchen for years but since she moved and is now living five minutes away from me, I’m taking it back! I’ll take a photo of it and send it to you when I get it. There are about a dozen fruitcake recipes in that issue, so I will get it out and find the one you want and send it to you. I’ll be getting back to you!
OMGoodness! Thank you so very much! I made that fruitcake many times for Christmas and feeling nostalgic this year wanted to make it again. It’s so good and lighter than most. I thought I had pulled out that issue and brought it with us to AZ but evidently not. This is wonderful news
and so nice of you to take the time!
ps: If I remember correctly it’s the one that calls for you to stuff dates with dried apricots. I skipped that step after the first time as it was entirely too time consuming and didn’t alter the taste at all! lol
Thanks for the extra info, Karen. I’m on it!
Hi I’ve been at your site a few times before but was interrupted by life. I had all the Sphere magazines at one time but they were destroyed by a malicious person unfortunately. I am most interested in a recipe from 1976 but I’m not sure which month. There was an article on Alice Medrich with a recipe for chocolate truffles. It is a bit different than the recipes printed today as it uses a raw egg yolk but I am sentimental about the original recipe even though I know to be careful with an egg yolk being the right temperature. I love reading your comments to others as well as their experiences.
Hi Treva- I will certainly look for the truffle recipe for you. I’m so sorry your Sphere’s were destroyed. Mine were all destroyed in a flood, but thankfully they have all been replaced by my wonderful readers. I have all the issues back now so I will go and look for your recipe. I’ll get back to you as soon as I locate it. If you remember other recipes, I can look for them too.