25th Anniversary Countdown to Christmas: Day 16

Throughout December, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Martha Stewart Living magazine, I will examine 25 of the most memorable and influential people, moments and milestones at Martha Stewart's company over the last quarter century: the Martha Moments that fans are especially grateful for. I hope you enjoy these reflections on twenty-five years of excellence!


Cooking has always been an essential component of Martha Stewart Living magazine. Not a single issue has been published without at least a dozen new recipes in its pages. While I am not an avid cook myself, it is certainly clear to me that the core content area most readers of Martha's magazine respond to is cooking. It makes perfect sense: central to the very idea of "Living" is the food we ingest, the meals we prepare and enjoy with our families and the menus we create for entertaining our friends. I many not spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I certainly enjoy reading about food, learning about ingredients and looking at beautiful photographs of the finished dish. (I have often been found reading cookbooks and recipes in bed before I fall asleep!) Few do food better than Martha Stewart Living.
In the front of the magazine, recipes are often printed adjacent to a photograph of the finished product. For the food features at the back of the magazine, the recipes are collected in a recipe section separated from the rest of the content to make it simpler to use, leaving the editorial feature to showcase the final dishes in beautiful photographs to inspire and delight.

What makes the food content unique in Martha's magazine is the imaginative and inspirational process behind a recipe's conception. There is a very well-thought-out plan behind the recipe offerings in each issue: they are seasonal, they are grouped by theme or food type and they are often grouped by purpose and function: dinner for four, a holiday buffet, a Valentine's Day brunch. The recipes are rarely just put on the page in a successive series. Instead, they are carefully structured into menus, which I know the home cook so appreciates. One of the biggest conundrums is what to serve with what. Martha usually takes it several steps further by showing us how to serve it, and helps us understand why the menu works so that we can become more confident the next time we are cooking or coming up with a plan for dinner ourselves.

Throughout the issues, Martha and her food editors have always sought to teach, another element that many magazines specializing in food and cooking seem to overlook. Martha tells us about the ingredients and we learn about their history in cooking. She not only shows us the techniques used to make certain dishes, she explains the science behind why it works. I suppose that's why I am so drawn to the food content in Martha Stewart Living. It's the knowledge I am gaining and the learning process that I most enjoy.
Variety is always on the menu in Martha Stewart Living magazine with inspiration derived from cuisines around the world. There are healthy options and more decadent ones.
The cakes in Martha Stewart Living have always been a favourite component of mine. It is not just because I love and adore cake, it is because they look so beautiful, unique and delicious. Above are four of the most popular cake recipes from the magazine: raspberry meringue cake, Meyer lemon layer cake, rainbow cake with vanilla frosting and coconut layer cake.
The chocolate-chip cookie icebox cake was a big fan favourite.
There is always imagination and whimsy to be found...
And delicious pairings...
And healthy options...
And lessons to be learned.
Martha has released dozens of cookbooks over the years, but for a concise collection of the recipes in Martha Stewart Living magazine, get these two volumes. Each one contains over 1000 recipes straight from the pages of the magazine from 1990 through 2007.

1 comment:

בצק אלים said...

i'm so excited with this christmas special, andrew!!!!
merry xmas and thank you so much for this!