Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Martha Stewart I’m not. Never claimed to be. Don’t really want to be. As a matter of fact, I find some of the things she does more amusing than useful.

I know some people like to do the things she does. I even have some friends who are all Martha Stewart-ish. But I just can’t bring myself to that level.

OK, first off, she makes her own vanilla extract. Me? I’m perfectly happy with the stuff on the store shelf. I’ll go as far as to get the “pure” stuff once in a while, but I’m not ashamed to admit I currently have a large bottle of the “imitation” extract sitting in my cabinet. Nothing wrong with that. Works just fine for me. As for homemade, well, I don’t often have vodka (a required ingredient) in the house, but when I do, I think it tastes much better mixed with a bit of orange juice instead of a bunch of vanilla beans.

Then there are marshmallows. I remember watching Martha Stewart actually make her own marshmallows. From scratch. (Which she promptly put into steaming cups of her from scratch cocoa.) Yeah, I’m sure they taste great an all, but I like my store bought marshmallows. I even like the tiny little hard ones that come in the instant cocoa and get a bit soft when you add the hot water. One friend of mine whose daughter recently made her own homemade marshmallows told me that I’m missing out on the different flavors you can use when you make them yourself. Well, I actually found chocolate flavored marshmallows in the store and really, what other flavor do I need?

I can make some things from scratch of course. I love to make chocolate chip cookies. And I do make a pizza casserole that the hubs just totally loves. (Although, since it uses biscuit mix for the crust, I don’t know if it’s really considered “homemade.”) There are some things I have tried over and over again to make and can just never seem to get it right. Take gravy for instance. I cannot make gravy to save my life. It always comes up either too thin and tasteless or so thick you could cut it into slices and just lay it on top of your potatoes. (Not very appealing really.) So, anytime I need to make gravy, I grab the cream of mushroom soup. A can or two thrown into some pan drippings and you’ve got gravy. As far as I’m concerned  you do anyway.

And don’t get me started on biscuits. My mother could make the best biscuits (although she said her Aunt Marie’s were even better), but I just can’t get the hang of it. They just never taste right and the texture is really, really bad. So, I pull out the biscuit mix. I can make some pretty good biscuit mix biscuits. I even worked at the local McDonald’s for a while making biscuits on Saturday and Sunday mornings and was told I made the best biscuits there. (Yes, they are made with a mix. Surprised?)

Years ago, a friend told me that if I loved my family, I would make everything from scratch, something she claimed she did. I told her it’s because I do love my family that I don’t make everything from scratch. I’d really like my husband to live a good long life, and by not subjecting him to my from-scratch culinary skills on a regular basis, I think I’m helping him in that respect.

So, it is true I will never be a Martha Stewart, but really, why would I want to be?

She kinda creeps me out.


Vicki Lane said...

Good post, Susan!

Lucy said...

I love pizza anything...any chance you'll post the recipe???

Susan M. Bell said...

Vicki - Thanks.

Lucy - Well, there's no actual recipe. I don't measure a thing. I just mix up some biscuit mix with a little shredded cheese, some garlic and a bit of oregano maybe and enough water to make it a dough; Spread it in a 9x13 pan (usually goes up the sides a bit); spread some pizza or spaghetti sauce on it; top it with whatever I have (although the hubs says pepperoni is a must, and I say mushrooms are too...and of course cheese) then bake it at 350 until the crust is done...browned basically. I really need to sit and measure stuff out one day for this thing.