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April 7, 2009

Famous Foodies: Martha Stewart

MarthaS.jpgI chose Martha Stewart for today's Famous Foodie (One in an Occasional Series) because I actually interviewed her once before she got really, really famous. It must have been in the '80s.

Believe it or not, she came to the Sun to talk about her new entertaining book, I can't remember which one. I interviewed her at my desk.

What I do remember is her sweeping into the newsroom in a mink coat that she told me was her daughter's. She was slim and blond then, and I wanted to say to my deskmate Jack, "Please put your tongue back in your mouth." ...

The weird thing was that Martha and I took an instant dislike to each other. That doesn't happen to me very often, and it was difficult to interview her because of it. Plus I thought her recipes didn't work very well.

I did write another story about her many years later in 2000 -- not a food story, but about the fact that she had become an idol of tweens and why that was. At that point, of course, she was way too famous to be interviewed by me, even over the phone.

(AP Photo/The Martha Stewart Show, Anders Krusberg)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:01 AM | | Comments (42)


Well, Martha won't be getting the Sandbox Seal of Approval until she is nicer to you, that's for sure.

"Plus I thought her recipes didn't work very well." I concur, EL. My several attempts never looked like the photos or tasted all that great. If I remember correctly, there were rumblings going around, back when she first started publishing her books, that many of the recipes did not work well specifically because she deliberately left out a key ingredient or two. Allowing others to recreate her signature dishes would take the shine off her star reputation, I guess. I know of other normal people who do this, too, which I never did understand.

The other person in this picture? Would he be Snoop Dogg?

Very good. I told Midnight Sun Sam we were hipper than he thought we were. EL

yeah. I love her show. Honestly I do. But, she's got a difficult personality. And, if you watch her daughter's show, 'Whatever Martha'. You will quickly gather that she's not the easiest person in the world. And, her daughter says all the time that she's a better cook than her mom :)

I have only had one of Martha's recipes turn out really great. It was her Thanksgiving dressing recipe. Nothing else has worked for me especially her (whatever) 101 recipes. Biggest failure was Meatloaf 101. I love my meatloaf recipe and thought Hey, perfect Martha's has to be better. Wrong.

Well, Irma S. Rombauer couldn't cook, either.

Not so. My aunt once interviewed her at her home for the NYT, and Rombauer cooked an excellent lunch for her. EL

Eve, to get all legal on you he's technically Calvin Broadus.

Martha has a reputation for being "difficult". The really odd thing is her daughters show was her idea and she produces it.

I have to admit that I rather enjoyed her Joan Rivers matzoh dessert segment yesterday, mostly because Joan is so funny. But, I think the 2 of them are friends in "real life" which has to be much less odd than Martha and Snoop!

Martha Stewat + Cookie Monster = Laughs

Martha Stewart + Letterman = Funny

Martha Stewart + Martha Stewart's Ego + TV Camera = Nap Time

Snoop was probably there because he had the munchies.

I saw the snoop doggy on utube. Each one so out of their element. But at the end I liked Snoop much better.

Ah...I remember a story in _Stand Facing the Stove_, by Anne Mendelson, about how shocked Mrs. Rombauer's friends were when she said she would write a cookbook, because she was known for not being able to cook.

Of course, I'll take someone who ate her cooking over a book. Just because it is written doesn't mean it is true.

Are you sure the Rombauer family cook wasn't back in the kitchen? The classic cookbook refers to this person in glowing terms, as I recall.

I had good results with the earlier Martha cookbooks. Her gingerbread cake is a family Christmas favorite, and some of the "quick cook" recipes turned out fine. But her appetizer cookbook recipes seem doomed to fail--in my test kitchen, anyway.

Yep, I'm sure. EL

I think her only recipe I made is the vanilla creme brulee, and it still stands as the best creme brulee my family and I have ever tasted. (That can't all be thanks to my cooking skills...) My parents' neighbor (a regular joe who did some work at one of her properties) went on her show about three years ago to show her how he makes his famous tiramisu. I vouch for its deliciousness.

I told Midnight Sun Sam we were hipper than he thought we were. EL

Aaaaact-ually, I read his post entitled (more or less) Something I never thought I'd hear Elizabeth Large say...

I know for the facts taht Sessa is the fraudulant oldman who listens to Herb Albert in his dungaree liesure suit while embibes Mr Pipp and Hennessey in his rediculouse beany bag chaisse. J'accuse froudulent hipster!! I am seeing your soul and it is striped! Je ne shizzle ma nizzle sessa.

As for Irma Rombauer's cooking skills, see this mini-biography, written by her daughter (and JoC co-author), Marion Rombauer Becker.

