Night Music: The Word

September 22, 2019

Unscrambling Eggs

September 22, 2019

I do a lot of cooking and I am often caused to wonder how certain culinary matters were invented or developed.  Who first mashed potatoes, for example?  Or who, indeed, first thought those ugly brown tubers were of any value at all?

A while ago, I was making a meringue topping for a cake I was experimenting with.  As I was whisking the egg whites my mind automatically wondered who on earth could ever have thought to do that first?  After all, without a  mechanical whisk, beating egg whites to a stiff peak takes an age of hard work; it isn’t something you would stumble across accidentally.  It turns out, of course, that the discovery of meringue is disputed but it apparently took place sometime between 1604 and 1692.

Fair enough. But taking one further step back, who’s idea was it to separate egg whites and egg yolks in the first place?  Once again it is a less than obvious notion, and I have no answer yet.  Does anyone know how this came about?

The Original Craig’s List?

September 22, 2019

In those distant days before the internet, fifty years before Craig’s List, and using just the telephone, a couple from East Vancouver set up a middle-man position for people trying to buy and sell things.


“People who want to buy or sell anything can phone Boyd’s List and will receive information where buyers and/or sellers can be contacted.  A very reasonable charge is made for this service.” — Highland Echo, 24 April 1952.


Craig’s List … Boyd’s List — even the name is not new!