Regional Living

My November magazines have been sitting in a pile on my desk for about a week now. I already went through them, but as I read, I always earmark pages to tear out later -- recipes I need to try, places I want to visit, pictures that make me smile, even quotes that I want to stick in my journal.

So this morning, I decided to tear out the stuff I wanted to save. And sitting there, ripping out pages, I realized I was ridiculously happy just have access to all this information, all that lush photography, all those drool-worthy recipes. I guess I'm a magazine girl.

About this time last year, Boo Mama posted a link to a great deal on "Southern Living" magazine. I think it was something ridiculous like $5 for a year subscription. Since my Google Reader is filled with Southerners, and I like all y'all, I thought I might subscribe to "Southern Living" for a year and see if it didn't help explain the culture of the south to this combination Midwestern-North Woods-California girl.

It did. And I love it. I think it didn't really add new dimensions to my understanding of southern culture -- your blogs do that in a more personal, adjective-filled way -- but it did reinforce what I already believe. Southerners are charming. You eat strange foods like okra and collard greens. You embrace the heritage that is sweet tea. And you always, but always, bake your cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

Another regional magazine I love with equal zeal is "Midwest Living." Midwesterners, by nature, are a quiet, laid-back, unassuming bunch. They aren't ones to toot their own horn. I think that's part of the reason coastal dwellers view the midsection of the country as "fly-over territory" that has about as much flavor as a bucket of glue.

But that's not true, as anyone who lives here will tell you, if you give them a second. And "Midwest Living" is a grand collection of all the wonderful places, people and foods that make this part of the country home to so many. The photography alone stirs my heart -- snow-covered woods, prairies of grasses, lakes sparkling in the sunlight, vibrant fall trees, lilacs bushes heavy with blooms. They all speak home to me.

And the recipes. Talk about comfort food. Some of my all-time favorites have come from that magazine, including this recipe for chili, which has come to be known as Man Chili at my house since it contains three different kinds of meat.

When we lived in California, I subscribed to "Sunset," which could be called "Western Living" but isn't because it's published in California, and have you ever known California to do anything like the rest of the country? But it too was a slice of regional life for people who live west of the Continental Divide.

But surely there are some other regional magazines out there. What magazines speak home the loudest to you? (And if I've already mentioned it, go ahead and agree with me in the comments. I love to find other people who love magazines.)


  1. we're in so cal and my husband love sunset magazine as well, i love southern living and real simple. just the smooth, matte cover of real simple makes me excited. it always inspires me to keep things tidy, and make yummy food:)

  2. I love my Southern Living recipes. I've gotten a bit less enthralled with the magazine overall because it is so slanted toward wealth. The homes they showcase for vacation homes are mansions!

    And I love me some cast-iron skillet cornbread dripping with butter, fried okra, and sweet tea. But greens? As in collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and cooked spinach? As my husband says, might as well eat lawnmower clippings!

  3. I simply could not live without my "Southern Living." Period.

  4. I love magazines! Lately I haven't been subscribing as much, and just buy the one that yells to me the loudest from the grocery checkout.

    But I grew up with Midwest Living on the coffee table.

  5. I smiled, there aren't many regional magazines up here but the quientessial Canadian magazine has to be Canadian Living.
    I grew up reading it and now I am thrilled when I can snag a copy in the library.

  6. here in Malta we get all the britihs and US magazines lol none of our own really....i love reading home magazines to give me ideas on decorating etc but really i hardly ever buy any LOL guess I aint a magazine girl!

  7. Haha! I could so relate to your comment about Southerners in your feedreader. I feel I've had a real education into another culture just reading blogs, and now in Morocco, our expat community is full of people from Louisiana and Texas and Georgia and one of the states that starts with A. (Alabama? Arkansas? What's the diff?) It's a whole new world out there! ;)
    And does "The New Yorker" count as a regional mag? It's one of my favs!

  8. Let's see...I love magazines but have never subscribed to a regional magazine. I read Real Simple, InStyle (which is laughable), and I have a mysterious subscription to Health which I never, ever ordered. Ever.

    Denver has its own magazine, cleverly entitled 5280.

    I read it in the grocery checkout. Seems to be mostly ads with a few articles like "The Best Stylists in Denver" or "Where to be Seen with your Dog"