Anybody who knows me knows that I have a love-hate relationship with Martha Stewart. Our relationship goes way back to my middle school years. If I was feeling ill and felt like staying home my mother would always make me go to school and “try” to get through the day. I would typically “try” for about two hours before calling my mother and having her pick me up because I simply couldn’t make it though another hour with this horrible, awful, unbearable, common cold. The biggest reason I always hurried home so quickly was Martha Stewart. Martha’s show was always on at 10:00 and I LOVED to lie on the couch all cuddled up and watch her bake, cook, and decorate.
As I got older though and started actually trying to make her recipes instead of just watching I started to hate her. And maybe hate is too strong a word to use, but I really got angry with her sometimes. Her recipes are always ten times harder than they need to be. Typically she adds about 5 steps and countless expensive ingredients to anything she makes. And this frustrated me to no end. I can remember trying to make Palmiers (elephant ear cookies) and completely giving up because they would have taken 6+ hours to complete.
The latest incident was just 10 minutes ago. I was looking for a citrus gelato recipe and clicked on her website. Her Blood Orange “Gelato” was NOT a gelato recipe at all. It was in truth just another ice cream recipe. The moment I knew was when I saw she had egg yolks on her ingredient list. No self respecting gelato EVER has eggs in it. The difference between gelato and ice cream is in fact all in the yolks. Ice cream is a custard where egg yolks and cream are cooked together to make a thick and creamy base. Gelato on the other hand never has eggs. There is typically a fruit juice or puree base and then cream added. Never in the process of gelato is the mixture cooked. So Martha, I don’t know who you think you are but you are very very wrong.
That said, I still love Martha and religiously visit her website for recipes and inspiration. This Halloween I even dressed up as her. I put on an orange prison jumpsuit,an apron, some pearls, and carried around a plate of cookies and became Martha Stewart: the convict for a day. Maybe it’s an unhealthy obsession but I can’t stop. As much as she upsets me I continue to go back for more. I can also imagine us being great friends but I’m sure if she ever found out that I critique her every move she’d kick me to the curb. Martha, I love you but you’re a crazy, privileged, woman who is all too frequently wrong about baking and cooking.