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Great Parties: The Best of Martha Stewart Living Paperback – November 11, 1997


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New and Popular Cookbooks for Fall
Get inspired with new and popular cookbooks and other food-related titles in Fall into Cooking.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (November 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060980099X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609800997
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

While this book is very much in the style of Martha Stewart, the parties that it depicts were planned and executed by other folks. There's a Louisiana lunch at a stately home outside Baton Rouge, complete with maquechoux oysters and pecan-crusted catfish; a garden harvest party, with mountains of vegetarian delights served in an East Hampton garden; a Vietnamese-Thai feast in a garden by the Sacramento River, with the signature flavors of Southeast Asian cooking--lime, ginger, lemongrass, chile paste--gracing spring rolls, chicken, and fish; a soul-food brunch given by an interior designer in Harlem that includes collard greens, gumbo, and sweet potato tarts. Details such as how to make lovely, lotus-like napkin folds are illustrated in "Good Things" sidebars. From the down-home barbecue in a horse arena in Marfa, Texas, to the Polynesian fantasy picnic on the beach in Maui, the key to a great party, says Martha, is caring--"about people, originality, the most attractive settings, and lovely, finely honed, time-honored traditions." And let's not forget food.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By secrethalo on August 20, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now I know that we can't all go to Texas to have an authentic Tex-Mex fiesta, but the ideas are great none the less. Who care's if no one comes dressed the part? This book is all about themes. Themes that you can manipulate and call your own. Each party is beautifully photographed and the recipes are delicious. They even offer her infamous "Good Things" as a sidebar for many of the parties. Don't let the perfection overwhelm you. This book delievers.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
As we all know, Martha can be a bit anal when it comes to many things, I have to admit I really like her cookbooks. The recipes are easy to follow and most of the time, tasty. The entertaining ideas are good, however, I've never been able to follow one completely as I simply don't have the time to do it all. Perhaps if I were a wealthy at-home wife I could...but in that case..wouldn't I have someone do it _for_ me?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Finklein VINE VOICE on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since Martha's original "Entertaining" debuted in the early 80's I've been a wanton fan. Many of her subsequent books, including the most recent edition of a fresh 'Entertaining' have proven to be a serious disappointment. Sometimes she gets so wrapped up in the presentation she forgets there should be more to an expensive cookbook than pictures or impractical suggestions. "Great Parties" leans more to her old ways and is good in various recommendations but again her recipes are minimal and most of her ideas feature items that are hard to find - if you can at all - and when you do they are not cheap.

This book is an okay starting-ideas book. When you own a gorgeous multiple acre farm where everything in the way of work is done for you or you have umpteen behind the scenes folks to make events happen plus money is no object everything works well. Martha needs to tend to every day reality. She can still offer wonderful ideas and even expensive to produce recipes but in this day of economic constraints she needs to be a little more realistic when it comes to extravagance. I'm all for wild fun and theme centered entertaining but not continuous off the wall and unrealistic efforts.

Martha has lost sight of where true entertaining resides. She puts together beautiful books but they are more enjoyed & comfortable resting on a coffee table rather than smudged from being used in the kitchen.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Smart Consumer on December 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Theme parties are great! Getting your guests to "dress the part" isn't at all difficult! If you want people to dress up, just inform them that it is a "themed costume party". Your guests will try to out-do each other with their creative costumes. It really makes things a lot of fun and makes decorating in a theme really worth the effort! My friends and I have one about once a month.

I think Martha is great, but no one should follow any entertaining "to the letter". These books are for just for ideas and Martha's ideas are some of the best, hence her empire.

Regarding the woman with the "waterfront property" whose party was a "fiasco", no one with a third home in Switzerland knows how to throw a party. Hence, the story is a total fraud by someone who harbors some sort of grudge. Did the shiitake gravy turn out badly for you in front of the husband's boss? She didn't realize that anyone with that much wealth would hire a professional party planner who would do all the work for them. I should know, I have a good friend is actually is a professional party planner. Whomever the "reader" with a grudge is, she's made a common nouveau riche (or no riche at all) mistake of misundersanding the role played by those in the upper classes. Marha isn't upper class (contrary to popular opinion). She's upper-middle class, the highest class who still cook at home for themselves during the holidays and for parties. Upper and lower don't mean "better" and "worse" - as class measures they're just indicators of lifestyle. Upper Middles have the most fun :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen on March 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is filled with an array of creative parties, there are 11 party themes ranging from simple to more elaborate. The book is also filled with many recipes, crafts, and decoration ideas; most of which are accompanied by beautiful photographs :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had checked this book out at the library years ago and missed the recipes so much I had to purchase it. There are some great ones in here that you won't find anywhere else!
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