Monday, January 17, 2011
A Recipe For Keeping The Peace
Don’t ever nag a friend to give you a favorite recipe.
At least, that’s the advice I got from a gal who should know. I spent a day last week at the Wayne State Press Club where editors and publishers meet to pour out their problems to one another. Surprisingly, most of the problems of the big dailies are similar to those on the smallest weekly.
Kay Savage, the Detroit Free Press food editor for the past few decades, says it’s a dangerous thing to push a friend into the corner and demand their secret recipes. They may finally tell you, Kay says. But wanting to maintain a little better reputation as a cook than you, she may hold back one ingredient. More than once, Kay declares, she’s had people call her to find out what went wrong. “Turned out that the friend deliberately withheld one ingredient just so the recipe wouldn’t come out the same.”
Some people think Kay dreams up all the recipes herself in the Free Press Tower kitchen. Some accuse her of clipping them out of cookbooks. The other third thinks she spends the nights prowling around at dinner parties to weasel recipes from the hostesses. But none of these theories is right, Kay says.
Truth is, she gets most of her recipes from food companies, such as General Mills, whose army of dietitians have tested them many times. Kay and her one assistant test some recipes, but not all. Over in Chicago, The Tribune has a food editor with six assistants who test every one.
Having once run a recipe column myself, for which we took a picture of the homemaker in her kitchen preparing her recipe, I was happy to settle for a sample. You might say that it was stomach tested. If I was still in reasonably good health the next day, the recipe appeared in the next issue.
The Clarion’s present recipe columnist, Alice Burke, doesn’t need to pry the recipes out of the guest cooks. They volunteer to share their secrets. And she doesn’t worry much about the homemakers not divulging all the ingredients either. The cook’s name, address and picture are in the paper for all to scorn in case something goes wrong.
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THERE WILL BE NO ironic twist to the upcoming city charter election, such as there was back in September when the Village electors voted to incorporate as a city. Most people don’t know it, but the Village has never owned voting machines of its own. When the Village had its own election every year, two voting machines were borrowed from Avon Township and a Township employee was hired to set them up and make sure they ran all day.
So it was a bit of irony when the Village of Rochester used the Township’s voting machines last September to vote on whether the Village should become a city— and hence no longer be a part of the Township.
This time around, however, the Village administration thought it had better not rub salt into the wound. They are renting two voting machines from a firm in this business, with an option to buy them at a later date. Should Rochester become a city, it would have to conduct not only all of its own city elections, but also the county, state and national elections.
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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Before you borrow money from a friend, better decide first which you need more.