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Be fresh! Be you!

I admit it, I love bread. Bread has basically four ingredients: flour, yeast, water and salt. That's it! Of course there are many types of flour. There's wheat, rye, spelt, buckwheat and you can add a lot of things to flavor bread from seeds and fruits, to cheeses and sugars. But when you think about, it's amazing how many varieties of bread can be made from basically the same simple recipe. And -- okay, just my opinion here, but -- it's soooo good.

It's the same with lots of simple recipes. Why is your spaghetti sauce better than everyone else's? It's basically tomatoes, parsley, basil, Italian seasonings, onions and garlic. It could be that extra bay leaf or that second teaspoon of sugar. But still, the recipe is pretty basic. Same ingredients but a personal twist can make all the difference.

When I was a kid I remember having a tunafish sandwich at my friend Chickie's house and I thought it was going to be a real embarrassment to choke it down because I already knew I didn't like tunafish. My mother fed me tunafish and it was icky. I knew about tunafish sandwiches. And then I took a bite and it was...amazing!! Turn's out Chickie's mother used Miracle Whip, something I'd never tasted before. Same sandwich, entirely different experience.

And so it is with us humans. Same basic ingredients but so many wonderful varieties. There are so many little variables available to you to make a life your own. And, yet, underneath it all, the same simple recipe. As you are going along, you may not like every version of yourself, or of others from time to time, but that's okay. Because you can always keep working on perfecting that recipe that is you.

Go right ahead and borrow from someone else's cookbook, and try it out in your own recipe. If it works, you adapt it and it becomes your own. If you come away from a person with a bitter feeling or taste, then try to pinpoint that ingredient and avoid it in the recipe that makes you you.

We're really all quite simple, and we're very much the same. And yet, you have endless opportunities to make yourself unique and outstanding. You have a lifetime to keep trying new ingredients in your recipe until you have it just the way you like it. Work that cookbook. Wear out the binding, make notes in the margins, spoltch the pages with the dirty fingers of repeated attempts and perfect the recipe that is you.

Be classic, fresh and sometimes surprising. Stand out. Go you. And appreciate the freshness in others.

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