Dear Ms. Coyne:
I enjoyed your baking article. Before I pass More on to a friend I felt compelled to write to you about coconut cakes. That was my birthday cake each year. But let me tell you how we made ours. Decades and decades ago I was raised in the south and we had cake, pie or cookies, along with biscuits, rolls or cornbread every day of our lives. Everything was completely made from scratch. To make a coconut cake... We went to the A&P grocery store and bought a coconut. Mother baked it in the over for awhile so that later we could easily remove the skin from the meat. After the coconut cooled, Mother drove a screwdriver into the "holes" with a hammer and poured out the milk. Then she handed the cocnut to my sister and me. We took it out on the driveway and chopped it open with an axe. After taking off the shell, we returned it to the kitchen, peeled the brown skin off, and grated the meat. The dough recipe is close to yours-- we call it a 1, 2, 3, 4 cake as the main ingredients were 1 c shortening, 2 c sugar, 3 c flour, and 4 eggs. Coconut milk, cow's milk, salt, baking powder and vanilla were added to the mix. But wait, I want to tell you about the hard part-- and what makes a coconut cake truly a coconut cake. Have you ever made 7 minute icing? Pllace 2 egg whites, unbeaten, 1 1/2 c granulated sugar, 5 T water and 1 1/2 t white Kato syrup in top of a double boiler over boiling water and beat for 7 minutes with an electric beater. Just as you think your wrists are going to break in half, the icing is perfect. Then you fan ice the cake and liberally sprinkle with shredded coconut, remembering to save some to press into the sides of the cake. Now, that's a coconut cake.
Sincererly, Suzanne Burns
I just filled out your extensive survey, but noticed when I clicked to return to the More website that you had a different cover for the June 2011 issue than the one I got in the mail. The coral and green cover is MUCH better! As a piece of art, the photograph of Christy Turlington on the gray background was beautiful. As a magazine cover to start the summer, however, it completely missed the mark. So glad to see you made such a quick course correction (the internet is a wonderful thing). I look forward to reading more More!
(Editor's note: We had two versions of the June cover. The coral/green photo was for newsstands only, while the black & white artistic shot was mailed to subscribers.)
As I sit in my not quite making it art gallery and pass the time reading, I found myself thankful for your Editor's letter today. I left a successful Human Resources career to study interior design and try my hand at marketing local artists. It has been a wonderful but also difficult journey. I may be headed back to the HR bench next month. I appreciate your willingness to encourage women to find a life that they love. That has been my goal even when it hasn't always had a good financial outcome.
My name is Vanessa Morganstern and I subscribe to More magazine. I look forward to its arrival each month, and wanted to tell you what a fantastic job you and all of your staff are doing. The articles are current and topics interesting; the photography and layouts very eye-catching. I would like to ask, though, why Christy Turlington-Burns was featured on the cover, both in the April and June issues. Anne Heche could have been selected; she's a major star as well. To see the same model on the cover practically twice in a row is a bit boring. Also, would you consider doing a monthly horoscope column? I think many women would enjoy it. Astrologers Susan Miller or Hazel Dixon-Cooper would be perfect for the job, as they're quite witty. Thank you for hearing me out. Here's to many more years of More!
Sincerely, Vanessa Morganstern
(Editor's note: Kate Walsh was our April cover and Christy Turlington-Burns only appeared on our June cover.)
Just wanted to thank you for your letter in this June's issue. I so agree that reinvention is a daily process and good for you taking up gardening! It is the perfect analogy to life...sow the seeds, add some sunshine, rain, care, then watch the magic of life unfold in its own sweet time.
I really appreciated your letter this month. I have been promoting your magazine to many women I encounter who are in a state of transition. In my view, "More" is offering an opportunity to delve into the possibility that there is "more" to life than what meets the eye. I could certainly dismiss the stories of high powered, wealthy women who have made changes. I look at those stories as a way for me to reflect, look inside myself and see if there is a way that I can tweek or make a small change in my everyday living. I really look forward to your magazine every month.
“Kudos!” to your Editor’s Letter, “Reinvention Comes in All Shapes and Sizes,” in the June 2011 issue of MORE magazine. As a long-time MORE reader, long before I hit 40, I was already seeking additional ways to satisfy the deep yearning in my soul for a bigger, richer life. I have tried and failed at businesses and all sorts of other larger-than-life reinvention success stories sometimes featured in MORE. I appreciated you sharing your tiny reinvention through gardening. Although it is not as earth-shattering as starting a hospital in Rwanda for sick children, it is just as soul-enriching and much more attainable for the majority of working-class women in midlife. I know as a full-time employee, wife, mother, and part-time author and artist, I struggle with not having enough time and realizing I have to let some things go either to the back burner of tomorrow or to the slush pile of maybe after I retire. In fact, I’ve been looking at ways to simplify my life, to shed the extra jobs and hobbies and responsibilities to gain more peace and relaxation and space to be who I am. If doing less in midlife brings more satisfaction, then that’s fine by me. I don’t need to save the world. I just need to save myself. Thanks for making it okay to have a tiny reinvention!
