The March issue of Martha Stewart Living has been out for a couple of weeks now but I always like to do a brief review/synopsis of each issue of the year: a monthly check-up, as it were.
If you read this column regularly, you'll know that as a longtime subscriber I've been really happy with the quality of the magazine over the last three years or so. I feel Elizabeth Graves has done an excellent job as the editor-in-chief. Her job, by the way, is not at all simple. She must keep pace with the times while simultaneously avoiding trendiness; she must keep her finger on the pulse of Martha's longtime readers while simultaneously attracting new ones to the fold; she must encourage advertising while keeping the content as authentic and grassroots as possible; she must incorporate Martha's content while not making the magazine solely about her. And she must perform all of this within the parameters of a strict budget during a global pandemic under the management of a larger magazine publishing corporation (Meredith Corp.) I applaud her because the magazine isn't just 'surviving' - it's thriving.
The March issue is just another example of this well-choreographed balancing act; somehow it achieves it all. There are excellent recipes, plenty of decorating and homekeeping advice, lots of "Martha", plus the introduction of new faces, as well some familiar ones, including Martha's niece, Sophie Herbert-Slater, who was a regular on Martha's early television program.
For this issue, the publishers opted for two unique covers: one for subscribers and one for the newsstand. I am, of course, partial to the subscriber cover with its beautiful photograph of an arrangement of hanging plates and platters in one of the sunny rooms at Cantitoe Corners, Martha's farm in Bedford, New York. The newsstand cover is also warm and inviting with boules of radiant-looking sourdough loaves nestled into a large wooden bowl: the comfort of warm browns and the implied aroma of freshly-baked bread is never a bad thing.