'Martha Moments': Embracing Spontaneity in the Kitchen


Regina Charboneau

To try Regina's recipe for Creole cream cheese ice cream, click here.

I have a running joke with a few friends about having a "Martha moment." That is when I am suddenly more driven than Martha Stewart to take on a spontaneous project in the kitchen. Every now and then something just comes over me and I am catapulted into an obscure project, making something I could just as easily buy. An example was one very cold and lonely February when, while on my husband's home turf, Minneapolis, I was compelled to make chocolate truffles to mail to friends in California for Valentine's Day.

In retrospect it seems a bit silly, as there were so many superior candy makers, especially Joseph Schmidt in San Francisco, that make a great product, but I had convinced myself that the difference was that these were from the heart. I had brandied clementines earlier in the fall and I decided to make a chocolate ganache with a puree of them. I had to buy the perfect candy molds and of course find the best chocolate. To finish my molded truffle project took a lot of work and patience (and patience equals work to me).

I find canning and preserving not only a perfect "Martha moment" but also
quite simple.

I had to temper my chocolate to keep my chocolates glossy and pay very close attention to get it all right. I did it and loved every minute of it, and I have never made them again. I figured that if I sold these truffles, each truffle would have to sell for $18. And then I came to the quick realization that it still was not worth me ever going into that business, and the more profound realization was that all artisan chocolate makers have a lot of heart and I admire them for it. I have tackled just about everything about chocolate except apprenticing with a bean-to-bar artisan in Europe. Maybe I can do that when I take that time off to live in France long enough to really speak the language.

I missed my opportunity for making pickles this year, but when I make pickles, I like to add pickled baby carrots and baby beets and sprigs of dill to make the jars more worthy of being on display. I find canning and preserving not only a perfect "Martha moment" but also quite simple. I just like the way those colorful concoctions make my kitchen shelves look cozy. I have a bad (maybe good) habit of giving most of what I make away. I just cannot help myself. It must be a gene from my father, and if someone is leaving my kitchen I feel I have to put something in my guest's hands to take away.

Presented by

Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of Regina's Table at Twin Oaks. More

Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of two cookbooks: A Collection of Seasonal Menus & Recipes from Regina's Kitchen and Regina's Table at Twin Oaks.

The Man Who Owns 40,000 Video Games

A short documentary about an Austrian gamer with an uncommon obsession

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus


The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm


Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."


Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."


An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground


The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Health

From This Author

Just In