Alchemy

Those of you who attended my presentation at NYU Experimental Cuisine Collaborative may remember that I began with a discussion of science vs. alchemy and the following definitions:1) an early, unscientific form of chemistry that sought to change base metals into gold and discover a life-prolonging elixir, a universal cure for disease, and a universal solvent alkahest 2) a power supposedly like alchemy, especially of enchantment or transformation (don’t you adore this definition!) I also mentioned that ‘some people’ think that baking is alchemy. The ‘some people’ I had in mind included my husband Elliott. But I couldn’t say this because he was in the audience! Afterwards I told him that I was referring to him and he said “yes—I knew that—but you always misunderstood. I didn’t mean it as a bad thing but as a good thing. I have little respect for scientific theories alone—it is the people who actually perform the experiments, i.e. the alchemists who understand…” Thirty two years of marriage and it took this presentation to understand an important issue between the two of us. All these years I had been assuming that he was putting me down on some level and it was quite the contrary. I’m telling you, dear bloggers, communication is surely the source of most of the world’s problems. Anyway, let us all continue to be alchemists and “enchant and transform” our world.