Cindy MCain has become the latest person to embarrass a presidential campaign. Evidently, she submitted a "family" recipe to a newspaper that actually turned out to be lifted from the Food Network:
This past Sunday, Lauren Handel, an eagle-eyed attorney from New York, was searching for a specific recipe from Giada DeLaurentis, a chef on the Food Network. Yet whenever she Googled the different ingredients in the recipe, the oddest thing happened: not only did the Food Network's site come up, as expected, but so did John McCain's campaign site.
On a section of McCain's site called "Cindy's Recipes," you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading "McCain Family Recipe." Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the "McCain Family Recipes," were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.
She stole a passion fruit mousse recipe, for goodness sake. If she's gonna get in on this "I can out-small-town you" contest (USA Today headline: "The search for commoner in chief"), she'd better be stealing a meat loaf recipe, and it should be from Good Housekeeping or the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. As scandals go, this one isn't much. It just seems so . . . tawdry, especially part where a low-level intern (one of them again) gets blamed.
The correct way to steal a recipe is to cut it out (or print it out) and have it in a cluttered mess with other recipes in your kitchen. Over the years, as you use it, you make a small change here and there until eventually the recipe is truly yours. My best example of this is a recipe for Mongolian Beef that I cut out of a newspaper -- just your basic stir fry of beef and green onions with soy sauce and garlic and ginger. Over the years, I've added some carrot slices (for crunch), a few drops of sesame oil (powerful stuff) and honey and red pepper flakes and . . .
Recipes are like folk songs -- they're supposed to be borrowed and adapted.