Judge Ian Visser is very late with this holiday-themed review. You ungrateful punks should be glad you're getting anything at all, after the year he's had down at the courthouse!
Only communists hate shortbread.
If you love the holidays and all the trimmings that come with the season, the new Martha's Holidays 2005 is the DVD set for you. Ambitious chefs-to-be will swoon and eager eaters will drool over this three-disc offering from the modern maven of culinary delights.
Facts of the Case
Martha Stewart delivers a one-two-three punch combination with her latest DVD release, Martha's Holidays 2005. Packed full of Thanksgiving, New Year's, and Christmas entertaining tutorials, this set has everything you'll ever need to know about throwing a traditional holiday dinner or bash.
The three-disc set includes sections on hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and decorations for Martha's New Year's Celebration. Martha's Homemade Holidays includes sections on baking and decorating, Christmas and Hanukkah, and gift wrapping (including making homemade gifts). For Martha's Classic Thanksgiving, Martha has cooked up "Turkey Five Ways," stuffing recipes, side dishes and desserts, and crafts and decorations.
If you are not a person to enjoy, say, fly-fishing, then chances are you wouldn't consider viewing a DVD detailing a fishing expedition to the great rivers of Montana. Martha's Holidays 2005 works pretty much the same way. Fans love her, detractors don't, and that's about as clear-cut as it gets. A set like Martha's Holidays 2005 preaches to the converted, and this judge won't waste his time debating the merits or shortcomings of what Ms. Stewart does for a living.
This three-disc set delivers a whopping 498 minutes of content demonstrating everything you'll need to spice up your holiday season or undertake the creation of the greatest extravaganza ever. I'm not joking; everything is here from how to cook a turkey to making party hats to chilling champagne. It may all seem a bit overwhelming, but I imagine most viewers will pick and choose the elements they find appropriate to their own holiday efforts.
Not being a real food expert (outside of eating), this court relied on Mrs. Judge Visser to critique the recipes, their ingredients, and their ease of completion. The court has been assured that the recipes and crafts presented on all three discs are easy to manage and well within the abilities of any person with basic kitchen skills. The court defers to this witness on these matters and accepts this testimony as expert.
There is no new content presented here. Instead, all of the segments and demonstrations have been culled from past Martha Stewart television shows. Despite having being sourced from a television show, the full-frame presentation is bold and colorful, and much sharper that expected. Granted, these segments have all aired fairly recently, but it is nice to see such a solid effort.
Audio is presented in 2-channel Dolby Digital, and remains even and clear throughout the entire set.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I've got the same complaint with this set as I did with my earlier review of The Martha Stewart Cooking Collection: Martha's Favorite Family Dinners, another Martha Stewart release. Listed under the Special Features on all three discs is the option to read and print out recipes, shopping guides, and ingredients lists. This is a great feature, but it simply doesn't work. In all three cases, the disc claims you must be connected to the internet to access this material, but regardless of which PC or which internet connection I tried, the disc never gave up the information. The only resort is to go on the Internet and find the information on the Martha Stewart website, then view or print it as required.
I cannot see any reason why the text information could not have been offered on the disc. Many families have a television in the kitchen these days, and just seeing the information on-screen would be helpful.
All three discs also make the claim that English subtitles are available, but this feature is not present in any segment of any disc.
Even with the AWOL bonus features, the Martha's Holidays 2005 set is jam-packed with tons of great recipes and crafts for the holiday season. Martha fans will be pleased as champagne-and-cranberry punch with this set.
Not guilty, and delicious!
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