My mother could make the best chocolate chip cookies I ever tasted. These morsels were the favorite of everyone in our family and continued to grow in fame and popularity as our family grew. Over time we would get her to share her recipe and she usually would say she followed the one printed on the back of the Nestle's Chocolate Morsels (Chips) package. We would do that and our cookies never tasted as good as her's.
In as much as I loved my Mother very much, I also grew to learn in time that she was a liar as far as her cooking went. All of her great dishes that we loved so much never tasted as good when we cooked them following her exact recipes and instructions. It was a running joke in the family that she had secret ingredients or techniques that she failed to tell us. She loved knowing that we could never quite get the taste she could get.
Mind you it wasn't just her cookies. Her pimento cheese sandwiches (spread) was to die for! She made the best salmon croquettes and her homemade peach ice cream is a family classic. However, like so many good cooks of her day she was mostly using recipes passed down through the generations from family or friends and modified to suit the taste of the ones who would enjoy the results.
Sometimes, it was her technique that made things taste so good. Or it was her cooking utensils or equipment that made the difference. For example, while we pulverized our peaches in a blender she would use an old school, manual crank meat grinder to prepare her peaches. When you read her recipe it never explained to use a meat grinder. It just said to use 10 to 12 medium sized, ripe peaches, pealed and pulverized. In the days when she perfected this gem the blender or food processor had not been invented yet.
So it is with the recipe for my health. Is it more about how to stay well than it is to get well? The science of this day and age, the great doctors and loving staff at JOA & MDA and the power of prayer have healed me. Well, maybe that is not totally true since I'm told my MSD can not be healed by mortals but it is still in remission. Staying well is the challenge for me now.
The old school methods coupled with modern day's science could be the answer, I'm learning. The best recipes are ones passed on from generations, modified along the way to suite our taste and to make them work better with today's ingredients. I sure could use some of Mother's Chocolate Cookies right now packaged in a gold fruitcake can.