Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome to Jeff and Martha: My Year of Cooking Fabulously

Anyone who knows me knows that when I take something on, I don't mess around. In my life thus far, that's included mastering things as varied as acting, knitting, playing the piano, composing music, writing lyrics, portrait photography, book publishing, dating, and podcasting.

So when I happened upon Julie Powell's book, Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, I knew I had found a kindred spirit and an inspiration for a new project. And given my late-breaking obsession with the great Martha Stewart, it was a no-brainer choosing the book which I would commit to tackling.

So here it is - the official announcement:

This year, I will be attending (and graduating from?) Martha Stewart's Cooking School.

For those of you who don't know what MSCS is, click on the link, buy it, and expect to be dazzled. This book from Ste. Martha is filled with "lessons and recipes for the home cook," and if you've seen any of Martha's publications, you know that everything She publishes is beautiful and inspiring, with magical photos, brilliant layouts and graphics, and excellent content. And this is the jewel in the crown, if you ask me.

OK, I'm going to stop with the religious allusions and the capital S for "She," because I'm sure that can get annoying, but please know that I truly believe that Martha is a goddess. I know Julie Powell took some potshots at Martha in the book and on her blog, choosing, instead, Julia Child for her adoration and respect. But I unabashedly choose Martha. Martha is unstoppable, Martha is versatile, and above all, Martha is impeccable. I know she uses the phrase "good things" a lot, but as far as I'm concerned, Martha always steers me to the best things, and that is why I am excited to dedicate a year of my life to attending her "Cooking School" and learning from her extensive experience and great taste.

Over the next year, I will take every "lesson" and cook every recipe in this gorgeous book, documenting my progress on this blog. I'm not going to go in any kind of logical order, like Julie did. It's going to be random, but I will be thorough and complete. And it is my hope that at the end of the twelve months, I will have achieved a new level of comfort, sophistication, and expertise in the kitchen, I will have fed the people in my life some beautiful food, and I will have, in some small way, incorporated into my own life Martha's amazing commitment to excellence.

Those of you who are concerned whether I will still be writing songs during this project, have no fear. Songwriting is definitely my first love and my front burner gig, i.e. my day job, just like Julie's day job, except that she dreaded hers and I love mine. One of the things that excites me about cooking is that it's creative, yet in a way that's completely different from the way I usually create. And I wonder if a project like this might expand and inform my songwriting in ways that I could never predict... Stick around and see! Tomorrow it begins!!


  1. Poor Julie...the swipes, the covert disrespect all in the name of making Martha Stewart right...right on Jeff

  2. Wonderful idea! Can't wait to follow you on your adventure.

    If you ever have too much food and need people to eat it, call us!

  3. Oh, Molly, don't you get it? Martha Stewart IS right...

    And Bill, thanks for your kind support.

    Molly, you could learn a lesson or two from Bill. :-)

    (I can joke around with Molly, because we've been friends for 9 years. OMG, Molly, can you believe, nine years?)