Every so often I come across some seriously beautiful printed matter that makes me glad that mainstream titles are moving online and leaving the medium of print to those who know how to exploit its best qualities. Kinfolk is one of these.
Billed as ‘a guide for small gatherings’, Kinfolk is a quarterly journal now in its fifth edition. The editorial team is based in Portland, Oregon, but the ‘Kinfolk community’ of contributors spans far and wide, as the map on the colophon likes to point out.
The manifesto, neatly hidden on the rear gatefold introduces the mag as ‘a growing community of artists… (Who) recognise that there is something about a table shared with friends… that anchors our relationships and energises us.
‘Kinfolk is our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love… We feel entertaining should be simple, uncomplicated and less contrived.’
The Kinfolk premise I can quite happily buy in to, and its luxurious design and weight certainly makes me happy to have purchased a copy.
In issue five, the contents includes the ‘perfect’ method of brewing coffee, ‘morning baking’, ‘a homage to cheese’, an interview with Jennifer Causey of the Makers Project, a call to ‘stay in bed’ and a introduction to ‘the Autumn pantry’. In many ways, it seems that fringe-title Kinfolk could easily have provided some inspiration for the new UK title The Simple Things, which launched this September.
Kinfolk is cleverly divided into three sections: entertaining for ‘one’, ‘two’ and ‘few’. Its elegantly laid-out pages boast plenty of expensive white space, and luscious photography, of camping trips with boats and boards, herbs drying in garages, and aprons bearing the remains of a busy day in the kitchen.
A new addition to the fifth issue, are the recipe pages that bookend longer features, including yummy things like ‘pumpkin butter’, ‘spicy bitter dandelion greens’ and ‘grao-de-bico’ (Portuguese-style chickpeas).
UK readers can purchase back issues on Amazon for a little less than the US RRP of $18. I got my copy for £9.09 inclusive of postage, which seems good value, but then, I am a sucker for gorgeous things.
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