The newer, gentler Snoop Dogg that the guy who recorded and released an album entitled "Doggy Style". A most unlikely appearance indeed, with our lady from Nutley, New Jersey.

Pierre A.

It's been awhile since you last turned up to slag Sam Sessa and dishonest to do so here. Your presence always makes one wish you had an intimately unfortune encounter with Escargot Flambé, or at least moved into it's newly vacated shell.

We'd all be much more satisfied listen to Herb Alpert, or even Spike Jones, than reading your very bad or contrived bad English, if it is how you actually speak it must quite harsh and very unrewarding effort to understand your utterances.

adieu is unappropriate as it is hard to commend you to God in these moments.

Snoop Dogg with Martha Stewart is still better than Pat Boone's metal album.

Pierre A, you sound like a BOF (boring old fart). Sam isn't remotely old enough to have been a glimmer in his father's eye when leisure suits went in and out of style quickly in the early 70's.

GDA, you seem to be taking Pierre way too seriously. Especially since he's probably just an alter ego of Sessa's.

I asked Sam if he knew who Herb Alpert was, and he didn't. :-) EL

He would if he'd seen the cover of "Whipped Cream and Other Delights": a collector's item for many a young male.

It's funny -- I thought I'd never heard Herb Albert's music before.Then I listened to it and realized I've heard it in nearly every elevator I've ever been in. Hee hee.

GDA, thanks for sticking up for me. Pay no mind to Pierre. He's harmless.

YumPo -- I'd forgotten all about that Whipped Cream album. Nice work with the food reference.

YumPo -- I'd forgotten all about that Whipped Cream album. Nice work with the food reference.

Grazie, Laura Lee, but you are far more accomplished than I am!

Here you are, Sam: link

You word bullets bouce off from me like a faizer set to tickle me. Sessa has crazy superhumane strenth and can east his own bullets. That is why I can respeak him as a worthly oppenent. En garde! As for you crabby crabcake people, you Americains have too much ice cubs and non sufficent trains. Goodbye cool world peoples.


Pity, had a great record which was a hit the 80's entitled "Rise". I mean you would him respect for that.
In the 60's he broke through with a recording of "A Taste of Honey", which appearred on the afore mentioned "Whipped Cream & Other Delights".
He usually issued instrumentals where he played trumpet as the lead instrument, but did have a hit as a vocalist with "this Guy's In Love With You" in 1969.
Also in the 80's got a lot of airplay with "Diamonds" lead vocal by then A&M signee, Janet Jackson and "Keep Your Eye On Me" with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

By the way, he was the A in A&M (Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss) records, later ALMO Records.

Wikipedia for a very long profile:


Love Herb Alpert! Can't say the same for leisure suits.

YP - excellent album with a great cover.

I really hope they used shaving cream for that photo shoot. Otherwise, instant yeast infection.

Lissa, yes, it is shaving cream, which could last through the photo shoot.

However, here's another one for your viewing pleasure: link

Thanks, Joyce. I loved that album. It belonged to my dad, but although I was an impressionable youngster, he allowed me to play it as much as I wanted. The updated cover is not nearly as cool: link

Let's not forget Pat Cooper's parody, Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights. Did it really help sell records? Sick puppy

YP, I wonder why they changed the album cover? Could it be that in the last, oh say, 8 years, it was deemed "too provacative"?

Could it be...hmmmm....Satan?

Yes Joyce, probably. God forbid it might possibly offend someone, somewhere. Of course, eight years ago, blue draping was placed over the classic statues in the Justice Department because they were deemed offensive, too. (I suggested whipped cream instead -- perhaps that's another reason why my career took another path...)

The Justice Dept. should have known that you use shields for that kind of thing in DC.

With all this suppression, it is no surprise that our culture has come up with things like slash.

Actually, the "updated" Whipped Cream cover (posted by YumPorchetta on 4/8 at 6:39pm) is not for the original album, but for "Rewhipped", a collection of remixes of songs from that album. The original cover art is still on the 40th anniversary version of the original album, as seen here on Amazon. Of course, the current jewel box size doesn't do justice to the original 12" x 12" album cover art. ;-)

Thanks hmpstd. Enjoyed another look at the original cover. Pretty tastefully done actually - swerve back to food - tasteful..

It's amazing that the cover of "Whipped Cream & Other Delights" (1965) can generate this much discussion 34 years after it's first release.

Well, GDA, we're getting old, some of us, so talk is all we have.

My final post on this.

"The Whipped Cream Girl" was Dolores Erickson, then signed to The Ford Modeling Agency.
Wkipedia profile with link to an interview:
And a link to another picture from the same photo session:

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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