If you follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (if you don’t…go ahead and follow along) then you know that I met my idol Martha Stewart just over a week ago. Of course, I use the term “met” quite loosely…more on that in a sec. My meet up with Martha all began with me taking a chance. Which, as cliche as it may sound, whenever I take a risk, or push myself into an uncomfortable situation I tend to reap the greatest rewards. That’s exactly what happened when I received an invite to apply for media accreditation for the Delicious Food Show.
While it is true that I have been blogging here for a couple of years (I know, a couple of YEARS) and while I have a pretty sizeable following over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google +. And while I review products and work with different companies to promote and discuss their products – I don’t often think of myself as being part of the media. When really – I am. Bloggers have sort of stumbled into the role of new media. So, when the invite came with the announcement that Martha Stewart would be headlining the show (do people “headline” a food show?) I knew I was going to have to take a risk and smack the “media” label on myself. I wasn’t sure if this meant that I would have to bring along a handy note book and pencil (which is how I actually keep notes) and wear a trench coat (I would really love a trench coat). All I knew was my desire to meet, even simply be in the same room as Martha was the push I needed to take the leap. And leap I did.
I showed up bright and early at the show for a behind the scenes tour, led by the lovely Show Director, Judy Merry. We stopped and chatted with the folks at Soda Stream, the delicious Buster’s Sea Cove food truck, the Tea Emporium, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and dined on some decadent sweets from Jelly Modern Doughnuts. All was going beautifully. I was busily snapping pics and tweeting away (again, you gotta follow me on Twitter). But, as the minutes counted down toward the arrival of Martha, I was growing more and more excited. Giddy – you might say. So, when we were directed toward the Food Network Celebrity Kitchen, featuring a Martha Stewart kitchen by Home Depot, and the rows of audience chairs, I bolted for a seat. Not like a crazed fan…more like a seasoned media professional might…with just a hint of crazed fan.
I scored a spot right in front of her seat, in the second row. And, while there was a delicious buffet of treats I simply could not leave my seat. Instead, I sat and flipped through Martha’s newest cookbook “Cakes” – a copy happily sat waiting for me when I arrived at my seat. And, I waited. It’s not important to mention that Martha was delayed…she’s Martha!
When Martha entered the room I’m pretty sure I let out a “whoop! whoop!”…not very seasoned media professional of me…my food blogger roots were showing. She sat and chatted about her visit to the city, her kitchens at Home Depot and she took a few questions from the audience. Sadly, not mine. I had the mic in my hand…but the MC made me pass it off to someone else. It felt like maybe my moment was gone.
Then Martha made her way over to officially open the Delicious Food Show and cut the ceremonial cake. The mob around her was intense…rock star like. My iPhone was raised high in the air, trying to capture a clear image. And then the next thing I knew, I had a piece of cake in my hand. While this seemed a little bit like a nusance…how could I operate my phone with a piece of cake in my hand? This was a piece of cake that Martha freakin’ Stewart had cut for me. Savvy media professional or not, I needed to eat this perfectly cut piece of chocolate cake. It was delicious.
After the cake cutting I followed along as Martha completed a segment for the Steven and Chris show. I may have gotten a little too close…her body guard gave me a smile and right stood beside me. I might have been revealing my “crazed fan” side again.
And then…she was gone. She slipped behind the curtain and was gone. Okay…I may have shed a tear. For some reason when I’m in these sorts of situations (like seeing Paul McCartney live) I immediately think of my mother. I wish that my mother was with me. I wish I could call her and share all the funny little details with her. I know my mother would have loved this one.
I wandered around the Delicious Food Show for another hour. I ate some lunch. I was in a post-Martha daze. I grabbed a seat for Chuck Hughes’ cooking segment at the main kitchen. It was incredible. I was shocked and encouraged by the number of young men that were excited to see Chuck. What a fabulous chef and personality he is.
When his segment ended I made my move for the front…Martha was coming on in 1 hour…I had one last mission…ask her a question. How could I return home and tell everyone that I had been so close to Martha and not asked a question? My mom would have kicked my butt if I didn’t. So, I took my seat and waited.
My time arrived. I raised my hand. Swallowed the enormous lump in my throat and asked her about her grandkids. What grandmother doesn’t want to talk about her grandkids? It happily fit with my media niche (kid blogging) and it validated my reason for being there. I was a member of the media, asking a question of the star of the show.
It doesn’t really matter what I said, or what she said. I looked at her…she looked at me. I spoke and she responded. I know that sounds crazy…she probably couldn’t even see me for the bright lights. It was my moment and I will never forget it. When Martha left the stage this time, I felt a sense of satisfaction. I had accomplished what I set out to do. I came, I saw, I questioned.
Now, where does the coffee cake come into play, you ask? The following day I gathered up my daughters and we baked the cinnamon streusel coffee cake from Martha’s new cookbook. My children are familiar with my love for Martha. I clearly remember the day when my eldest daughter was just a toddler and we were strolling down the street (her in the stroller), we came across a billboard with a picture of Martha. My daughter looked up and said “Martha”. Somehow Martha has become a part of my family. I grew up watching her show, I bought her books and now I spend time on her website. I know she’s been involved in plenty of scandals…I know. I guess I love that she celebrates and values homemaking. I’m a homemaker. Make no mistake about it, I am a homemaker. Martha taught me how to fold a fitted sheet, how to make pastry dough and how to create a Christmas elf out of a pipe cleaner. Those things matter to me.
So, we sat down and ate the deliciously moist Martha cake. I think it was the best cake I have ever made…seriously. I’m not even sure it was the recipe that made it taste so great. It was the whole experience. Taking a chance, standing up, speaking out, sharing it with my family and eating cake. Thanks Martha.