Angela Lam Turpin, Santa Rosa CA
For woman whom fear reinvention – I wonder if they are scared/fearful of what they want and how these changes will impact their current life or situation. I appreciate the stories regardless of their ending – divorce, quitting job and changing perspective on what and how we see things. On the other hand, Beauty Queens – give me a flipping break! Page 77 tells/shows everything you need to know about these beautiful ladies – no smiles, tension for crying out loud who needs it!!! It is okay to grow older and not aspire to be a beauty queen. Each and every one of you is beautiful…. Good grief!
As a subscriber, I was greatly dismayed to see "fish leather" promoted on page 19 (moreNOW!) as a "sustainable alternative to animal and reptile skins." Research indicates that fish can feel pain just as much as any other animal species. . .and for those who are unaware, fish DO experience horrible suffering from being trawled, hooked, or handled for any reason that humans will try to justify. With so many great faux skins, we don't NEED perch pumps. Come on, More, beauty is also all about compassion for others, whether they're human or non. Vanity at the expense of another's suffering is just plain cruel, materialistic, and not very progressive in our evolution towards becoming better human beings and informed women. Thanks, but I'll stick to my faux zebra pumps and leave the fish alone.
Las Vegas, NV
I just read your editors letter and want to commend you, not that you need it, you are clearly a strong capable women. I bought my first issue of the magazine last year, in anticipation of turning 40, the whole turning 40 thing really had my hair on fire! There was a story in it titled "Bunting". In hind sight I can tell you that was the greatest piece of information I got my hands on all year. I am a single mother of two teenagers and have raised them by myself with no financial help, a girl(19) and a boy(15), I am also a business women in a man's industry. Many, many times over the years I have had to remind myself to keep my head down and keep moving forward, that in the end perseverance and patience would payoff. That story in your magazine really brought that home for me. I have shared with several strong business women friends as well as several men friends, as a matter of fact I shared it with a football coach who passed it on to the entire team. The whole wanting more thing is dead on and so achievable. 40 is fine......
I received the June issue today & thought "oh great! Something to curl up with tonight after a long, hard & very stressful month." But to no avail, articles on beauty queens & Anne Heche could not keep my attention. PLEASE-with all the important issues happening in our country, we want "MORE" from a magazine than that.
I had not read MORE for a year or two, but picked up a copy of the June 2011 issue and read it last night. Your editorial describes the many facets of personal reinvention, from the small (seedlings and cakes) to the grand (a documentary on maternal health). I wish that you had included the reinvention, required by circumstance and history, which is still underway for Lt. Colonel Milonas. Her continued fight to return to mental and emotional health, when contrasted with Ms. Burns' ability to leave home and children for her documentary, puts into sharp perspective the difference between necessary and voluntary reinvention. You must be aware that many women in this country are more like Lt. Col. Milonas than they are Ms. Burns: required to reinvent themselves because previous vocational skills are now obsolete, financial insecurity, or as direct or indirect victims of the effects of war. To do the topic of reinvention justice, at this time in our nation's history, both types should be acknowledged openly. Otherwise, your magazine of style and substance becomes one of style only.
Margaret B. Jumonville
I am so happy that I renewed by subscription for another year, mainly because of stories like Robin Milonas'. You have done an excellent job of keeping your readers up-to-date on the stories that matter. When I happened to come across a copy of your magazine a few years ago, the story about a woman who was involved in the prosecuting process of the Rwandan killers was what drew me in. I've been a subscriber ever since.I have wondered many times of the state of the health of the soldiers when they return home. We expect so much of our military and we must make sure they receive the best support and care possible to address their mental as well as physical needs. No soldier should have to prove that PTSD has changed their lives. We are all human, and the mind can take but so much. I never considered PTSD a sign of weakness, but of strength. How can anyone go through life and not feel something for their fellow man? Robin is stronger than she thinks and she is doing what she can to enable herself to move on. The mind can heal. I will keep Mrs. Milonas in my prayers as well as the thousands of others who have witnessed such tragic events. Kudos to Ms. Farr for her excellent writing.
I was really enjoying the article about Barbara Bowers Bigford until I came to the line that read "manufacturer in China" ... and then I stopped reading. Please highlight women who founded companies in America with American labor. The outsourcing of jobs has contributed to this country's downfall and I am trying my hardest not to support companies who don't invest in America.
The cover photo of Christy Turlington Burns that I received in my June issue of MORE was not only depressingly bland in color, but I found myself quickly scanning the article to find out what was “ailing” her. She looked sickly and emaciated, reminiscent of the Twiggy / Kate Moss look I thought we had all recovered from. I “get” that the photographer was trying for a stylized look similar to the late Audrey Hepburn, but I was glad that someone at MORE realized the error and changed the cover photo on the newsstand edition. Apologies are due to Ms. Turlington Burns for the error in judgment.
Cindy Minunni, Spencerport NY
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