1 I wanted to do a Facebook LIVE chat in my vegetable garden, but it was too windy here in Bedford, New York, so I decided to answer questions and devote the hour to "Ask Martha".
2 One of the first questions we got was about potatoes. I showed good and bad potatoes, as well as sweet potatoes. Choose potatoes that are firm, without any bruises or wounds from the picker, and are good in size.
3 When baking a potato, I use a paring knife to check whether it is done - it should go into the potato smoothly. This potato needed a few more minutes to cook.
4 To prepare sweet potatoes, first I boil it and then I put it into the oven and cook it through. When it's done, the skin should be dry and the inside should be moist. Roasting takes about an hour.
5 Another question was about storing potatoes. These potatoes are on my counter along with a tray of onions and one of garlic. They sit right next to my bowls of farm fresh eggs from my chickens.
6 I like to keep items I use often, nearby. And, look at my bowls off eggs - these were all just gathered within the last couple of days.
7 The smaller eggs are from Bantams, and the bigger one is from a regular sized Maran hen. The taste of the egg depends on what the chickens eat, and mine eat the very best foods I can provide.
8 The only exception is the Guinea egg, which tastes different. It is stronger, but is also great for scrambled eggs, and for use in making cakes.
9 All winter long I grow fabulous vegetables in my vegetable greenhouse. Here are some tomatoes I grew indoors, and just picked this morning.
10 Greenhouse tomatoes are more firm than outdoor varieties, but they are also very colorful and very delicious.
11 I also showed some greens, which were picked earlier in the day. These cucumbers are so crisp and juicy.
12 Once I bring the vegetables inside, I wash them in cold, icy water, then drain them, wrap them in paper towels, and place them loosely in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
13 And, since the paper towels are loosely wrapped around the vegetables for a short time, go ahead and reuse them for the next batch of greens - no need to waste paper towels.
14 I also talked about my knives. My knife drawer includes all sorts of knives for slicing, boning, and chopping. I have chef style knives, serrated paring knives, small knives and big knives. I use Wusthof - a German company specializing in good quality steel cutlery. http://www.wusthof.com/usa/index.jsp
15 The long knife in the foreground is for slicing large pieces of salmon. Aside from my Wustof knives, I also have some very well-made Japanese knives.
16 This Japanese cleaver is among my favorites to use. It slices wonderful paper thin potatoes, and lots of other foods. To clean knives, I wash them in very hot water and dry them very well.
17 This Japanese sushi knife was made for me and has my name on it. It has a perfect balance for the hands - it is so comfortable to hold. I love using it to cut fish.
19 Another viewer asked what kind of copper pots I liked best. I talked about my new copper triply cookware set from Macy's. The set features a copper exterior with an aluminum core and a stainless interior cooking service, plus a copper bottom. I helped design them - they're wonderful. http://goo.gl/CfGvMn
20 I love these casual, easy Facebook LIVE chats because they don't require a lot of equipment, and can be done using a small crew. Web video producer, Sam Schutz, operates the iPhone camera, special projects producer, Judy Morris, holds the boom, and director of digital marketing content, Marci Greenfield, monitors the questions and reads them to me during the show.
21 After the potato is baked, hold the hot potato in a towel or pot holder, and smash it against the counter once or twice. I learned this technique in Maine from a potato farmer. Smashing it breaks up fibers, and makes it so fluffy inside.
23 It is perfect - it makes a great lunch.
24 Sweet potato can be served the same way, but it doesn't have to be smashed because it is already soft inside when it is cooked.
25 I showed a small glossary of the citrus fruits I grow in my greenhouse. The huge fruits on the right are Ponderosa lemons. They have a thick and bumpy rinds, are seedy, and while they look similar to a citron, they taste like a lemon.
26 This is special kaffir lime. It is sometimes referred to in English as the makrut lime or Mauritius papeda, and is a citrus fruit native to tropical Asia, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Its leaves are so fragrant.
27 These are kumquats. These edible fruits closely resemble oranges, but are much smaller - approximately the size and shape of a large olive. I serve kumquat slices in vodka martinis instead of twists of lemon.
28 And these are variegated "pink lemonade" lemons, with green and off white stripes on the outside, and a rosé hued pink flesh inside. Pink lemons have a tangy and tart flavor, a rich lemon scent and very few seeds if any.
29 I love these calamondins. They have such nice flavor. I made some sugar syrup with the juice of these fruits and used over a pound cake I made - so delicious.
30 Another favorite trick is how to slice multiple cherry or plum cherry tomatoes. Use plastic covers to sandwich a bunch of tomatoes and with a serrated knife, simply slice through. All of them will be quickly, and beautifully sliced.
31 And then toss the tomatoes in with a salad - I love this helpful hint.
32 I also shared my scrambled egg trick - made with the steamer of the cappuccino maker. I just broke three eggs into a stainless steel cup, added salt, pepper and a small slab of butter, and cooked them up.
33 The wand should be about a quarter-inch deep into the eggs.
34 Just let the steam cook them. I learned this technique at a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village. It's so much fun, and Jude and Truman love eggs made this way.
35 They look so delicious, don't they?
37 I always love learning about entrepreneurs and makers. Our American Made tickets are on sale right now. The fifth annual American Made Summit is on October 21 and 22 - get your tickets. http://american-made.ticketbase.com
38 This is me on cover of the Colonial Williamsburg Trend & Tradition magazine. It's a promotional magazine and this is the gardening issue. Pick up a copy if you see it at newsstands. http://www.history.org/foundation/magazine/