Friday, September 25, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 296

You wanna know the worst time to try and bust out a new Martha Stewart approved recipe?

It starts when you're already rushed for time because in a few hours you have a class, preferably a class of a prop making type. You dash around trying to gather all the ingredients only to find some are missing and presumed consumed and do your best to not kick the or step on the puppy who must be under your feet at all times.
Looks rather gorgeous and tasty right? Not to mention simple, it's mostly chicken stock and seafood in a pot boiled for 20 minutes. A determined parrot with a stick should be able to make it.

But you have clearly under estimated my blundering abilities.

It starts with the garlic, that's usually the key to trouncing a dish into a corner somewhere. What you do is instead of watching the garlic roast and pulling it off the heat ignore it and work to give the puppy a few ice cubes and take all the unfinished tombstones off the table.

In that brief second you took your eyes off the pot the garlic will go from a white aromatic to a black charred nose burner. You know when you burn a clove and the kitchen has that horrible smell? Imagine torching 5 cloves to dragon flaming level.

Even the next morning our entire house still has that horrible smell like someone set a vampire hunter on fire.
This was my stock pot, you'll note the subtle differences between mine and Marthas: the black floating bits, the oily residue from a lack of Extra Virgin anything, the whatever was drug from the bottom of the sea lurking just below the surface.
The sad thing is that despite all the giant screw ups and ingredient substitutions it still didn't taste that bad. Okay so it was 90% sodium, and the bag of baby octopi and clams gave it a nice fishy taste but it was still edible.

At least it seemed that way last night. In the bright harsh fluorescent glow of day as my stomach turns and twists trying to break free of my body I'm starting to think it was a really bad idea.

I'm pretty sure the only time one should attempt a Martha recipe is when you've got five hours, a fully stocked grocery store down the block and the kitchen is spotless. Or better have a team of professionals do it while you kick back with a glass of wine and smile on benevolently.

Has anyone else had a not so stellar Martha Stewart reproduction experience (sounds like some sort of horrible breeding program. I shall cross Rachel Ray with Sandra Lee and release the hordes on the world to destroy any and all form of culinary art! Mwhahahah!)?

What are some of your favorite magazines to get new recipes from? I really only get two and I'll at best get one or two ideas from them a month so I'm really looking for something new and exciting.

But really, if I do not receive one million dollars in an unmarked bag you'll all be sorry with my Rachalee clones making you eat Kwanzaa cake and claiming it's Yummo!


Linda said...

The only Martha recipe I frequently use (other than cookies and baked goods) is the apricot chicken. It's super fast and easy and requires almost no watching.

Anonymous said...

I hate it when something pungent burns and the smell never goes away. When Mr. Bean makes honey maple bacon, I cannot stand the smell of it but I don't know why. I hope the burnt garlic smell went away quickly!

Rachel said...

Okay, well I guess it's a good thing I've never burnt a clove of garlic!!

I've had those types of experiences with both Martha's recipes and Paula Deen's recipes. But then again, I've also had success with other recipes from both. Then there was the macaroni incident where I tried to make pepper macaroni from Rachael Ray's magazine, and burnt the top. After cutting it off, it tasted okay, but still....

I find that the fewer the steps, or the fewer the ingredients - the easier! If a recipe calls for something I've never heard of or a technique I'm not quite sure of, then I usually stay away.

But that being said, I do like to try new recipes often. I like that it helps me to experiment and learn, and sometimes you find something that is really awesome (like my cheesy potato casserole!!!). I like - it's a collection of recipes from several magazines' archives, AND they have reviews for many of them. I can't tell you how many times reading the reviews has helped me!

So, to sum up this super-long comment:
Give Martha another shot
Rachael Ray likes macaroni to be burnt on top
This Rachel likes simple and easy recipes
Go to
Try out my Potluck Potato Casserole (it was on Trim-it-Down Tuesday)