Monday, April 25, 2011

Martha and Me

Several months ago I wrote a post called ‘A Gray Interior’.  It showed a NYC apartment I really liked.  In the post I ranted on about Martha Stewart’s book, ‘Housekeeping Handbook.’  Of course my blog postings usually go off in some weird multi focused direction.  We had just burnt up an enamel pot, so that’s why I was digging through Martha’s book to see if she had a solution to remedy the situation.  Some where in the book was a pic of this particular apartment and I remember I’d seen it before.  The guy that owned the apartment worked for her, so there was a connection.

In the post I mentioned that I was trying Martha’s solution and I would report back if it worked.  And, guess what…of course it did.  Here’s the inside of the pot.  Now, it may look like its still burnt, but considering that the burnt layer of black stuff was about the thickness of a car tire, I’d say her solution worked pretty well. After all she is Martha Stewart!  Martha suggested I soak the pot in a couple of cups of water with 3 to 4 tablespoons of salt overnight.  Then the next day bring it to a slow boil.  The burnt spots should slowly disolve.  She also said I may have to repeat the process for severe burns.  I had to do it four times!

I almost met her once a few years ago when I was still in NYC.  I attended a big deal black tie event at the new Le Cirque.  She was one of the first people I saw when I walked in.  She was dressed in a gold satin tunic top with matching palazzo pants.  There were two things that really caught my eye.  First, her outfit was the same color as her hair, which was the same color as her skin.  Now being someone who thinks your drapes should match the carpet (don’t get carried away… I’ll explain); I actually like my drapes, wall color and rugs to match.  I like saturated color, so I found Martha’s monotone look rather sophisticated. 

Secondly, she has a big head.  Really, it’s kind of oversized. 

But, I can also say she was the most striking person in the room.  And there were about 500 in attendance and lots of gowns and striking people, so that’s saying a lot.

On the way to my table I tried to push my way near her.  But, some old rich guy cut me off and I would have had to stand around like a strange tuxedoed groupie just to brush up against her so I had to move on. 

Back to the burnt pot, the other night I did it again.  I burnt the shit out of an All Clad skillet.  Some times I cook like I drive.  Zero to 80 in 3.1 seconds.  And I mean I really burnt it, to the point where the pan caught fire.  If C had not had been standing there, I’d probably caught the kitchen on fire. 

We are really good cooks.  Honestly, we are.  I’m good, C is very good, and I mean chef like.  But, like child stars, sometime good cooks go bad, or at least have some bad days.  So I broke out Martha’s book again to see the remedy for non-stick pan solutions.    

All this got me thinking.  I’m going to add a new category to the blog called Housekeeping and test Martha’s book.  I know, it’s not unique and I’m not going to go all Julia and Julia on you.  Besides, I have no plans to start at the beginning of her 700 page housekeeping instructional manual and work my way through to the end.  Martha takes us through everything from ‘how to store wine’ (I’ll skip that chapter since wine doesn’t sit around my house long enough to worry about being stored) to ‘golden rules of vacuuming’  (stimulating).  In fact, knowing me when we look back a year from now this will be the only post in that section!  But, for now it sounds like a nice idea. 

The real reason I’m going to try this is not to test her book; she’s Martha, of course the shit works.  It’s because my house could use as much attention and ‘housekeeping’ as possible.  Every bit helps and anything I do just advances the cause!
Guess which pics belong to Martha and which ones are mine.  Since this could be tough, I'll give you some hints...

That's not me...

Is that my garage...hmmm...could be...

who could this be?  perhaps my house?

or is this Martha's?

and what about this you have a clue?
who's more anal?  me or Martha?

one page 489 Martha tell us the best way to park your
car in the soon as I get mine organized I
just might give it a try!


  1. oh i have this book. when it came out i was in line and shit. really. waiting.
    the only one.
    this post was like reading porn. and i for one will be the first in line (again) for the household posts.

  2. you are hilarious. And please do report back on Martha's non-stick pan fixer upper, because I burned ours but haven't admitted it to my husband and he scrubs and scrubs and it don't get clean and he really finds it quite perplexing.

  3. Very funny post! Glad the solution worked for your pots. Can I say your storage area looks better than mine - even in it's pre-Martha condition.

  4. LOL!!!

    i am of the belief that anyone that anal is a bore!


  5. A while back I learned a great technique for cleaning that black molten shit off the bottom of an oven, and it really worked! Maybe it will work on a dutch oven too? Sprinkle a very thick layer of baking soda (quarter inch or so) over the bottom of your oven, mist it down thoroughly with water and let it sit 12 - 24 hours, keeping it wet by misting periodically. Use a damp sponge to wipe it all out the next day. Minimal elbow grease on the few remaining small spots. And guess what! - NO FUMES! And it's CHEAP! It's shocking that I didn't learn this from my Home-Ec teacher mom.

    I have also found that Cascade (powder) on a damp sponge gets those ugly black spots off Corning Ware and stainless steel cookware with minimal elbow grease. I'm the ultimate lazy housekeeper who loves a neat and tidy home, so I think I'll have to get this book. I look forward to your blogs.

  6. "In fact, knowing me when we look back a year from now this will be the only post in that section!"

    love it.


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