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3.29.2010

Measuring Up to Martha

It happened Day 8 of my 30 Before 30 countdown. N & I almost made it out of Bookman's, but at last second, I decided to check out the cookbooks. That's where I found it. The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day. And the idea found me: Missi & Martha. Sort of like Julie & Julia, but not as French and therefore, probably not as complicated.

It may take me weeks before this is organized, but the goal is to make this as simple as possible, which may defeat the purpose of Martha Stewart. I'm pretty sure the woman makes even the most complicated tasks look incredibly simple on purpose; even time spent in the slammer looked like a walk in the park, but having been referred to as Martha by friends and family, the project seems fitting. I have no idea how Julie Powell organized her project with Julia Child's giant cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I'll do my best and like all other things, I'll be doing this my way, loosely based on the idea of one great Julie Powell.

Martha includes chapters dedicated to Butters, Beverages, and Wedding Cakes. I'm not sure under what heading a wedding cake is considered a recipe "for every day" and I'm pretty sure the average American doesn't eat grilled butterflied squabs with mustard on a regular basis either. This being said, it's obvious there are recipes, whole chapters even, that I will skip.

I'm sure you're wondering what I'm going to do with those meaty chapters, aren't you? There's good news, my carnivorous friends! I'm not bothered by purchasing, preparing, or serving chicken or beef, squab or pheasant because Karl Marx taught us "to each his own" and The Beatles taught us to "let it be". I just so happen to choose a plant-based diet; or rather, it chose me. However, for this project, I will not be omitting the meat. I will prepare all entrees presented in the book and I will give myself the option of sampling. It's only an option and I will return to my veggie friendly habits as soon as the project is over. I'm sure Julie Powell ate some less than pleasant things throughout her similar stint and so will I. However, due to a bet placed almost three years ago {that I'm determined to win just to prove The Captain twice wrong - yes, twice}, this project will not commence until July 1, 2010. This gives me plenty of time to arrange and organize.

Life is too complicated to not be orderly. ~ Martha Stewart, Harper's Bazaar.

Unlike Julie Powell, I don't have a desk job, a cat, or a husband to take out the trash and put the lobsters in the pot for me. No, I have a business to run, three kids who need daily bathing, homework assistance, and regular ol' mac n' cheese, and since I already take out the trash, I guess I'll be putting the lobsters in on my own too. Just FYI: I hold no promises for recipes that include live lobsters. Chances are, if I bring home a live lobster the kids will be forced to a Showers Only law for a very long time. What's the life span of a lobster in bath water anyway?

Being a single parent already makes for a pretty heaping plateful, so I can guarantee you that this project won't happen every night, but I'll do my best to make it happen at least twice a week. "Never a dull moment" isn't something we just say around here and this project is only adding to the excitement that is my so-called life. And because I have a life; I have a business, family, friends, three kids, two dogs, and a geriatric fish, I am giving myself eighteen months to complete 199 entree recipes {recipes were selected based on number of servings; obviously I don't need to be preparing dinner for 30 as some of the recipes yield}.

For each entree selected, I intend to prepare one side dish or one salad recipe, and on occasion, a hors d'oeuvers and/or a dessert. Or maybe I'll just make three desserts in one day... we'll see. There is no purpose, no limits, no expectations, and Hollywood isn't knocking down my door, which is perfectly fine by me. I like things simple. For this adventure, it's just me, Martha and a kitchen overflowing with pots and promises.

And it's a good thing.

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