Saturday, September 6, 2008

Accidental genius

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. But some truly brilliant innovations were actually the product of error.

Do you know how chocolate chip cookies were invented? I do, because my husband watches a lot of History and Discovery Channels, and when there is an opportunity to learn the background of an item so central to my personal life as the chocolate chip cookie, he'll be sure to share it with me.

Ruth Wakefield baked for guests of the Toll House Inn, which she owned with her husband in Massachussetts. One day in 1930, while mixing up a batch of chocolate cookies, she discovered that she was out of baking cocoa. Reluctant to disappoint her eager guests, she chopped up a semi-sweet chocolate candy bar and mixed it in, assuming that it would melt into the batter to create chocolate cookies. Upon discovering her blunder when she pulled the cookies from the oven, she well could have tossed them in the trash to avoid potential embarrassment, but aren't we glad she didn't?

Tonight I had the honor of witnessing a similar breakthrough at my very own dinner table. Transition your tastebuds from sweet to savory here. We were eating a cheesy pasta dish with red sauce and some corn on the cob. Gary topped his pasta with grated parmesan cheese, and when he took his first bite of corn found it to be coated with the same. His emphatic approval convinced me to try a little, and we decided that it just might be the greatest new food combination since Peanut Butter M&M's. Alright, fine, maybe not that good, but perhaps 50 years from now people will be blogging about the Man who discovered everyone's favorite summer treat: parmesan-sprinkled corn. Try it!


Jennifer said...

We'll definitely have to try that. Jeff loves parmesan cheese on his steamed zucchini, but we've never tried corn!

Whenever I hear the phrase, "necessity is the mother of invention," I think of the "Mother Necessity" song from School House Rock. Ahh, good times.

Kristen said...

Mother Necessity, with her good intentions. Where would this country be without her inventions? and so on. Yep, I think of that too.

Bridget said...

You know, I've always been of the opinion that parmesan cheese makes everything better.

Kristen said...

Or most any kind of cheese, for that matter.


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