Wednesday, September 28, 2005

In which a beloved magazine hurts my brain.

Bah. Why must my favourite magazines mess with perfection? I remember being traumatized as a teen when Sassy started becoming less, well, Sassy. Now Canadian Living has once again tweaked the layout I love with their 30th anniversary issue.

It was the August 2005 issue that made me subscribe. I just loved it, and recent tweakings had made it hit all the right spots for me. Now the friendly section titles in the Table of Contents - "Your Style", "Family Life", "Good Food", and "Family Health" have been boiled down to "Style", "Life", "Food" and "Health", just as I'm getting broody and thinking squishy-happy thoughts about family!

The "On Our Cover" list has been replaced with a picture of the cover and lines connecting its images and titles with page numbers. Further to the dumbing-down of my favourite magazine, the editors are using a yellow highlighter effect of bits of text, as though they are assuming we won't read the article and need the quick bite of information. If you're a silly person who likes to read an entire paragraph, page or article, the highlighting is just bloody distracting.

They seem to have left the recipe pages' layout alone, for which I am grateful.


I have loved CL cookbooks for years. In keeping with their "Bigger! Bolder! Better" attitude, the folks at CL have put out a new cookbook, which I received yesterday, called Everyday Favourites. Only the cover reads


and the Table of Contents is


You get the picture.

CL's previous hardcover cookbooks - and I have about 8 of them - are slimmer, easier to flip through, and a pleasing balance of all-black text and good food photography.

The inside flaps of Everyday Favourites are a horrifying bright yellow with red text. The eyeball-crushing title page is in the same horrifying yellow, but with white text. Argh!

Elizabeth Baird's introduction is a nice, gentle piece on the importance of food in allowing families to bond and anchor their days in the sharing of something comforting. Too bad the editors put it in BIG RED LETTERS. The rest of the book is awash in more capital letters, more annoying yellow highlighter, and I can't help but feel as though the entire book is yelling at me.

As usual, the recipes are good, affordable and doable. I hope I can make use of them without feeling my blood pressure soar.


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