Martha welcomed a very special guest in the studio yesterday: actress Jennifer Garner. Together, they cooked up the perfect summer lunch, answered questions from fans on Facebook, and compared notes on everything from raising their own chickens (they both have French Marans in their flocks) to their favorite desserts (both appreciate a well-made chocolate chip cookie, especially with a little flaky salt on top and as the base of an ice-cream sandwich!). Luckily, Jennifer is no stranger to multitasking: in addition to her many filming projects—she recently finished shooting Camping, a comedy series for HBO, and has an action movie called Peppermint coming out in September—she’s also the cofounder and chief brand officer of Once Upon a Farm, an organic baby food company.
First up on the menu was a peach potpie (which our test kitchen declared the dessert of summer 2018!). Martha had Jennifer cut the puff pastry while she prepared the filling. Martha’s tips: cognac or Sauternes instead of bourbon would also be delicious with the peaches, any leftover puff pastry can be used to make tiny peach pies, and clingstone peaches, which are available earlier in the season than the freestone variety, are harder to cut (this made Jennifer feel better about not being able to slice them perfectly).
Martha then walked Jennifer through breaking down lobster for the bacon-lobster-tomato sandwiches (from our July/August cover!). As Martha meticulously extracted the lobster meat from the shell, Jennifer said, “The first time I met you, you said if you weren’t doing what you’re doing, you could’ve been a surgeon.” Martha replied, “If I could act, I would be doing that, not this!”
A longtime Martha fan, Jennifer appeared on Martha’s show more than half a dozen times. She recounted their first meeting: “When I was first starting out as an actress, Martha’s cooking show only featured chefs. What did the trick was naming my dog after Martha. Martha was like this girl’s a stalker, but she can come on the show! We made a Thanksgiving dinner together, and I’ve made it every year since.” Martha might even have been the inspiration behind Jennifer’s #PretendCookingShow on Instagram, where she cooks her favorite tried-and-true recipes, like Martha’s roasted lemon chicken soup, in her pajamas. She said, “My mom taught me how to cook, but you can’t overstate how much we have all learned from Martha—watching her has made a world of difference.”
Watch this throwback video of Martha and Jennifer cooking cranberry turkey for Thanksgiving dinner:
Catch up on all the fun! Watch Martha and Jennifer in the kitchen on Facebook Live: