“Not that I like Martha Stewart, nobody likes Martha Stewart, I don’t think even Martha Stewart likes Martha Stewart. Which actually makes me like her…” so says the main character in the first chapter of Elizabeth Berg’s novel Open House.
Some years ago I cleaned a dental office, which had eclectic assortment of magazines for the long-suffering patients to read. Martha Stewart’s Living magazine was among them. I always took a minute or two to thumb through the newest issue as I cleaned the waiting room, or even actually read the articles as I waited for the dentist to fix my teeth, as I was also his patient.
Not that I am Suzy Homemaker or care about decorating or crafts, which brings to mind the hilarious segment by Bill Geist on the Sunday Morning program in which he creates a “Martha Stewart Christmas Wreath" with beer cans and Cheese Whiz.
I do like to cook, however, and the magazine is so beautiful with its gorgeous photography and clean, crisp layouts. It’s a feast for the eyes. Her suggestion that one cook a goose for Christmas caught my interest. She gave very detailed instructions about the stuffing and how important it was to save the goose fat. So I decided to stuff a goose for Christmas dinner.
The goose was expensive -- very expensive -- and not much bigger than one of the Muscovy ducks we used to raise. The stuffing required expensive things like dried apricots and a bundle of fresh sage. By the time I got the thing assembled and in the oven, the kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off. I cleaned up that mess.
At the appointed time, I removed the goose from the oven and siphoned off more than 2 cups of fat. Almost immediately, I spilled it all over the floor. Dog (that was his name), always lurked in the kitchen when I was cooking because good things to eat would magically appear on the floor. So, naturally, he was right there and began lapping up this grease as I frantically tried to get it up without smearing it everywhere.
Finally, we sat down to eat the goose and it was terrible. Tough and stringy. The dressing was nasty. It was the worst dinner I had ever made. Things got even better.
Dog got very sick from eating the fat and threw up, and then had an attack of pancreatitis, and I had to take him to the vet the next day. That was not cheap either. So it was a disaster all the way around. Thanks Martha, but I’ll stick to turkey.