Friday, May 5, 2006

I Wanna Be Like Martha

Today was package day. :-) Package day is always a fun day. Especially when I am expecting a cookbook to arrive. Today's package certainly provided a gem. Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook is so much more than I was expecting. So much more. After lunch today I curled up, cookbook in hand and started to digest. And I confess, I am madly in love. This book is incredible. Page after page has me saying "I want to make that!" Almost every single page! And this is a very hefty book.

Now I confess, in the past I have not been a huge fan of Martha Stewart cookbooks. While I think she is a phenomenal woman, I don't agree with her "celebration of procedure" as I call it. She is so precise and specific with her recipes, and in the past, many of her cookbooks and recipes have provided daunting displays of cookery. Hardly digestible material for a busy Mom. But this book... Yes, it is still very procedural, but the recipes themselves literally have me drooling. Every recipe has an accompanying photo. You can see what she is asking you to make. And by golly, every single recipe looks intoxicating! Ever since I saw the picture of her Coconut Cake around noon today, I have been thinking about it. And you can be sure that while I was out I picked up the necessary ingredients. I have decided to make it for Sunday's Company Dinner, and have planned the evening's entire menu around this cake. Just thinking about it raises my heart rate and has me thinking about achieving Coconut Nirvana. I certainly hope it doesn't disappoint.

This is a baking handbook. There are recipes for cakes and pies, cookies and quick breads, yeast breads and coffee cakes. The list could go on. There's even instructions for making your own puff pastry! How crazy is that! But the directions have pictures that show you exactly what the procedure is, and it appears easy to follow. And what is even better about this cookbook? I didn't pay a dime for it. Not even shipping. An overbilling dispute with a book club led me to a free book of my choice, plus their sincerest apologies to a faithful customer. You just can't beat that- even Andy can't complain about this addition to the library.

So even though I haven't made anything out of it yet (wait till Sunday for the cake review) this book is highly recommended. Of course, I'm likely the last person in foodie land to get my copy of this must-have. But hey, if you don't have it- do you hear it? It's calling your name! Go and get your copy quick! Because you sure as heck ain't getting mine.

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