COOKING WITH THE OTHER MARTHA, April 7, 2009
By Irma Fritz "Author of Irretrievably Broken" (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
I grew up with "from scratch" cooking. Both my grandmother and my mother spent hours in the kitchen to produce their meals the only way they knew how--from scratch. This, of course, is how they've taught us children to cook. But don't we all have better things to do than spend hours in the kitchen kneading, waiting for the dough to rise, cutting the shortening into the flour until it looks like little peas? I know I do. I've published one novel and am currently working on a book of short stories as well as novel #2. I'm involved with family and community. With spring in the air, I don't even want to be indoors, but want to go biking, hiking, and spending time outdoors with friends.
This is why cooking "the other" Martha's way, the Martha A. Cheves's way, has been joyfully liberating. In her cookbook, "STIR, LAUGH, REPEAT," she lists 100 recipes for cooks of all ages and varying experience. Many of her recipes are quick; all are easy and delectable! And she won't make you stand in the corner for using canned peas & carrots, and pre-made pie shells, as in her chicken pot pie. Her biscuits made with self-rising flour are light and fluffy, the secret ingredient being--surprise--MAYONNAISE! Anyone who can cook noodles can make her Tuna Melt Casserole. Sunday, I whipped up my favorite of her desserts, her wonderful Key Lime Pie for a family dinner. It took me all of five minutes to get the pie into the oven. STIR, LAUGH, REPEAT INDEED! And thank you, Martha, for unchaining me from the stove and for making cooking easy as well as just plain fun! (How do you like that, Martha Stewart?)
Along with her recipes, Martha gives you her life stories of how she discovered a recipe or when she first made a particular dish. These stories, along with her helpful hints, are sprinkled throughout her book. In this way, I've gotten to know Martha's mom, her sister, her friends, and many of the people in her life. Thank you Martha for sharing your recipes, your wisdom, and your joy in life!