Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Date with Martha

Martha Stewart came to Kansas City last night, promoting her new book, Martha's Entertaining A Year of Celebrations.  I decided to go. I'm not usually much into the celebrity chef/author thing, but lately I've been rather taken with Ms. Martha and her magazine.

Of course you wouldn't know that, looking at my house right now, but that's beside the point.

It was a delightful presentation. The evening was sponsored by Rainy Day Books, a local independent book seller. They do a lot of these events, and I think it's working for them. They attract some really good celebrity authors (and non-celebrity authors) in to promote their books at these events. You get an autographed copy of the book, a presentation, lecture, conversation with the author, and maybe some special things, too.  At this event, there were many giveaways from sponsors:

So, what did I think of Martha?

I was afraid she'd be aloof or cold and it would undermine my impression of her and diminish my enjoyment of her magazines. I was so wrong. She was poised and engaging, professional, polished and kind.  She does not look 70 years old at all and however she does it, it works. The evening was an interview-style conversation between the president of Rainy Day Books and Ms. Martha, in the main hall at Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City. It lasted about 50 minutes. Most of the conversation focused on Martha's favorite things, memories, the gatherings described in the book, and other little anecdotes from Martha's recent history.

It didn't occur to me to bring a camera. Everyone else seemed to think of it... I snapped a few shots on my phone, but I doubt they turned out to be any good.

The book is huge and heavy, filled with beautiful photographs of her soirees and homes. Each chapter is a different event, and many of them are themed on a holiday. The spotlight is on the food, but there's a good amount of space devoted to the table setting, the venue, and her coordinating decor. 

All of the recipes are in the back of the book. There are simple recipes and complicated recipes, for any meal of the day. A selection of cocktails is a part of the mix.

This is not a book I would pick out on my own had I not gone to this presentation. However, I'm glad I have it now. Because it is different, it will make me think "outside the box" for entertainment, decorating, and menu ideas. 

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