Glogg up your winter with Martha and Lars
According to She Who Must be Obeyed (Martha, not me, at least in this instance), those masters of life on an ice floe keep warm and cheery through the 19-hour winter nights with a steady diet of pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, lox, potatoes and cream, chased with vats of simmering glogg. So far so good, at least for those of us who are toughing out the front end of a new ice age in most of the upper 48 — as for what goes on in Alaska during the annual ten-month winter, I can’t say. Actually, what with the blubber-eating, Ski-Doo racing and endless dark, I can’t even bear to think of what happens up there, which is something coming from a person who looks upon staying indoors and having Irish coffee for breakfast as a viable, even attractive, lifestyle choice, at least in January and February, though some years have seen a bit of December and March creep, but that’s a story for another day.
Anywho, where was I? Pickled herring, winter benders, oh yes, Martha’s winter palace dream party. Described thus:
“Six New York-based friends — all Swedish by birth or marriage — gather for an afternoon of cold-weather comforts: warm glasses of glogg and an elegant yet homey Scandinavian spread.”
What Martha doesn’t tell you is that this was all just a prelude to the main event, namely the consumption of about fifteen liters of Absolut followed by a naked rampage through the snow-covered great lawn in Central Park, which the partygoers took for a summer nudist colony owing to the “warm” nine-degree weather, sunlight and the presence of trees.
Make no mistake, folks, this is how to “warm up like a Swede.”
Drooling, feeble-minded domestic goddesses take note
If the latest missive from Martha to land in my inbox is any indication, the marketing gurus at Big Mama Stewart’s domestic juggernaut have located a new and potentially-lucrative market segment to
exploit enlighten. For those of you not on the mailing list, I’m referring to mentally-underpowered domestic engineers. Of course, one might assert that this demographic has long been Martha’s bread and butter, and further, that captivating the attention of dim bulbs with too much time on their hands is the foundation on which her housekeeping house of horrors is built. No argument from me.
In any case, by now you’re probably all agog to hear about the latest cross-selling initiative, and really, who am I to keep you in the dark? So without further ado (and now that that third martini has finally worked its magic on my cerebral cortex), here’s a summary of what Martha is currently flogging:
Martha Stewart’s top five videos for 2013
1. How to frost a cupcake
If you need help with this extremely challenging task, I suggest grabbing the first two-handed four-year-old you find and shoving a butter knife into his/her sticky little mitt. Watch and learn.
2. How to cut a melon
Are you kidding? No need for the preschooler, just get the knife — and stab yourself with it to be sure your nervous system is still functioning. Then cut the frickin’ cantaloupe already.
3. Bartending basics
This may be the most offensive video on offer, and I’ll tell you why. When I’m at the bar or hanging around the punchbowl, the last goddamned thing I want is a drink that was mixed during amateur hour. If you need a basics course, skip the video, strap on your helmet and pilot your Segway on over to your loser cousin’s house for a Partridge Family marathon where you can sip a festive glass of Gatorade and ginger instead of a properly made Sazerac. For your sins.
4. How to can and jam
Unless this is the first release in Martha’s new series of porn videos, I’m not interested. Actually, I’m not even interested then.
5. How to cut a mango
I’ll admit it, these can be a bit of a challenge, but here’s an easy solution: Go to the bodega and buy a container of cut-up mango. Then throw it in the blender with a fifth of vodka, rum, gin or similar. Congratulations, you now have a life worth living. Well done, Sweetie.
If you’re like me — not in the dipsomaniacal sense, but when it comes to holiday shopping, I mean — the annual ordeal of trolling overheated, overcrowded, over-illuminated shopping malls in an endless quest for that perfect gift for your nearest and dearest long ago lost its appeal. Especially since the authorities got all cranked up about people, and by that I mean me, driving after a cocktail or two.
So why not embrace the Slattern’s holiday strategy and click on over to Zazzle for slattern-themed gifts sure to please even the grouchiest, grinchiest folks on your gift list? Think about it! How much would your mother-in-law love a “Martha Stewart makes my ass ache” apron? Wouldn’t your Type A sister love sipping the morning jolt from a Kitchen Slattern mug or riding with pride courtesy of her Slattern bumpersticker? I thought so.
So save yourself a trip to hell and scoot on over to the Slattern gift shop. And have another Sazerac, why don’t you?
