Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I have been working on Spring Cleaning, and came across something that both puzzles and amuses me.
And, like pretty much everything, it got me thinking.

When my Mom died, my sister sent me a bunch of stuff that she found while cleaning up our Mom's space.
Included in that were several spiral notebooks, in which she had hand written recipes.

Some appeared to be hand written copies of entire cookbooks.
Others were bits and pieces from various places, sorted by general category.
A few were recipes I knew, because she had made them when I was a child, but most of them were not familiar to me at all.

I don't know why she did this.
One of my first thoughts was that she copied them during a time when she had little money, but could borrow cookbooks from the library.
I thought perhaps she was copying recipes she thought she'd like to try.
But many of them were things I don't believe she ever made, or was likely ever TO make, so I don't think that was it.
I also don't know how old these are. Since some of the recipes were familiar to me, it is possible that they were copied down long ago.
Part of me wonders if she liked to hand write things simply because she enjoyed it. If, for her, it was similar to how I like to do Sudoku, or play solitaire, or like some people do crossword puzzles.

I'll never know.
I can't ask her.

A couple of the notebooks have titles written on the front.
"Mexican/Latin American"

Others have sections similar to chapters, with recipes grouped by type, or ingredient.

But one, in particular, fascinates me.

"Okay" recipes?


Why on earth would anyone take the time to hand copy a notebook full of "okay" recipes?
Why not write out recipes that are excellent? Things they've tried and know they like? 

The first recipe written in the book is called "Okay Deviled Eggs."
For those times when you don't really care how good they are, I suppose.
There are no other recipes in there with "okay" in the title, but oddly enough, there is another deviled egg recipe later in the book. I have to wonder if it is any good.

I wonder if it is intended to be a play on words, because my mother is from Oklahoma.
You know.

But the recipes don't seem to have anything to do with the state, and, in fact, many are clearly from various international cuisines.
Why they are not in the other two titled notebooks, I do not know.

I spent much of the day yesterday alternating between being very puzzled, and finding it incredibly amusing.

Played out ridiculous scenarios in my head.
"Tonight, for dinner, we will have something that is… okay, I guess. You might want to eat it. Might not. Hard to predict."

After a few hours of this, I started to think about something else.

When is it okay, to be… okay.

Should we not strive for excellence in all that we do?
Should our goal NOT be to be the best we can be?
Should we settle for something- for ourselves- being "okay"?

I'm not done with thinking about that yet.

How often do we tell people that things are "okay"?
How often do we suggest being okay with yourself, your body, your… everything?
How often does the phrase "I'm okay with that" come up?
How often do we ASK if something is okay?

And what does that mean, exactly?

If I'm okay with something, does it mean I am ambivalent, I guess it's all right with me, or I'm not terribly enthusiastic, but not opposed?
That's what "okay" seems to mean in describing something.

If so, then "being okay" doesn't sound so great.
It sounds a lot like answering "fine" when asked how you are, when you don't really feel fine at all, but don't want to get into a discussion about it.

And yet, I've heard "I'm okay with that!" said VERY enthusiastically, as often as I've heard "…okay…" said hesitatingly.

An interesting thing to ponder further.

Something to consider: the other half. 
Is a suggestion of a goal of excellence PRESSURE, or ENCOURAGEMENT?
And how do you know?

This is what my brain does if left to its own devices.
It heads right down the nearest rabbit hole of pondersomeness.
Indeed it does.

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