On Martha


The year I got married I decided to throw my first Christmas party. Martha Stewart magazine had just launched and we were all completely enthralled. Because Martha said so, I spray painted everything gold (lemon leaf garlands, seed pods, you name it) and strew them about the house. I spent hours dipping individual grapes in blue cheese, then rolling them in crushed pecans, before placing them (one by one!) in a white ironstone bowl. Seriously. What was I thinking?

Years passed and I grew more and more aggravated with persnickety Martha, finally canceling my subscription. Articles about making your own advent calendars and homemade votives drove me crazy. But I did love her book, Entertaining (circa 1982) and my go-to recipe for a batch of Blini (page 46). Hence I was seduced by her new 432 page version of Entertaining. On Black Friday, I snagged a copy for half-price ($37.50). This one is even more ridiculous, and because of its heft, not easily perused in bed. You’ll probably be aggravated, too — the flowers, the staff, the Hinckley picnic boat (with “many sets of linens”)! She can be so annoying. If you’re looking for some ideas for over-the-top entertaining, this could be your guide. Nobody touched the grapes at that long ago party, but the Blini with Red Caviar were snapped up. Nothing beats Blini for Hannukah, Christmas brunch or New Year’s Eve and Martha has included the recipe in her new book, too. Or save yourself some dough and see it here: www.marthastewart.com/354763/blini-caviar