I’ve had a hard time writing anything worthwhile—even to blog. I’ve written every day—mostly journaling, and well, who really cares how much time I spend writing on any given day? I know I write. Some days more than others. I also know I can’t NOT write… otherwise they’ll haul me away and throw away the key.
While cooking for Thanksgiving I’m reminded of how I tell this story at the feast I prepare each year… the one where I’m trying to perfect sweet potatoes—the sweet potatoes that I had one year at a friend’s house. Not really sure if he was my friend because he wouldn’t give me the recipe. He stated, “Oh, I just add a little of this, and a little of that.” I can still picture him waving his arms, prancing, all giddy. He knew these sweet potatoes were, well, sweeeeeet. He wouldn’t even say what was “this” and “that” but since I’m not the dumbest rock in the box, I figured butter and brown sugar were key.
These sweet potatoes haunt me every year, and this was BC – Before Children. I was dating the soon-to-be dad of my three children. He was living with this friend—the same friend who made the yummiest sweet potatoes I’ve ever tasted. The same friend who wanted to date me after I got divorced. Had I been thinking… maybe had I dated him I’d have that sweet potato recipe.
However, 30 years later and I’m still at it. Still trying to make the sweet potatoes the way he did. Who says I’m a quitter?
At my own Thanksgiving dinner, I hear, “These are the best sweet potatoes.” or “I don’t really like sweet potatoes, but these are good!” That’s when I step on my soapbox and rant about my saga of the sweet potatoes. I look up and curse Billy Bob (made up name) because bless his soul, he’s deceased and he took the recipe to his grave. Think of the pleasure he could have given many and the honors he’d receive in his name. When I’ve mastered it, I will share it with the entire world! But it will be my recipe, not Billy Bob’s.
That got me thinking about recipes… do you share recipes? I mean, I get how certain businesses can’t share, but what about just an ordinary person? Take for instance when my niece was married—her husband's grandmother was Italian whom supposedly had the best tiramisu. I wanted an authentic recipe to enter a work-related dessert contest. I had to swear on my life that I wouldn’t share the recipe with anyone. Not a soul. I’m sure my niece did lots of begging just in order for me to have it. Seriously, he almost did not share it. And no, his grandmother didn’t own some sort of bakery.
I don’t know what all the fuss was about because the recipe wasn’t all that great. (Sorry Grandma Whatsyourname.) I lost out to a cheesecake, and I haven’t made tiramisu since. And no, I won’t share the recipe because I promised I wouldn’t. I will share any of my recipes, but mostly they’re from someone else or a cookbook.
Oh, but you can bet I’ll share the candied sweet potatoes once it’s mastered. Hopefully that’ll be some time in the next 30 years.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and may you walk away with recipes that you love!