Kinfolk: A Guide for Small Gatherings

published Jul 27, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Several months ago I wrote a post about how I was no longer going to purchase food magazines. This had mostly to do with the fact that I was moving and in the process of packing up realized that I not only couldn’t take my back issues of various magazines with me, but that I really wasn’t using them any more. They had simply piled up in closets and corners, collecting a thick layer of dust. So I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and put my entire stash of back issues on the free shelf of my apartment building, swearing off of all future magazine purchases.

And then a review copy of the inaugural issue of Kinfolk arrived in the mail.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You may have been seeing a lot on the webs about Kinfolk, a new magazine dedicated to celebrating the simplicity and intimacy of small gatherings. They have a lovely web presence and many bloggers have been featuring their launch. Kinfolk is available in two formats: Online and good old-fashioned print. Each offers its own distinct gifts.

The online version has the usual advantages over print: it uses less natural resources, has nifty little video inserts, doesn’t gather dust in sitting corners of your apartment and it’s free. It’s fun enough to flip through the pages with a click and I suppose if I had an iPad, I could lay my tired body down in a backyard hammock and leisurely browse myself into a relaxed, heavy-lidded bliss.

But it’s the print version that has really won my heart. It’s important to not think ‘magazine’ here as it is not at all like the usual magazines one picks up in the grocery store. There are no subscription inserts or tacky, inappropriate ads. In fact, Kinfolk is completely ad-free. It’s printed on quality stock and a real treat to hold in your hands. The design is simple, with lots of white space and gorgeous photographs that can only really be appreciated in the print version. There’s just something about the quality of ink on paper and the tactile feeling of turning pages that draws my attention in a different way than the screen version. I hadn’t realized it, but I’ve been missing this experience with my self-imposed magazine fast. This is one publication that will stay on my shelf and not end up in the recycle bin.

If all this sounds romantic, well, it is. Kinfolk asks us to slow down, appreciate, take care and be together (or to be alone — the smallest of gatherings.) It inspires a considered life, a measured pace, a more honest and heartfelt way of being. It’s a delightful experience.

Both versions feature numerous our articles, quotes (heavy on Thoreau), full-color photographs and a handful of recipes from The Kitchn favorite Nikole Herriott and her equally talented friend, Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons.

The first run of the print version is sold out and it is unclear at this point if there will be a reprint.

Read more: Check it out at Kinfolk Magazine online and keep a look out for volume two. Update: Kinfolk has announced that if you sign up for their email list on their website, they will let you know if there is going to be a reprint of volume 1.

Related: Lucky Peach: A New Food Journal from McSweeney’s