I should preface this by explaining that I had a bit of a Martha Stewart obsession a while back. For my 27th birthday I received a hideously expensive (because it was imported) magazine subscription to Martha Stewart Living from my (then) husband. This was during my perfectionist Good Mother (ever-so-slightly-insane) phase. The time when I crafted, grew vegetables, made my own baby food, baked cakes, made preserves, sewed the children’s clothes and basically tried to lead a martha-style existance (even before I knew about Martha). Fortunately, I eventually came to my senses and became a relatively Normal Person!
When I first started seeing posters at the station for this magazine two or so years ago, I had no clue who this woman was and vaguely wondered if I *should* know – but I figured she was a “personality” from a lifestyle programme on one of the commercial television stations (yes, I was wrong in that regard).
The lingering memory I have is of a magazine cover featuring boiled eggs wearing wee knitted beanies (all in tastefully muted tones, of course) and my immediate (contemptuous) thought was “oh my god, some unknown (to me) woman is trying to be the Australian version of Martha Stewart” – because that style of cover is so very Martha. None of the ever changing advertising posters/magazine covers altered my view. I have a deep and abiding loathing for local versions of overseas products, particularly with regard to television (but that is another story). It always surprised me that Martha never really made a very big splash down here in the antipodes – sure, she had the massive US market, but I would have thought nothing short of absolute global domination would have satisfied her! I thought Australia would have responded quite well to her particular brand of insanity, which is why I was not surprised that (what I assumed to be a Martha-clone) appeared to be doing so well & the branching out into homewares – very martha indeed.
So I resisted even looking at the magazine for quite a while, primarily because I have happily left the obsessive Martha life behind & my mental health does not want it back, but also because I have never, ever liked anyone I’ve ever met who is named Donna1! But yesterday, I needed something to read while enjoying my healthy lunch in the park & delicious didn’t look particularly appealing this month. I’d recently read Ms Hay’s fabulous description of the Sutherland Shire: “A freaky place where people don’t leave”, quoted in the Spike column of the Sydney Morning Herald, which I considered very un-Martha, & I needed some new food ideas – so I thought I’d give it a bash.
I’m pleased to announce that I WAS RIGHT! She is a Martha Clone! I’m sure I recognise several projects in there from my Martha days. I must admit that some of the recipes look quite scrummy & I will try them out, and in her defense while the magazine itself is almost identical in look to Martha Stewart Living, the recipes call for ordinary ingredients & the preparation seems simple – very un-Martha.
While searching for the spike link, I came across this excellent article! Just how I imagined she would be – the embodiment of a Donna & oh so Martha! (Yay! I love it when I’m right!!!!) This one is quite interesting too (although a little more complementary).
1Now if you’re all cross because you’re a Donna, perhaps you’re simply the exception to the Donna Law.