Thursday, December 18, 2008

Respect The Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart was a guest judge for the quickfire challenge on Top Chef last night. The first thing my husband said when Martha came on the screen was something about how she was a jailbird.

Hearing this my first thought was, "oh yeah, wow, I had completely forgotten about that," and my second thought was, "hey, leave Martha alone. Then I quickly jumped to Martha's defense. Why? Because I like Martha Stewart. And even if you don't like her, you should at least respect her.

Everything that Martha Stewart puts her name on is great. When I was planning my wedding the best of all the wedding magazines was the one with her name on the cover.

The Everyday Food cookbook that my husband and I use most often out of all our cookbooks (and which I actually am going to use today for an excellent meatball recipe) is another Martha Stewart product.

Sure, she's a little uptight and her crazy perfectionist ways make everyone else feel slightly inadequate. For example, a few months agoI was watching her TV show and it was an episode where she talked about how to make the perfect bed (using, of course, her Martha Stewart brand of bedding from Macys) and part of her technique included ironing the sheets.

Now, if it was Oprah talking about having her sheets ironed, I would be annoyed - as I was when Oprah once talked about how she likes fresh sheets on her bed every night. The reason for my annoyance is that Oprah has this "I'm just like you persona", when we all knows she's not the one making the bed and laundering those sheets. Martha, on the other hand, has more of a "sprinkling her knowledge on the little people" thing going, but I can imagine her actually ironing her own sheets just because she believes that no one else will do it as well as she can.

I guess what I love most about Martha Stewart is that she's kind of crazy. The way she interviews the various celebrities on her show- often awkwardly ordering them around, putting her foot in her mouth, or even accidentally stabbing them.

In honor of the awesome crazy that is Martha Stewart I have pasted below a recipe of hers that I used last Christmas to make the holiday ham for my family. It tasted delicious, but didn't end up looking quite as pretty as Martha's picture. And you know what? With a Martha Steward recipe - that's exactly the way it should be.

Honeyed Ham with Pears and Cranberries
  • 1 fully cooked, smoked bone-in ham, (about 10 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • Whole cloves, for ham (about 45)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 Bosc pears, quartered and cored
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score ham all over in a diamond pattern; insert cloves into diamonds. Place the ham in a large roasting pan. Pour cider and 1 cup honey over the ham. Bake 1 hour, basting with pan juices halfway through.
  2. Add cinnamon and pears to pan. Bake 45 minutes, basting twice. Sprinkle cranberries over pears; bake until pears are tender and cranberries begin to burst, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to a shallow bowl; cover with foil, and set aside.
  3. Ladle juices from pan into a medium saucepan. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup honey, the sugar, and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook until mixture is syrupy and has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour glaze over ham; bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven; brush ham with glaze from pan. Let rest 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and carve. Pour pan juices over pears and cranberries in bowl; serve with ham.

1 comment:

  1. I do have a strange affinity for Martha. Maybe because deep down I'm a little anal-retentive about everything, or maybe it's because every book and magazine I pick up with her name on it makes me a little jealous inside because I want that bed or those decorations or...everything!

    Oh, and I'm definitely trying out that ham recipe.