There have been many inventions that were discovered by accident, but none was sweeter than the Chocolate Chip Cookie. My sister-in-law, Marlyce Schulenberg loved to make cookies, and she knew that I was partial to her chocolate chip cookies, but she didn’t invent them. We have to thank Ruth Graves Wakefield for that. It was one of apparently several “mistakes” Ruth made in the kitchen. We’ve all been there, but this mistake was not disastrous.

Ruth and her husband, Kenneth owned Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth prepared the recipes and cooked for the inn’s guests. One day in 1930, she had a problem. She was out of baker’s chocolate for her scrumptious Butter Drop Do cookies. She knew that her guests always looked forward to those cookies and would be upset if she didn’t have any. She gave the matter some thought, and decided that she could just break up a bar of Nestle’s semisweet chocolate into tiny chunks and mixed them into the batter. She assumed that the chocolate would melt, spread into the dough as it baked, and create a chocolate-flavored cookie. Unfortunately, chocolate is a little be more resilient than that. The chunks melted…to a degree, but pretty much held their position in the cookie dough. When she took the cookies out of the oven, she noticed that the chocolate chunks only melted slightly, holding their shape and forming a creamy texture. It was too late to do anything else, so she served the cookies to her guests, who absolutely loved them.

Ruth’s chocolate chip cookies began attracting people from all over New England. After her recipe appeared in a Boston newspaper, Nestle gained a huge spike in sales. Everyone wanted Nestle’s semisweet chocolate bars to make Ruth Wakefield’s cookies. Andrew Nestle came up with a great marketing idea that would be beneficial for both of them. Nestle agreed to give Wakefield a lifetime supply of the chocolate in return for her recipe printed on every Nestle semisweet chocolate bar. Later, of course, they printed it on the bags of chocolate chips, because who wants to break up all that chocolate, when it could be done for you and placed in a bag. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had chocolate chip cookies in their lifetime, and we can all thank Ruth Wakefield and her cookie mistake for that scrumptious treat.

Oh Those HatsWhen Prince William married Kate Middleton, the world became enthralled with the hats that were being worn by the elite female guests. It was as if the hat was the only part of the outfit that mattered. I watched when Prince Charles married my distant cousin, Diana Spencer, but I don’t recall so much fuss over the hats the women wore. Maybe there was a big fuss, but it just wasn’t what stuck in my mind. This time, however, the hats were the most important part of the pre-ceremony coverage. I was never one to wear hats much, in fact pretty much never by choice, so I couldn’t see the draw they seemed to have on the people in England. I suppose if I lived in England, I might think differently, and I also suppose that some of my English relatives would think I was a bit on the rogue side, for not conforming to the style.

I would also suppose that my grandmother, on my dad’s side, might be inclined to agree with them, if she were still alive, because she came from the era that had American women dressing somewhat similar to the English women…right down to the hats. When I look and those hats, all I can think, is how in the world do they keep their heads from flopping over from the weight of the hat. Now, I know that some of the hats were very light weight, even though they were big, but there were still those hats that weighed quite a lot. And the styles…well, wow!! Some of those women carried half a garden’s worth of flowers on their heads. They adorned them with peacock feathers, fake birds, ribbons, and many other such items. You could tell a woman’s social status by the hats they wore. And both the men and the women looked at the hats the women wore, although the men probably looked at the hats less that the other women at the event.

It’s not that I don’t like the look of a fancy hat on a woman, and in fact, I think many are just beautiful. I just wouldn’t want to have to wear one of them, myself. However, on my grandmother, those hats had a way of looking stunning. I have always thought my grandmother was beautiful, and so petite. She had an elegance about her that made you stop and take a second look.You just knew that she and her sisters were women of class and style. They knew what was the latest style, and they knew how to look elegant in those styles. They wore stylish dresses, carried parasols, and oh, those hats.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Check these out!