When Martha Stewart decided to do her first harvest show ever, she put out a call for audience members to bring baskets full of their home grown bounty. Colleague Kathy Jentz (Washington Gardener Magazine) requested three tickets, then invited us two Ellens to come along.
Ricinus communis. Really? Sure, they're pretty, but also deadly poisonous. He didn't seem to have a clue.)
Kathy brought a bumper crop of okra, tomatillos, and ground cherries.
O.E.'s basket overflowed with herbs and photogenic rose hips.
Mine was fully foraged: mushrooms, sumac berries, crabapples, dandelion greens, silverberries, houttuynia, bayleaf, and a demi-bouteille of lilac wine.
Alas, the subtleties of my wild edibles were lost on Martha's minions. They fell for the gardening equivalent of the blonde cheerleader with big boobs: overflowing baskets of corn, squash, tomatoes, and peppers. We smart girls with great personalities were relegated to the upper reaches of the studio audience.
I was able to interest Emeril with my wine as he walked through the audience looking for ingredients to use. He took it, but didn't end up using it in his dish and never gave me an on camera nod. Yes, that bugged me, but it was my own fault. I shouldn't have brought something I wasn't willing to part with...I just expected an appropriate thank you in exchange.
Once I recovered from the unanticipated agony of flashbacks to the cattle calls of my twenties, I was able to sit back and enjoy both the bounty and the message. Baskets overflowed with gorgeous edibles, Martha and Emeril whipped up two vegetarian dishes (sans wine!), and we watched a special remote segment on the recent National Heirloom Exhibition in Sonoma, CA.
It was great to see heirloom vegetables, seed saving, and non-GMO crops get the press they deserve from someone with a platform as far-reaching as Martha's. I've admired her for years and was pleased to see that she is as strong, articulate, and quick on her feet as I hoped she would be. So kudos to Martha for celebrating the harvest with her television audience. And next time pick one of the smart girls. They're way more interesting.