2017-10-11 / Editorials

Know the pitfalls

All That’s Fit to Print
Brenda Wall

Sometimes I watch Martha Stewart making cooking look simple and attainable for anyone, even me. I miss the old shows where she taught nitwits like me to take care of the home and the linens and to cook wonderful dinners for the family and friends without getting gravy all over the cook.

Martha can tell us how to make our house plants flourish, but it might be helpful to have a chart that shows how a plant will last without water. Some people might need to know that.

Martha can tell us how to make tender, flaky biscuits. What Martha doesn’t tell what happens if you don’t stick to the recipe. Just don’t through an egg in just because you think it needs it or you thought Martha was wrong and left the egg out. She didn’t. She was right. That egg in the biscuit recipe was wrong. Some people might need to know that.

Martha can show us how to use a slow cooker to turn a cheap beef roast into a delicious, mouth-watering dinner. It is nice to know all the ingredients to add to the cooker and how long and what cut of beef. What she doesn’t tell us is the really important things, like turn on the cooker, and most important, put the lid on cooker.

If you skip the step, at the end of the day your roast will look like a possum hit by a car and left on the highway on a sunny, summer day. Some people might need to know that.

Martha can tell us how to spot fresh fowl or fish by poking it with a finger and looking at the color. She can tell how the proper way to store and cook the food.

What she really needs to add to her base of knowledge is how to tell the difference between good chicken and rotting flesh. Or potatoes. And how long will it take for the transformation. Some people might need to know that.

Martha can tell you if you need to dust and then vacuum, or vice versa. I can never remember, and actually, it really doesn’t matter. The dust will be replaced immediately and you can write a note in the dust to remind you not to do that again. Some people might not know that.

Martha taught me how to iron embroidered linens and how to fold towels and all the things that we don’t take time to do anymore — tasteful, classic housekeeping. I don’t iron much anymore, but at least I know how to do it if it comes up in a conversation. It rarely happens, but I am ready.

Even in life, it is good to know the pitfalls before you start the journey.

Have a good week.

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