Friday, February 8, 2008

The Evolution of Recipes

On the rare occasion my wife finds me in the kitchen preparing a meal, she often laughs at the fact that I don’t always follow the recipe exactly the way it is laid out. I like to deviate a bit by adding and subtracting ingredients in order to add my own flair to the meal. This ambition has occasionally lead to an eventful and tasty meal, but more often than not, has made the meal completely unappetizing and thoroughly disgusting. These experiments in particular have caused me to wonder just exactly how people ever came up with recipes in the first place. Exactly how did recipes evolve into what they are now? Has anybody ever studied the evolution of recipes?

I mean did Betty Crocker and Sara Lee get together and just start adding and subtracting different ingredients until they came up with the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies? I can only imagine how long it must have taken and how frustrating it must have been.

Betty Crocker “Maybe we better cut the chili powder out completely…it’s overpowering the rest of the cookie…and let’s cut the salt in half as well. I think it’s still a bit too strong.”
Sara Lee “I agree. What about the chocolate chips? Should we add more or do you think there was enough?
Betty Crocker “Some more wouldn’t hurt. Let’s move it up to 2 cups of chocolate chips – and I just had an idea – let’s try chopped walnuts this time instead of diced carrots. I still like the idea of diced carrots but think we should add them to our vegetable soup recipe instead.”
Sara Lee “Fair enough, but I also might want to try some carrots in a new cake recipe I’m trying out. If it works I think I’ll call it carrot cake.”


Natalie said...

You need to watch "Good Eats" on the Food Network! That Alton Brown is quite food savy. He'll give you the history and the chemistry of foods that will amaze you! I watched an entire episode on Chocolate Chip cookies one time. He told us how to make chewy ones, then, by changing the ingrediets, we could make soft batch, cake-like, flat or puffy. He knows it all! In my opinion, he tops Betty or Sara!

Sariah said...

chunks of carrots in a cookie - sounds good ... I'm serious!

I like your blog by the way, glad Emily's linked to it.

Lindsay said...

haha...your description of cooking is JUST like Austin. It drives me crazy! He never measures anything, just guesses, and always has to add a little something here or there to make it "his own!" It must be a guy thing...

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously