If magazines be the food of love, read on

by Andrew Losowsky in August 2010
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The latest Stack America envelope contained two fantastic publications, along with the latest in our ever-popular Designers Series print from typographer Cyrus Highsmith.

First up (only because they answered their questions first) is Put An Egg On It, the “tasty zine” from R&S Media in Brooklyn.

Its first issue, a mere palate-teaser, was just eight pages long. The latest edition, their second, was funded in part by Kickstarter, and comes in at 32 glorious, green-tinted pages. It arrived at Stack America HQ direct from the printer, smelling of lovely matt paper and ink, and went straight into subscribers’ envelopes. Filled with unconventional food stories, great photography, kitchen tips and recipes, it’s an unpretentious, juicy read.

Ralph McGinnis (the R of R&S, who also run the blog Print Fetish) tells us how the magazine came to be colored green, why Gordon Ramsey makes bad food, and confesses a love for Martha Stewart.

OK, we’ll ask. Why that title?
I’ve always liked absurdly long or descriptive titles, like Shell Silverstien’s “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” It immediately evokes a sense of play and irreverence before you get started. And Sarah is a prophet about the deliciousness of putting a fried egg on all leftovers – it works pretty much every time on practically anything. And the words come out of her mouth a lot. It sums up our feelings about cooking and art – have fun and make it awesome no matter what you have to work with.

Were you surprised that you reached your goal on Kickstarter?
I don’t think I was surprised – just hopeful and grateful when we reached our goal. We have a lot of amazing friends who have been rooting for us for years, and Kickstarter makes it easy to trust that their money will go for supporting the project – because no one is charged unless the goal is reached.

I’ve never seen a green-tinted magazine before. How and why did that
come about, and how easy was it to get the colors right on that paper?

Green is my favorite color – it represents life, and more literally makes me think of salad or sautéed greens. The green paper automatically adds character and funkyness. We did bump up the contrast to make sure it wasn’t too dark, and we had some of the paper to run through our inkjet printer – but there was no sure way of knowing exactly how images would look in the final mag. I’m a fan of leaving some things to chance. With design and cooking!

What are your criteria for content?
The main thing is that it’s personal – and not reportage.

How different is your attitude to food from that of, say, Martha Stewart?
Actually… I have to say… I love Martha Stewart. I watch her shows and read her magazines. I especially loved Blueprint (RIP) – because it was all about making things for yourself and being creative, rather than just buying things (like Domino). I don’t know if my attitude about food is any different than hers, she can enjoy the finer things and down home things. Like her, Sarah and I believe in making your own meals and sharing them with the people you love. Maybe the main difference is we don’t mind being messy.

What is the difference between good food and bad food?
I know it sounds cheesy… but I really think you have to surround the making of food with love. I wouldn’t want to eat at a Gordon Ramsey Restaurant, ‘cuz he’s way to angry and yelling all the time. I think spit actually flies out of his mouth and into the food. Also, I saw him put an egg into (rather than on) a hamburger on one of his shows. I do love eggs – but I’m sorry… thats a meatloaf sandwich, not a hamburger, Gordon.

What do you hope a reader of PAEOI will do after reading it?
Remember a lovely moment they had at dinner with someone, or a favorite treat from their childhood. So much life springs from a snack.

Where next for PAEOI?
An internet cooking show!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Right now I’m particularly into arugula on pizza.

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