Posted by: thedirtybaker | August 7, 2012

Martha, Martha, Martha…

First, to my friends named Martha, this isn’t about you.  Nor is it about my sister’s childhood friend, Martha.  Or Martha Washington.

My 12-year-old cousin is a very good baker.  Her mother posts pictures of her creations sometimes on Facebook, and I just start drooling.  She has mastered both baking and presentation (which is not my strong point).  But my cousin, The Fancy Baker (name withheld because she’s a kid) isn’t Martha either.  This is about THE Martha – Ms. Stewart herself.

To begin with, I’m not a Martha Stewart fan.  I’ve heard that her recipes are good, and I know people who worship her.  However, she has an army of people to prep her materials for shows, so I don’t necessarily believe that they’re as easy as she claims.  I don’t generally have a sous chef, let alone a group of them.

Mostly, I’m not into decoration.  I make foods that are delicious.  Some of them look good, some of them don’t. Martha is a decorator.  She’s turned “homemaking” into a labor of precisely coordinated linens, carpeting, foods, dishes, candles, flowers, hair ribbons, nail polish, drinks, orthodontia and pacemakers.  (That might be a slight exaggeration.)  On behalf of my homemaking friends, I think she sets the bar too high.  It doesn’t really matter if the plates and streamers at your kids’ parties are perfectly matched.  It doesn’t matter if the cookies are precisely iced.  And on a more personal level, her delivery makes the NPR hosts sound downright giddy.

But back to the Fancy Baker.  She makes creme brulee for fun.  She heard about my new pie pan and demanded that her mother get it for her.  And while I was there, she was in charge of the dessert for a 3-family dinner.  Did I mention that she’s 12?  Pretty impressive.

The two desserts she made came from a Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts cookbook.  They were delicious, and a lot of the recipes looked both good and reasonably easy.  I bought the cookbook, and I’ve used it several times.  Keep an eye on this space for more comments on the recipes, as I work my way through it slowly and deliciously.

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