A Sweet And Successful Error

A Sweet and Successful Error

Ruth Graves Wakefield is credited with inventing my favorite comfort food of all time, the chocolate chip cookie. The story goes that she and her husband purchased a toll house that had been built in 1709 for the purpose of housing weary travelers. In the 1930’s, they built on to the house and began serving travelers at the Toll House Inn, where Ruth’s incredible desserts were well-known. One day, while making Butter Drop Dough cookies she realized she was out of one critical ingredient, baker’s chocolate. Whether she made the next decision out of necessity or ingenuity we may never know, but she made the now-famous decision to chop up a bar of semisweet chocolate and drop it into the batter thinking the chocolate would melt into the rest of the cookie. Fortunately for us, the chocolate didn’t melt. Instead, it held its shape but with a wonderful creamy texture. Voila! The chocolate chip cookie was created.

The truth is, many of the world’s best inventions started out as a mistake. What turned these mistakes into successes? Much can be attributed to the attitude, perseverance, and creativity of the person behind it all. Dale Carnegie once said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way,” which is exactly what Ruth Graves Wakefield did. She later began a professional partnership with Andrew Nestle, the candy maker who agreed to place her recipe for Toll House Cookies on the back of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Life is often a series of sweet and successful errors. Some of these errors will seem more bitter than sweet, but if we can understand that we are on a journey, following closely and reaching for the dream God has placed in our hearts, then we are right where we belong. Yes, we might make a mistake or two along the way, but I believe the old adage is true, “It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.”


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