Tag Archives: Martha Stewart

Spencer Says Happy Thanksgiving!

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World Class Food Thief

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Martha Stewart fan. I love her show and I strive to be like her in every way. But, alas, I fail miserably. Martha loves her dogs. She actually cooks for them. Inadvertently, I cook for my dogs too. I mean, Spencer thinks the dinners I make are specifically for him and helps himself. Martha uses only the best ingredients when she bakes, even for her dogs. I admire that. I also, like to start from scratch. If I am making a recipe that calls for applesauce, I like to make homemade applesauce from my own apple tree. I like to use the hoity-toity cheeses, and fancy shmancy spices. I wish I was Martha.

But, I am not. Not even close. But I try and that is what counts. So, last Thanksgiving I was invited over to my best friend’s house for dessert. I offered to bring a pumpkin cheesecake. I was so excited to make the pumpkin cheesecake I found on Martha’s website. It was a 144 step process. I made the crust from scratch (of course). The filling was from pie pumpkins,that I cooked down and pureed, the spices were from actual whole spices that I ground with my pestle and mortar. I baked at a higher degree then lowered it. I used a water bath, just like Martha insisted I do so the top wouldn’t crack. I felt so accomplished. And when the baking was done, Martha said I should allow the cheesecakes to cool on a wire rack with tin foil over them. Brilliant!

I pop them out of the oven and onto the wire racks. I had made two, one smaller for us to keep at home. They were picture perfect. The kids and I stood back to admire my superior baking skills. I wish I had taken a picture, they were that unbelievable looking and obviously a fluke as every other baked item I had made in my life has been edible, but looked like roadkill.

And upstairs we troop to get ready to go over the river and through the woods to Aunt Aubry’s house. The girls looked so pretty, I was looking not too bad. And the highlight of course is the the pumpkin cheesecake. All of the sudden, I hear something in the kitchen. But, I ignore it, I keep getting ready. I hear another something, but my denial is so strong at this point, I convince myself I am not hearing anything. We’re ready, let’s go!!

As I walk into the kitchen, I notice there is ONE cheesecake on the counter and ONE tented piece of tinfoil. NO!! NO he didn’t!!!! As I come around the island, I see the empty springform pan and some crumbs. I don’t see Spencer. I am stunned. I can’t believe the betrayal, the absolute disregard for the 4 hours I had spent making these beautiful cheesecakes. Didn’t he see me scooping out pumpkins, grinding spices, checking and rechecking the baking process? How could he? But he did. And he knew he did. He was hiding under the diningroom table. I just slowly turned towards him, and he burped.

But here’s the thing, he carefully lifted the tinfoil off of each cheesecake and decided which one was the biggest and he ate that one. Because the other one had the tinfoil a bit pushed off, but was otherwise untouched. He actually chose to eat the biggest one. I was so angry, I don’t think I said another word until we got to Aubry’s. He knew I would be home sooner or later and then he’d have to pay for his Thanksgiving treat. On the way home, I thought about the time, effort and expense of the cheesecake, the beauty of the cheesecake and the theft and murder of the cheesecake. I then thought about Spencer and all he had lived through in his short 10 years. And the fact that he may not be around for much longer…not because I was going to kill him, but because he is an unhealthy, big old mutt. Although, if killing him were an option at the time….

And I came to the conclusion that he enjoyed the cheesecake as much as I did. And it wasn’t all bad as I still had one to bring to the party. And now I didn’t have to feed him, as he’d already eaten. Ya know, the freakin positives to the dog scarfing down a 200 dollar cheesecake (if you add in my cost of labor). So, by the time I got home, I was OK with it all. I was actually kind of laughing about it and wondering at how smart Spencer is to actually have looked at both cheesecakes and chosen the biggest one….what a smart dog!!

But as I opened the door I was hit with the overwhelming smell of dog diarrhea. I almost threw up my own pumpkin cheesecake. Spencer flew by me, out the door and into the neighbor’s yard where he had more explosive diarrhea. About an hour later, after I had cleaned up what he had left in the house and he had stopped pooping in the neighbor’s yard, we all settled down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life and reflect on the lessons of The Pumpkin CheeseCake. What did we learn? That sometimes everyone needs a very fancy cheesecake and sometimes the dog eats it. Yup, stupid ass dog. Lesson learned.

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I Love Martha

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And before you start judging and rolling your eyes, let me explain why. She expects without judgement. Here, I will prove it to you.

I guess I have always been a Martha fan. When I was 21 years old and poor (no cable, only 4 channels) Martha was on Saturday mornings. Before bowling, golf and all those other incredibly boring sports would come on. So, I loved Martha out of necessity. There was something about the way she was so confident that everyone watching would really love to make a wreath out of wine corks that  kept me riveted. Her very helpful hints like storing your gardening tools in sand to keep them from rusting and how to make buttermilk from scratch did nothing to make me a domestic diva, but was far more interesting than golf.

I wasn’t obsessed. I didn’t insist on making sure I was in front of the tv, no distractions at 9 am on a saturday morning when Martha came on. Just if I happened to be up or not headed off to class, then I throughly enjoyed her show. She wasn’t the big deal she is today. Not very many people knew of her. She didn’t have her own line of products, she wasn’t friends with Snoop Dog, and she hadn’t been to jail. She was not the cultural icon she is today. But she was just as confident as she is today. More so, I would assume. That woman has drive. She knows what she wants and how she wants it and she is not afraid to do it herself. Isn’t that a positive way to be in this world?

How many celebrities do we see who climb the ladder of success and then turn into lazy, vain, ignorant people. Not Martha. She is still gardening, painting, cooking, entertaining just like she always did. The fact that she has such a wide circle of friends, who include politicians, rock stars, movie stars and no bodies says alot for her acceptance of the human race. Everyone thinks she is about being perfect. I don’t see it. I see her striving for perfection, for doing things the right way rather than the half assed way. I don’t ever see her making excuses. She just does what is expected of her. And everyone else whines about what is expected of them. I really admire that about her. She doesn’t slack. And she just assumes that the rest of us are like her. That we don’t slack. That we want to put in that extra added effort so that another person in this world will feel special.

Most of us don’t want to put in any extra effort into anything and when we feel pressured to do so we rebel and bitch about it. It’s not Martha, it’s us. She isn’t out there to make us feel bad about ourselves, we do that all on our own. She is out there saying that this is how it should be done and she accepts that we all want to do it the way it should be done. WE are the ones who say no. WE are the ones who resort to name calling and finger pointing. Not her. She doesn’t start it, WE do. By “we” I mean you because I do love Martha. I don’t agree with everything she says or has done, obviously. I love her but she isn’t a God. I respect and admire her. And my guess is you do too. If we can stop feeling inferior and judgmental and just see what this world has to offer and try, just make an attempt, to live up to an expectation, even if we fail miserably, we will have made this world a better place to be in.

So, in the end, it is bigger than Martha. But it can begin with Martha. Open your mind and then your heart. It’s a good thing.