president and executive editorial director,
food and entertaining, for Martha Stewart
Living magazine. The ham was sliced and the
lucky studio audience was treated to samples
served on homemade brioche.
The holiday ham is the first in a line of
products that brings together Costco’s food
research and development expertise with
Martha Stewart’s culinary creativity. A line of
soups—Classic Tomato, Hearty Minestrone
and Savory Mushroom—was introduced in
January and will be available through March
and then come back in the fall. Additional
items in the Kirkland Signature Martha
Stewart line will be introduced over the coming year. The Costco/Stewart team is developing appetizers, salads, dips, baked goods,
entrées and baking mixes that will be available
as frozen products, in the deli section or as dry
“Party food is one of the things that we’re
creating for Costco,” says Stewart. “Our whole
idea for making food products is to make it
easy for the hostess or host to entertain, to feed
the family, to provide healthy and good food
on an ongoing basis.”
On the set of her TV show, Martha Stewart demonstrates how to score the
Kirkland Signature Martha Stewart Favorite Holiday Ham while Lucinda Scala
Quinn prepares an easy mustard apricot glaze.
Quality is everyday
When it comes to Costco, Stewart is not
only an unabashed fan, she considers herself
the quintessential Costco member. “The
Costco member is me,” she says—someone
who appreciates quality, who is attracted to
the range of products, yet is frugal.
“I’ve always admired Costco as a company
ever since I met Mr. Brotman [Jeff Brotman,
Costco co-founder and chairman of the
board] and visited Seattle and the Kirkland
[Washington] store. I don’t go to Seattle with-
out going to Costco,” Stewart says.
Regarding the genesis of the working
relationship, she says, “It just appealed to me.
The way the company is run, the quality of
“We started our conversations,” she continues. “Then we were off and running. It’s
been a lot of hard work on both sides. Lots of
tastings. Lots of presentations. Lots of visits.
“We want our foods to taste as if they were
made in our own kitchens,” Stewart explains.
“That is our goal, to be able to provide food
that is tasty and homemade-tasting and healthy
and good and practical in its conception.”
Savor the small things
Getting there was no cakewalk, however.
The first step was to select recipes from the
library of more than 5,000 that have
been published in Martha Stewart Living magazine, Everyday Food magazine or the numerous cookbooks. Then it was a six-month
process transforming recipes designed for the
home cook into the quantities needed for
Scala Quinn; Susan Testa, senior vice
president licensing, food and beverage, of
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; and the
Costco team visited the source of the ingredients. Then they visited each manufacturer.
“We really had our heads in the kettle,” says
Testa, describing the process of directing the
One of the biggest challenges was finding
suppliers who could prepare the food to the
exacting standards of the Costco and Stewart
The ham stands alone
THE KIRKLAND SIGNATURE Martha Stewart
Favorite Holiday Ham reflects the quality control and attention to detail at each step that is
the hallmark of both companies.
The recipe. “The inspiration came from
a ham that I’ve been eating since I was a little
child,” Stewart tells The Connection on the
day the ham is introduced on The Martha
The ingredients. While most hogs are
fed a diet that includes antibiotics to promote
growth and prevent illness, the hogs for the
Kirkland Signature Martha Stewart Favorite
Holiday Ham are raised only on natural foods
without antibiotics. “We wanted pigs that were
raised on good food, ones that would appeal to
the Costco shopper and us,” Stewart says.
The curing. Each artisanal ham is rubbed
with a salt and spice mixture, cured for three
to five days (an overnight process for most
hams) and then lightly smoked over apple-
© 2004 MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
wood chips for 12 to 14 hours. This longer
preparation time adds a subtle smoky flavor
without drying out the meat.
The packaging. Weighing in at 7 to
10 pounds, the ham comes packed in a decorative cloth bag that can be reused after
washing. Cooking and carving instructions
are included along with recipes for two
easy glazes and split pea soup.
The cooking. Although fully cooked,
the bone-in ham can be reheated according
to Stewart’s instructions: Wrap in parchment paper, then aluminum foil, and heat in
a 300 degrees F oven for about two hours.
The ham serves 10, and leftovers can be
used in myriad ways, such as in the delicious version of a classic French ham and
cheese sandwich on page 24.
For more cooking and serving ideas
from the Martha Stewart kitchens, go to