6 Things Martha Stewart Taught Me

Jessica here of P&P. First let me say, we're back, from a brief hiatus of sorts that you'll hopefully understand by the end of this post. It's nearly five years to the day that I joined the editorial staff at Martha Stewart Living magazine, and while I never would have imagined that five years could feel like two, the lessons in domestic goodness that I got from it are even harder to apprehend.

Friday was my last day there, and looking back, I know for certain that my obsession with home décor, my affinity for handmade, and these six, never-to-be-forgotten lessons were passed on to me during that time. I've spent the last couple of weeks wrapping things up, saying goodbyes, and reflecting on the things I would have never known before Martha and her crew put me to work.

Photo: Martha Stewart Living
How To Wrestle a Turkey
Picture it: me (all of 98 pounds), the turkey (nearly a quarter of my weight), and Martha's original recipe turkey brine. Throw in my teeny New York City kitchen and the pressure to pull off my first Thanksgiving as host, and you've got, well, one for the books.

P.S. Anyone know what spatchcock is? Yeah, me neither, until November 2009 that is.

Photo: Martha Stewart Living

The History of Cake Stands
It could have been the colors that got me, or the simple fact that there was actually a story behind this, or the always intriguing know-how of our collecting editor Fritz Karch who told it to me, but I've been on the hunt for the rare cobalt blue variety ever since.

Photo: Martha Stewart Living
Meringue Can Make You Strong
September may be the most prized issue in some parts of the magazine world, but at Martha Stewart Living, Thanksgiving is it (right up there with Halloween and Christmas, of course). It also happened to be the issue that was underway when I started at the mag in August 2006. I tore out the following recipe and vowed to wow my friends and family come November with the mini pies I drooled over during editing. Mine didn't look quite as sophisticated as this, but I got a crazy workout whipping egg whites over a pot of simmering water, until perfectly stiff peaks appeared.

Photo: Martha Stewart Living
I'll Never Be A Green Thumb...
But I don't ever really need to be. Our insanely talented Crafts Department has shown me what I'd guess to be hundreds of ways to "grow" flowers, no water or soil needed. I adapted these Ultrasuede embellishments, for the ballet flats I gave to my bridesmaids when I got married in 2009.  

Photo: Martha Stewart Living
Easter Eggs Are Everything
I remember finding Easter eggs as a kid and thinking that the prettiest ones had to have something incredibly delicious to eat inside. I now know more ways than ever to create that kind of magic, and even came up with the name for this blog from this April 2010 feature. Can you find where?

Photo: Martha Stewart Living
Decorating Is An Art
I'd be remiss in not giving a shout to the decorating editors who've fed my love for interior design. They're masters at the "white-box challenge" if you ask me, using everyday items in the most creative and inspiring of ways. This picture-rail shoe rack goes down as one of my all-time faves.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Sana said...

I adore everything about this vignette!

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