I’m taking a break from studying how technology changes society as well as the baking I should be doing to talk a little about baking and how technology has changed society.
I had a special request from a customer to make “Hannukah cookies” which don’t really exist in the way Christmas cookies or Purim cookies do. The special sweet for Hannukah is sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts, and I can’t make those. But I thought about how my mother used to make sugar cookies in the shape of dreidels and stars and menorahs with blue sugar on top. My aunt does the same thing so I assume my grandmother did too. Maybe it came over from Christmas sugar cookies, I don’t know. So I suggested that and my customer agreed. I happen to have my mother’s recipe boxes from when we cleaned out my parents’ house last year and I looked through them.
I think the thing that struck me most was how dishes I had thought of as my mother’s really came from her friends and neighbors and how every one was clearly marked, “Mrs. So-and-So” on the top right corner. My mother was like me and saved everything so the recipe boxes are also full of notes from people saying, “Hi, here’s the tzimmes recipe you asked for…..” Some are still in little envelopes. I think if you looked through my computer, you’d see the same thing but in .doc files. And I do call many of my recipes by the person who gave them to me. So it’s Monka Muffins and PaxilRose’s Chocolate Chip Crack and Aunt Honey’s cookies.
But I mean, look at this picture… I somehow don’t think it will be the same. Sure, the search would be a lot easier, but it will also be a lot less fun.