A good heated squabble over a Secret Recipe rivals Road Rage.
(Did you catch the pun on heated? Just checkin'.)
In my short and simple life, I've witnessed many altercations over a Secret Recipe. The story usually unfolds like this: Sheeba brings her Grandma's Secret Meatloaf to a gathering. The lady folk at said gathering "ooh and aah" over the herbs and spices and meats and oatmeal (and prolly the neighbor's cat) that have been organized into this attractive dish.
Usually, Sheeba replies all phony like with, "I'm sorry. Granny's last dying wish stated rather emphatically that we keep the Ancestral Family Meatloaf Recipe a secret. We don't give it out. I'm sorry." Sheeba then turns on her heels and carries the carcass of that Secret Family Meatloaf out the door. I'm sure Sheeba feels special. Important. Like she's the queen of the crowd. (Or maybe just the Queen of all Sheebas.)
Incidentally, most of these Recipe Czars believe in the hereafter. Meaning they believe in a Heaven and Exaltation. Which is rather funny. Do you honestly believe Granny gives a Goat about the recipe? She's flying around space with Grandpa. And a harp.
Sometimes Sheeba can sense that the Lady Folk will roll their eyeballs right out of there sockets when she presents the Granny's Dying Wish story. In the which Sheeba will overhaul the standard I-don't-share-it reaction (listed above) and purposely botch the recipe. That's right, she'll type or hand write the Ancestral Recipe incorrectly. Oh how I love the Passive Aggressives in the world. Love 'em!
I will vouch, friends and readers, that both the above situations have occurred on my watch. I've honestly had someone admit to fudging a recipe for fudge. I know of another who floundered the directions for fish. And yet another who's misguidance caused a cake to fall down.
This recipe business is not made up. Exaggerated? Perhaps. But not made up.
First and foremost, let's define Secret Recipe. A Secret Recipe is a list of ingredients and specific directions, that when followed precisely, result in something distinctively delicious. So delicious is the result of these ingredients and directions that the process therein is privy only to those who are special. Especial.
I don't get it. Seriously. Help me out.
Second and subsequent, let's consider the great chefs of our time. Julia Childs, Martha Stewart (click over there to see the recipe for Martha Meth), Emeril the Bam-Bam Lagasse, Tina Fey (who cooks up comedy), Paula Dean, and who else...? The Rookie Cookie. All of these cooking colossals share their recipes. Every last one of them. Especially the recipes that these cultivated kitcheners devised themselves.
Third and tertiary, it all boils (pun again!) down to this: Every last one of us needs to feel special. Like we matter. We need something to set us apart from the masses. For some of us it's a recipe. Others of us have a blog and run and raise kids and try to be good wife and friend.
We all have our recipe.
Incidentally, I've yet to see a Recipe Skirmish that involved a man. Alternately, the nice policeman who taught me driver safety last month because I may or may not have gotten a speeding ticket, has yet to see Road Rage that involved a woman.
Seems like instinct, doesn't it?
Maybe... quite possibly... perhaps...
God gave Adam the Road Rage and Eve the Recipe Restraint.
Just a thought.
If you're in the mood for more Tales from the Recipe Crypt, check out the Winder's Recipe Shock. See! It really does happen!