Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Martha Talks to Ladies Home Journal

It seems that every time I turn around lately, there's a new Martha interview or nugget of Martha news.  As a Martha fan from way back, this is a good thing.  A very good thing indeed.  In the November issue of Ladies Home Journal, she chatted a bit about her newest book and making mistakes.

You do so much.  Don't you ever want to just kick back and eat bonbons?
No, that would be boring.  I like what I do; I love to create things and I like to teach.  Sitting around holds no interest for me.

Your new book is called Martha Stewart's Cooking School.  How did you learn to cook?
My mother was a really, really good cook.  So were both my grandmothers.  We also had two next-door neighbors - an Italian family on one side and a German baker on the other - so I spent a lot of time in their kitchens.  As a child, you pick up so much from cooking: science, arithmetic.  When you cook with kids and want to double a recipe, for instance, let them do the math.  Of course, you'll want to check their measurements, but making mistakes is part of learning.

Do you actually make mistakes?
I try not to [laughs].  But, of course, I do.  Back when I had a catering business, we had some huge disasters.  I remember serving oeufs en gelee - eggs in aspic - in August.  It was about 110 degrees outside and the aspic (a gelatin typically made from meat stock) melted just as we were about to serve it to 200 people.  But I'm very organized, and doing television in the kitchen has helped.  I've learned to chop, squeeze, mince and talk at the same time.  I have A-list actors on the show who can't talk and slice a tomato without nearly cutting their fingers off.

How can people avoid mishaps in their own kitchens?
People get sloppy with measurements and seasoning.  "Oh, I'm not eating salt," someone says, so she doesn't add any and her food is flavorless.  Or they don't understand the terms exactly.  When they saute a piece of meat, they might not brown it first, which you need to.

What are you making for Thanksgiving?
We must have a turkey, and this year's will be one of my raised turkeys.  I live on a farm and we've been eating turkey eggs all year.  They're delicious in cakes.  I'll also make a wild-mushroom soup in honor of my mother, who passed away last year.  That was her traditional thing.

Want more?  Grab the latest copy of Ladies Home Journal for the complete interview, on newsstands now.

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