Sunday, September 18, 2005

Scribbles: Dietician Invents Chocolate Chip Cookies

This Just In from The 65th Crayon:

“How do you tell Americans that chocolate chip cookies, one of their favorite comfort foods was invented by a dietician?” The 65th Crayon asked in the news room when he was pulling together this report. “Good nutrition and comfort food have always been diametric opposites in American cuisine,” our paper-cloaked reporter waxed eloquently. “But that’s the story. I have to go with it.”

In the 1930s Ruth Wakefield retired from her work as a dietician. She and her husband bought the Toll House Inn not far from Bedford in Massachusetts. As a dietician, it was natural she would get involved in preparing food for her guests. The irony is that she gained a following for her dessert recipes. People from all over New England came to the Inn to taste her incredible fare. One favored treat was Butter Drop Do Cookies, a recipe from colonial days that Ruth had updated. The recipe called for a bar of bittersweet baker’s chocolate to melt completely into the chocolate cookies. One day as Ruth was preparing the popular dessert, she found herself without the essential ingredient.

“A true inventor,” our reporter said, “she solved the problem with creativity. She grabbed a bar of semi-sweet chocolate she had purchased for eating. Breaking it into bits, she dropped it into the mix, expecting it to melt as the baker’s chocolate did,” The 65th Crayon continued. “But the chocolate kept its shape and became creamy.”

Word spread of the new concoction over at the Toll House Inn, and Ruth Wakefield became a cookie celebrity. Newspapers throughout New England came out to report on her and her new chocolate creation. Soon after, Ruth was meeting with the makers of that chocolate bar and that’s the how the Nestle’s Toll House cookie recipe came to be. It was a few years later that Nestle introduced chips. Until then bakers had to break up a chocolate bar just as Ruth did. A shrewd negotiator as well as an inventor, Ruth agreed to share her recipe and as part of the deal Nestle agreed to provide Ruth with free chocolate for the rest of her life.

“I go through toll booths everyday on the way to work,” said one cranky, old man. “I never get cookies. Besides weren't the toll booths supposed to go away when the road were paid for? Keep the darn cookies, and make the roads free!”

“I was there that day,” said a seven-year-old from Michigan City, Indiana, who was obviously dreaming. “I have Accept Cookies set on my browser and a glass of milk by my screen, but I’ve never gotten any cookies sent to me.”

“Ruth’s a person who could have been a crayon,” said our colorful reporter. “She turned a problem into a lifetime of chocolate. You have to respect a mind like that.”

Scribbles Reports by The 65th Crayon appear Sundays in Letting me be ... The 65th Crayon is a copyright of ME Strauss. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

How do you know these things? Do you search for them or just know them. And I have to say your way of telling the story is far more fascinating than any way I would have other read...and kept me glued to the page as well.

PS: To the 65th Crayon, I'm a HUGE fan of yours

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Jennifer,
Well, being best friends with a crayon does help get me the inside track, but mostly it's just research--check out the links, it's all there.

Thanks for your really nice words. I'll pass them along to 65. He's a humble sort, but he likes his praise as much as anyone. He'll be scribbling all over.


Anonymous said...

All resources at your finger tip these days. I use google to double check every uncertain facts I am about to write. Even if nobody is reading my writings, this process has taught me so much that the time is well spent. I am sure Liz does the same thing, thinking, researching, compiling and finally putting everything together into a post.. ?

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

You bet I do, Yuna.

Mostly I don't like to be embarrassed whem some catches me being sloppy. My eyes are bad enough at proofreading. I don't need to get my facts wrong too. :)

I'm in the same line as you when it comes to accuracy.


Anonymous said...

I used to live near the original Toll House when I was a little girl. It was a magical place.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hello Patry,
That is so cool. I just realized now that I'm back in Chicago that I wasn't so far when I lived in Groton, MA.

I like magical places. I like people who know about them too.


Anonymous said...

Thank you:) That's really interesting chocolate facts!