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I was born in Greece and grew up in both Greece and Austria. I miss some things from home, and usually, just as I start feeling sorry for myself this envelope arrives in the mail. I know what it is without eve looking at the handwriting on the front or the stamps, because the envelopes from Europe are different.

In the envelope are usually two or three “Gastronomos” magazines. They are an insert, once a month, on A Sunday, in an Athens newspaper. My dad collects them for me and sends them.

Each magazine has a theme: one month it may be a herb, another it may be a holiday or yet another may be a region in Greece. it contains information on the Month’s theme, traditional recipes as well as variations on those traditional foods, and at the very end there is a comprehensive dessert section. There are profiles of accomplished chefs and descriptions of new tools and/or gadgets.

In addition to being a great cooking magazine, for me it is a great connection to home. The dishes of my childhood jump from the colorful pages inside, and the photos of restaurants and places remind me of walking through our neighborhood in Athens, past little restaurants, our local bakery, and smoke filled coffee shops (where only men could go), down to the corner store for an ice cream.

I don’t think I have ever told my dad how important those magazines have become, and how often I use them. I have never thrown a single issue away; they are placed in chronological order, in wooden magazine boxes on a shelf. The ones I refer to most frequently, are on my cookbook shelf in the kitchen.

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