Fantastic Friday: Recipes to the Rescue

We went to Cracker Barrel this summer, and they had this fantastic new kale and Brussels sprout salad that makes it seem like you aren’t even eating things that are good for you. We had a potluck a few weeks later, and my mom was able to find a copycat recipe that tasted delicious. Talking about how amazing it was that my mom so easily found the recipe, my dad was perplexed. He wondered why people would do such a thing: why take the time to post their hard-earned discovery online?

It does seem a bit counter-intuitive that people would want to post things for free rather than trying to create a cookbook and sell it, for example. But if we really consider whether we would rather be happy or rich, I think most people–when they truly think about it–would rather be happy. Having a lot of money can certainly be equated with happiness, but I think most of us would rather be comfortable materially and happy than filthy rich with tabloids following us around all day and fans wanting to know what we had for breakfast.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am all about making money in exchanged for hard work. But I think there is something delightfully uplifting about the fact that many people are willing to share their hard work for free simply to help others reap the rewards. As a teacher, I certainly am not “in it for the money,” but it makes me happy to help others. When students reach out to me years (and years and years) after I have taught them, it’s a reminder of what I have accomplished.

As a writer, I feel the same way: while I do enjoy when people buy my books, I’d rather know that my work reached them and helped them understand themselves, or life, or others, or society, in some way.
I found my own fantastic recipe online, which I used to make “zoodles” (zucchini vegetable “noodles” made with a vegetable spiralizer) with shrimp in a garlic sauce. I am thankful to the recipe’s creator, Kelley (and Cricket), who saved me the time, cost, and mess of trying to figure out the recipe for myself.

I find that so many of my Fantastic Friday posts are about people reaching out to each other, even when they are complete strangers. Humans have the potential to be the worst thing to ever happen to this planet, but they also have the potential to be the best. And I love seeing the best of humanity shine each and every week.

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