What are Recipes?
It’s a way to share love with friends and family.
I’ve never thought to ask myself this question till recently. It’s one of those things that you just know, or at least you think you do. What is a recipe? I couldn't give a clear answer so I looked it up. According to Merriam-Webster, the word Recipe came from the word receipt; “A set of instructions for making something from various ingredients”. Now I was very curious what could a receipt possibly have to do with a great tasting cake? Some would say when you buy it at the store you get a receipt. Well that’s only part of the story but not what I was looking for for here.
To understand the connection you need to go back to the 1500’s when the word recipe became part of the English language. Up until this point instructions for cooking or actually anything that needed a step by step set of instructions was called a receipt. Then in a totally unrelated event there was mush advancement in the field of medicine around the mid-1500’s. One such advancement was a new new word. This new word was recipe. It was used exclusively by a doctor to communicate in Latin to the pharmacists. A recipe for a healing medicine.
1899 Recipe (Prescription)
Fast forward a few years and slowly the word recipe became associated with food. By the early 1800’s the two words had come into their own. A receipt was a list of items purchased at the store. When you get home you use this assortment of items to make your favorite recipe.
Receipts are a list of items This still didn’t answer my original question. What are recipes? To me it’s more than a list of ingredients with instructions. I often think of homemade pound cake. There’s nothing better than a slice of pound cake. I like mine still warm just out of the oven with a cup of tea. Now you could go to one of a thousand websites that will have what they call the best pound cake recipe ever or mom’s easy pound cake recipe to name a few. I could even walk out of my favorite grocery store with fully baked pre- sliced pound cake ready to eat. But I am looking for more than just a good pound cake. I need an experience, a memory. See to me a recipe is more of a story. I think about my mother baking a cake for a Saturday night fish fry where our friends and family gathered around the fire pit talking and laughing together. Or a simple avocado toast recipe that my daughter shared withme and her friends at school. Recipes remind us of the people that shaped us. Recipes help us make new memories as we share our creations with the people that are most important in our lives. It’s a way to share love with friends and family.
“Recipes are stories, glimpses of unforgettable moments between vulnerable hungry/thirsty people who are fed by love through the art of cooking. They are not just a list of ingredients and steps, no matter how many websites present them that way. Let’s not allow the internet to kill them: keep recipes alive by telling their stories”. Pat Pedrosa