|I'm happy to report that, as of this week, Martha Stewart is back, at ten AM, on regular TV. I, for one, have rolled out my welcome back mat.
Darned if I know why I'm so fond of Martha. I'm definitely not a home and garden type of woman. I'm not a crafts person I don't like grubbing around in a garden. We do, however, share a love of cooking.
I never gave her a moment's thought until I happened to read her biography in a magazine. I found her life story fascinating.
She was born in a small New Jersey town. Her parents were Polish, the family small and both parents demanding and mean. Each child had a series of chores which they were expected to perform perfectly. Poor little Martha, at age 5 had to help her father by weeding the garden and her mother by ironing. Heaven help her if she missed one weed or one wrinkle.
By the time she was 18 she was sewing all her own clothes. She was also very tall and beautiful and had two college scholarships one in math and the other in science.
Her father had a portfolio made up of her wearing various outfits she had designed and made, ad sent the pictures to Vogue Magazine which hired her on the spot as a model. She worked, married a successful young lawyer, graduated from college and under her father-in-law's tutelage became an incredibly successful broker. All this while working with her husband on weekends fixing up a lovely old house in Connecticut, writing several how to books, publishing a magazine and having a baby. No wonder her husband jumped ship and ran off with a normal woman.
I guess her father-in-law forgot to teach her Wall Street law or ethics - if either exists. At any rate she did the crime and served her time and is now back on track, trying to transmit some of her skills via the tube. I'll never learn, but I love to watch something being done by an expert.
All this brings me to another Martha Stewart wannabe on television. This is a much younger, shorter girl who doesn't pretend to be a crafts person but does fancy herself a home style chef. All I can say is that if you follow her lead in the kitchen you are courting cardiac disaster, not to mention renal and gall bladder meltdown.
This morning I didn't turn off the TV set after Martha, I wandered off into my office to do something and didn't get back until this lady, whose show apparently follows Martha's, was in the middle of cooking something. It was a chicken and broccoli dinner. Healthy menu, right? Wrong. Not in her hands.
This is how it went Take four cut-up, skin on chickens and put them in a baking pan covered in oil then pour lots more oil over the top of the chicken. Add unmeasured salt. She just dumps a lot of salt into the palm of her hand, a la her Mama, and puts it into the recipe, then does the same with pepper or anything else she's using for seasoning.
In another baking pan, also covered with oil she puts some large pieces of broccoli. sliced from top to bottom.
These are covered with more oil. The chicken and broccoli pans are placed in the oven at 425 degrees after removing a head of garlic she had roasted.
In a saucepan she melted a cup of butter, then added a cup of flour which she whisked while adding a box of chicken stock. When this was done she put in the garlic. This, was the gravy.
I almost forgot the potatoes. Four big Idaho potatoes, not peeled were cut into oven fried potato chunks, put on an oiled cookie sheet, oiled again upside and placed in the oven with the chicken and broccoli. A few minutes before the dish was done she cranked up the broiler to make the chicken skin crispy.
I'd be the last person on earth who'd say the food wouldn't probably taste great. and watching her is a lot like watching the witches in the opening scene in MacBeth. You'd probably have a longer life expectancy eating their toads and newts.