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Us and Martha May 27, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Business, Cooking, Food, random stuff.

My husband is not a fan of Martha Stewart.  He thinks she’s smug and takes the credit for the hard work of her “minions.”

PhotobucketThis is one of those topics where we have agreed to disagree.

Do you remember, way back when Ellen Degeneres had her sitcom?  Back before she “came out” and stuff?  Now I didn’t watch this show religiously – it was the sort of thing that would just sort of be on the TV when there was nothing else on.


And given that this was the early 90’s,  “nothing else on” kind of happened a lot.  Or at least it did to me – Surly Boy was small back then, and, well, it was a different world then, wasn’t it?

So anyway, I watched this Ellen show occasionally, and the only episode I actually remember was the one when Martha Stewart came to dinner.


Seriously – I think that was one of the first times I’d ever even heard of Martha Stewart.  I picked up enough from that few minutes to be . . . intrigued.

What kind of domestic goddess could inspire such fear – and hero worship – in someone as laid back as Ellen was?  Who was this Martha Stewart person?

PhotobucketWhat I saw was a woman who may have been, in her own dining room, the “hostess with the mostest,” but in someone else’s home, she was the most gracious guest a person could hope for – and she had a sense of humor, besides.

Now I know, I may have read an awful lot into what was, after all, a scripted comedy.

But let’s not forget, Martha’s not an actress.  I don’t think.

PhotobucketThen, a few years back, when Peeps and I were running our business, I had occasion to read her book, The Martha Rules.  (Heck, at that point, I was willing to take business advice from anyone, even the guy who made a profit picking up soda cans on the street. . . )

And I learned a lot – about Martha, sure, but also about life in general.


Basically, her philosophy is to do whatever it is you do, and do it The Best.

It doesn’t even really matter what it is you do, just pour all your energy into making it the best – in all respects and in every detail.

If you’re going to open a restaurant, it’s not just about the food.  It’s everything, from the design of the menu to the fabric of the tablecloths to the quality of paper in the rest rooms, and the best people to run the place.

In other words, the devil is in the details.


Or in other other words, if you’re going to do it, do it right.

And that includes not only finding and hiring the best people, but treating them well.

(As an aside, and speaking as someone who has worked for others for an awful long time – just WOW.)

Given that kind of philosophy, and the energy to follow through, is it any surprise that Martha Stewart landed a spot on the Forbes billionaire list?


And, given what I know about Martha Stewart, I’m more than willing to trust her judgment on most things, and I’m more than willing to try her recipe for Spicy Black Bean Cakes.

And Martha didn’t steer me wrong – these bean burgers were great – spicy and delicious, grilled with some Monterey Jack cheese melted on top and a dollop of Lime Sour Cream.



1. sjbraun - May 28, 2010

Those look yummy! I have to admit to a “not like” attitude about MS overall … she just strikes me as a bit too smug, imperial, and perfect – but reading your post has made me like her more.Striving to do your best at all things is certainly an admirable philosophy!

I’ll never be a Martha groupie, that’s for sure! But still. . . I think there’s a bit more to her than meets the eye. And given her poise during her past, um, legal troubles, well, a person could do a whole worse, you know?

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