Thursday, January 18, 2007

Martha, My Dear

Those of you who know me may find it odd to learn that I asked for and received Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook for Christmas. I'm not among the legions who despise Martha, and I love books about housekeeping--I always have.

The book weighs about 9,000 pounds, and it's filled with all kinds of good stuff about pretty much anything that has to do with taking care of your home. Cleaning, caring for things, organizing . . . it's all there. There are good pictures that guide you through things, great lists and schedules, charts and tables. The writing is nice, in that placid, competent tone Martha usually projects; it's actually pleasant to sit and read through, even though it's meant to be more of an Index/TOC kind of book.

If you like Martha, or you like books about housekeeping, it's worth the admittedly steep price. It's also a good gift for someone you know who might like (and not be offended by) this sort of thing.

One of my favorite tips: When you use spray starch when ironing (I just got a new iron, so I'm on a kick), you have to give the starch time to absorb into the fabric. Otherwise you risk getting those chunky little flakes that will force you to put your pants right back into the laundry and ruin the outfit you'd planned to wear to the stupid freaking baby shower you didn't want to waster your Sunday going to in the first place.

Ahem.

So. Martha. The book really is a good thing.

8 comments:

peg said...

Gina, thanks for the info. I pick that book up every time I see it, wonder whether I should get it, and put it back down again.

I don't despise Martha or her image either, although I did stop subscribing for that period where she wasn't at the helm, and her magazine covers looked no different than the ones on the front of, say, Woman's Day. The same could be said for a number of the articles. Now that she's back, I think the magazine has (re)improved dramatically and is almost at the level it used to be.

peg said...
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Gina said...

I like the book, and imagine I will be getting a lot of use out of it for a long time.

Joke said...

I don't despise Martha, but I do despise starch.

Worse than Apple computers or collectivist ideology. Well, worse than Apple computers, anyway.

-J.

BabelBabe said...

I wondered why my starch clumped; now I know. Thank you, Martha. Er, Gina.

Lazy cow said...

I don't think the Martha book is in Australia yet, but I adore Cheryl Mendelson's (sp?) Home Comforts. It's way too expensive, but I keep borrowing it from the library. I covet it.

tut-tut said...

I think we should form a secret Martha society. I asked for and received Martha's Hors D'oeuvres Handbook for Mother's Day when that book was new. Many family members (including my AUNT!!) snorted with disdain when I showed it around.

Sarah Louise said...

I hate ironing but think Martha can be a good thing sometimes. Good to know about that starch thing, since I iron so infrequently...probably due to the fact that an ironing board in my tiny garret...are you nuts? and many botched ironing events.

So thank you for the tip. I have Home Comforts and I wish I could say I use it--I just like having it around...like a good copy of the Chicago Style Manual, which I seem to have misplaced...