Wednesday, March 22

The Recipe

The Recipe

“..,next time you take a mouthful of bread, remember -- that's history you're chewing on.”
– Alan Alda as host of PBS series, “American Frontiers”

I’m an obsessive/compulsive list maniac and this month’s most intriguing list is compiled by Forbes magazine, titled, “The 20 Most Important Tools Ever.” Why did they limit the selections to twenty? I would think “ever” deserves more than twenty selections.

The twenty selections they list are interesting and important, but missing something. (My input, of course!!!) What should be added, I wondered. Then, I remembered the excellent Public Television program, hosted by Alan Alda which discussed the different properties of three foods we consume today: wheat, corn and soybeans. Over the centuries food chemistry and the tools used in food preparation have altered human history for the better.

The variety of meals that we take for granted today were devised via trial and error over centuries and the successful results were organized and passed on in the form of recipes. Every family prides itself on a special "dish" or a miraculous remedy that is made by following a set of these verbal or written instructions. The illustration above lists three of my family's favorite foods and there are other "secret" recipes that I'll share with interested family members, only. As mundane and simple as these recipes seem, they are powerful, everyday tools, indeed!

I’m adding, “the recipe” to this list and moving it ahead of the rifle and sword as one of mankind’s most useful and enduring survival tools. I’d also expand this list … hmmm, what other things should be on it?

Edit on 3/23/06: Add the measuring cup/spoon, the thermometer, the oven... to be continued.