Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We're in Martha Stewart Living

And folks, it's certainly not for my photography. But if you turn to page 92 in the just-out December 2007 issue, you will find The Slow Cook's byline atop a holiday story called "Cocktail Companions," about pairing inspired libations with simple hors d'oeuvres.

The challenge was to tell readers how to create a sophisticated cocktail hour without a terrible amount of cooking or bartending--all in 200 words or less.

Longtime readers will notice a different sort of voice--the suave, utterly in-the-know voice--that is seldom heard on The Slow Cook blog. All I can say is, it was a bit of a stretch for yours truly to match the production values at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Let's just call this a miracle of modern publishing.

In fact, I am a secret fan of Martha's magazine. Does this come under the category of guilty pleasures? The recipes are tight and never too complicated, usually an update of one classic dish or another. People may rib Martha for being too much the busy perfectionist, but you can't say she doesn't have great taste. Too many food magazines are trying too hard to impress with trendy recipes that just fly right over the top. As you all know, we travel pretty much against the latest trends here at the Slow Cook. You might even call us anti-trend.

I can't take any credit for the recipes in this story for Martha. My job was to draw on some of my own experience entertaining and for me that means making the food ahead. Nobody likes to watch the host experience a meltdown while trying to greet guests, prepare food and play bartender simultaneously. In our house we like to keep things simple and, where possible, offer a featured cocktail so there isn't a traffic jam around the liquor cabinet.

The food and drink in this particular spread fit easily within that scheme. I think there just might be something good enough you'll want to give it a try.


Joanna said...

Those of your readers living outside the US won't be able to get hold of this example of Slow Cook suavity ... any chance of a reprint? Perhaps after a decent interval, to encourage your American readers to go out and buy their copy ;)

And yes, preparing ahead is the key ... I remember a particularly awful dinner (well, no, the food was delicious) when the hostess sat at the table for perhaps 5 minutes out of 2-3 hours, the host for only a little longer ... the nadir of the evening came when the guests could hear a muffled row coming from kitchen. Important though food is, once your guests have arrived, it's not about the food.


Pam said...

Wow! I also have a sort of love/hate relationship with Martha. I'll have to get this issue and check it out.

susan harris said...

Congrats! and hold onto that issue coz I want to check out that by-line myself. From the gardening angle, I'm also a fan of Martha's taste. I don't buy her magazine but I attest to the excellence of the gardening writer for her site.
And I'd delete Project 71 if I were you - pure spam.

Kevin said...

"Does this come under the category of guilty pleasures?"

More like "character flaws."{g}

Ed Bruske said...

Thanks for that vote of confidence, Kevin. I know you're just jealous.

Ed Bruske said...

joanna, so much of Martha Stewart Living is about the photographs. The text tends to be broken up, following the photos from one page to the next. I'm not sure a reprint would make much sense, but maybe at some point I can work it into a post about entertaining.

Pam, does anyone even remember the prison episode?

Susan, I've let my subscription to Fine Gardening lapse, so Martha is about as close as I will get to gardening advice--outside of Garden Rant, that is.