The reinvention of the wheel

As I am cleaning my inbox I stumbled across the following:

There are no original ideas. There are only original people. ”

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

No need to mention, courtesy of Goodreads. And it got me thinking about how my last 24 hours have been, struggling  to make a recipe work adding  ingredients – under the suspicion that it had ingredients missing because it did not look right – only to come to the conclusion that it did not have anything missing except for the milk to bind all the ingredients.

Briefly: as I am still unemployed and enough time  I tried to make some Christmas cookies, the way my German grandmother used to do them.  I asked the recipe to my mother, who kindly gave it to me – after translating it from German – and warning me that there was a “catch”: my grandmother used to write down what she knew she would forget. Then the rest, was in her head.  Hence, the chance that it may be some ingredients missing was 50 / 50. It did not say for how long they should be in the oven, not to mention the temperature.

I wondered for quite some time about what ingredients could be missing, for how long they should be in the oven, does the dough need to be in the fridge? All those questions unanswered, hence the frantic scouting over the internet to see if I could somehow complete the recipe.

Last night, when my son was finally asleep, I decided to “reinvent the wheel” preparing a recipe with the ingredients from my grandmother, plus others, plus some instructions. As I am no chef, experimenting was the word of the evening.

Guess what:

WRONG.

This morning I woke up and happily went to the fridge to see a lump of dough, completely unmanageable.

So.

I decided to follow the simple recipe. And use just milk to bind it all. And guess what?

IT WORKED.

Wonders.

Yes, it took me a bit of time – and a small batch of cookies – to figure out the right temperature of the oven and the time for cooking.

Reinvention of the wheel? trying to be original with the great original idea of adding ingredients since I suspected it could be wrong, because it was too simple? Nah.

Tonight a beautiful batch of cookies came out of the oven, scenting the whole house of cinnamon, ginger and clove, with a note of honey. So the wheel did not get reinvented. It got oiled, it came back from good old memories to this century, to this house, to feed the memories of my son.

Simple is best, and as this recipe was ever so simple – I may even post it here – I thought it was too simple, forgetting that sometimes, if not all the times, simple is best. In every aspect of life and that includes being a parent.

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