Martha's good taste recipe for Gore more entertaining than alpha beta soup

November 11, 1999|By Kevin Cowherd

If Martha Stewart advised the Al Gore presidential campaign:

Dear Mr. Vice-President, I once held a dinner party for 80 at which each guest wore a silver party tiara or bowler crowned with real ostrich feathers, all personally hand-crafted by me, and enjoyed a sunny Provencal-style bouillabaisse flavored with saffron, tarragon and fennel, prepared by -- you guessed it! -- Chef Martha that morning.

So I think I know a little bit about pressure and the pressure you, sir, must be feeling as the presidential race heats up.

Alpha male, beta male -- these are terms with which I am unfamiliar. But I once observed a hideous little man in Bar Harbor, after one too many glasses of Chateau Cantemerle '89, make a perfect fool of himself at a wicker basket exchange. (Fortunately, the "accident" occurred on a Dupont Stainmaster carpet! 'Nuff said.)

But I know this, Mr. Vice-President: Your campaign would only prosper if, at each stop, you were to hand out chocolate tarts decorated with figures inspired by Sinagua Indian petroglyphs.

These would not have to be elaborate -- I have made them in seven or eight hours, depending on the size of the tarts, the technological capabilities of the oven, etc.

But the joy they could bring!

Imagine, if you will, a grip-and-grin at, say, the Iowa State Fair or a Kiwanis convention in Dallas. As each potential voter approaches, simply press a tiny tart into his or her hand and say: "Al Gore -- counting on your support next year!"

If it's clear the person wishes to engage in small talk, you can always add: "Using a stencil and a sieve for dusting the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder was a snap!"

(On a personal note: I find a man whose hands are lightly streaked with pastry dough to be very sensual, and I'm sure the voters will, too!)

OK, what else can we do to enhance your relationship with the American electorate?

One thought: Sunrise Hikes with Al and Tipper Gore!

Haven't you just had it with all those dreary fund-raisers in musty ballrooms in this Sheraton and that Hyatt Regency?

Of course you have!

Now imagine this: At dawn, you and your lovely wife greet 500 well-heeled Democratic Party supporters for a trek to Great Head on the scenic Maine coastline, where you watch the sun rise in Frenchman Bay and observe black guillemots, grouse and peregrine falcons while sipping hot chocolate from a gleaming silver thermos.

And that's not even the best part!

After the hike, you gather in your fluffy bathrobes at the nearest lodge for breakfast: fresh fruit in candied grapefruit shells, warm blueberry muffins with paper collars to prevent batter runover, pancakes that cross the traditional Mount Desert popover with a crepe, oatmeal brulee and cafe au lait in oversize cups.

Doesn't this sound too perfect?!

(It is, I assure you! I recently invited 18 guests, including my chow-chows Paw Paw and ZuZu, for a similar hike, where we gazed through telescopes and gasped as the sun's first rays appeared over the horizon.)

The point, Mr. Vice President, is that after such a perfect morning, can there be any doubt your guests will be reaching for their Cross pens and checkbooks and saying: "Al, I'm leaving this blank. You fill in what you need, babe."

Up to now, the presidential campaign has been so ho-hum, has it not? We hear one candidate after another talk about tax breaks, education incentives, military preparedness, overhauling Social Security, blah, blah, blah.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have a presidential candidate talk instead about refinishing a 200-year-old desk with ornate gold inlay?

Wouldn't the voters take to a man who, in the midst of a tense televised debate, demonstrates how to make colorful confetti lanterns using lightweight paper and water-based glue?

Isn't there something inspiring about a candidate secure enough to pound a lectern at a Rotary convention and shout: "Look, you make your ginger cookies any way you want! But for me, the key is the ground cinnamon and cloves!"

Sir, this country is crying out for such a man!

And that man's name, I submit, is Al Gore.

Your humble servant, Martha Stewart

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