Doing a quick search of my own blog, I see I’ve never written in any great depth about Martha Stewart as a cultural icon. Many, many other writers have done so. Some applaud and adulate. Others mock and mutilate. According to The New York Social Diary, she attended a private preview at the Winter Antiques Show one week ago. She was photographed wearing chic navy blue slacks and matching elaborated jacket. The picture wasn’t large enough for me to see clearly at this early morning hour, but the navy blue scarf around her neck was gigantic. Yet it all worked together for the good of Martha; she looked trim and well-assembled for a woman of about my mother’s age.
On a few occasions, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Martha Bakes on PBS. Her performances are hypnotic and calming as she smiles and adroitly measures flour; elegantly she places ingredients in the stand mixer or the food processor. There’s never an explosion or smoking cloud of anything in her kitchen. She says soothing things like “there’s a fantastic glaze on top” and “it’s really easy to make.”
I KNOW, I KNOW, IT’S TEE VEE!
One day I mentioned to my mother that Martha was only a few years younger than she. I was planning to segue to a soothing, Martha-like compliment like “you look younger than her” or “you have more meatloaf recipes than she does.” Before further syllables could leave my mouth, Saint Helen made a disdainful look and she reminded me that old Martha had lots of help in the kitchen.
I’m not sure what prompted my mother’s remark.
Curious, I asked the Internet “how many people work for Martha Stewart?”
I couldn’t find a direct answer, but I did learn that her media empire, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, was acquired by Sequential Brands Group, Inc. last year. This Wall Street Journal headline alluded to Martha’s fading empire. Fading empire?
She hardly looked faded at the Winter Antiques Show last week.
Surveying my own kitchen this morning after last night’s “Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce,” I just want to put my faded head back on the pillow and ring for a Jeeves-like assistant. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’d tinkle a little bell on my bedside table and some polite and helpful character would arrive with a tray and say “your coffee, Mademoiselle.”
All would be right in my world.
Then, with the kindest concern, the Jeeves-like assistant would ask me if I’d like something for breakfast. I’d contemplatively tilt my head to the right side of my pillow for a moment and then ask “how about a dish of last night’s dessert?”
And that, my dear blog friends, is The Jello Report for this last Friday in January. I’ll be scuffling about the kitchen shortly in my leopard-print bathrobe and matching slippers, sans assistant.
One dish at a time.