Because I am still (happily) in a malt beverage and Red Sox-induced delirium, the last thing I’m going to do is ruin an otherwise perfect October 31 with thoughts about my least favorite holiday. Instead, I’ll just recycle my standard Halloween post. The original, and still the best, folks.
Holy Mother of God, is it Halloween again? Already? How I could have missed this given the flurry of Martha Stewart Halloween hints that clutter up my email this time of year is a mystery. Perhaps it’s because this is the first year the little Slattern has not been home for the holiday, and as such the first year I have not had to make or even think about costumes. Anyways…in recognition of this, my least favorite holiday, I give you…drum roll please…last year’s post. Don’t be disappointed. It was a corker.
I hate Halloween. The costume hysteria, the sugar meltdown, the sugar coma, the instant weight gain, the toilet paper in the trees, the stink of scorched pumpkin innards, and that’s before we even begin to deal with the children.
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Ready to tie yourself to Martha’s whipping post?
Apparently fall is the time our pal Martha, fresh from a few restful weeks of torturing the locals for pleasure in Maine, really starts feeling ambitious and decides to crank up the domestic wheel of pain. Not content with flogging Louis Quatorze lawn parties and Gatsby-themed luncheons as the best way to throw a picnic, the evil one has recently shifted the MSL lifestyle dream-machine into overdrive. Her timing is, as ever, impeccable. Once fall is upon us, any reasonable adult can finally breathe free with the kids back at school, the house guests out of her hair and the in-laws safely stashed back in their golf community, at least until the Thanksgiving horror/torture begins. Unless, of course, you live in Martha world.
I don’t, but I like to peek through the keyhole from time to time, and in the past week or so I’ve had ample opportunity after receiving about a hundred emails from the Domestic Death Star
nagging inviting me to do the following:
Start your Halloween preparations early, like now.
Madame Stewart suggests using September to get a jump on updating last year’s party-planning spreadsheet, start crafting spiders from pipe cleaners and hot glue and prepare the fifty-piece pumpkin carving and microsurgery tool set for this, the most festive holiday of the year.
And of course it’s never too early to begin planning your costume, because there is nothing pathetic about a sixty-year old woman in a French maid’s costume or a fright wig.
Now I don’t know about you, but I hate Halloween, and frankly I’d rather set myself on fire than spend a full month gearing up for it, unless by that you mean buying and consuming six dozen bags of “fun size” Snickers bars, Twizzlers and mini Dove Bars, but somehow I don’t think that’s what she has in mind.
Create savory lunch box meals your kids “will want to eat.” Now, of course these days the little slattern is away at college and in charge of her own meals, but I can say with certainty that never, in eighteen years of lunchbox slavery, did I encounter a situation in which a “bento box” featuring cold Asian noodle salad, or an avocado-cream cheese-cucumber-sprout sandwich on grainy bread, or cute little lettuce leaf cups filled with apple and chicken salad would have been greeted with anything but misery followed by pitiful efforts to trade.
Let me tell you, nobody in the lunchroom is going to give up half a PB&J for anything that involves even the suggestion of a lettuce leaf. They might, however, tease your child unmercifully for the rest of her academic life on the basis of such a meal, so there’s that added incentive to provide it — as if you needed another reason to spend three hours every night preparing the next day’s lunch so that it could be thrown in the trash and your child could arrive home exhausted, bullied, and in the middle of a full-on low-blood-sugar meltdown. Parenting, the Martha way.
Learn the venerable art of découpage with Martha’s five part video tutorial after which you can run out and buy all fifty items in her new découpage product line. Yup, DECOUPAGE. Look!
Those of you who have succeeded in repressing memories of sleep-away camp — where arts & crafts classes were the only alternative to swimming in a freezing lake, hiking fifty miles carrying a two-hundred pound pack or spending a sleepless night on the ground quivering in a stinky sleeping bag all the while freaking out about bugs, bats and snakes — will no doubt be pleased to revisit this wonderful crafting activity via Martha’s instructional videos.
In FIVE installments!
I mean really, what is there to say beyond, cut some pictures out, glue them on something then shellac the hell out of the whole mess? I’ll tell you what else, NOTHING, except maybe, “Here’s how to spend a hundred bucks and three days making a shitty old picture frame/lamp/piece of furniture look like a craft project you did at Camp Wankaweewee in 1979.”
Okay, that’s enough. I’m going out to get a pizza and a six-pack for lunch, then I’m going to toilet paper and egg that witch’s house but good. Happy freakin’ fall, Martha.