Nothing says “happy holidays” like Martha Stewart and a 40 of Olde English 800.
The grand dame of domesticity stopped in Las Vegas on Tuesday to sign copies of her new cookbook, Dinner at Home: 52 Quick Meals to Cook for Family & Friends, at Williams Sonoma in Summerlin, and with the holidays fast approaching, I headed her way in search of advice for entertaining this season with sanity in tact. I wimped out on the malt liquor – it was 11 a.m., after all - but I did manage to glean some useful tips from the long line of Martha devotees waiting for her signature, as well as a few ideas from Ms. Stewart herself.
“Make really good stuff. Practice if you’re not certain. There are so many great things to make; be organized.” -Martha Stewart
“Plan your menu ahead of time and not the day before.” –Sue Dodd
“Get up early, like 5 or 6 a.m.,” suggested Drew Jenkin. On his Christmas breakfast menu: eggs Benedict, sausages, corn bread.
“Have it catered.” –Chris Benson
“Use the simplest ingredients, so you don’t freak yourself out. No matter what it is, it will look good if you buy a really nice thrift-store old platter. Even the Fresh and Easy prepared meals, you can dump that out and no one knows.” -Leonie Mowet
“For me, it’s in the details. For example, providing place cards at the table – nice little detail, decorative touch. And it makes your guests feel like they’re important.” –Cat Mulvey
“For Thanksgiving, we took all of our formal living furniture out and put it in the garage. Then we had two six-foot folding tables, made a square and topped that off with linens. Basically you’re eating in a room that you don’t normally eat in. We did a centerpiece of 15 little vases, tea lights and everything. Take it out of the dining room and you actually have more space.” -J.D. Koloar
“I’ve subscribed to Martha’s magazine ever since it started, and I’ve never thrown one away,” said Granny Bird. Where does she put them all? “Storage facility.” And Granny’s holiday advice? Consult Martha.