Don't learn from the past without questioning it.
The little boy ran through the house, narrowly avoiding collisions with uncles, second cousins, and others from the four generations of family gathered for the holiday weekend.
His destination, the kitchen, where relatives were busy preparing a multi-course meal.
He arrived to see his mother in the corner, working on the main dish.
“Whatcha doing mom?” he said.
“I’m making the roast,” she replied.
“How do you do it?”
“Well, come over here and see.”
With that, the little boy dragged a barstool to the counter, perched on the edge, and began watching intently.
First, she washed the vegetables – carrots, potatoes, and onions from the garden – then peeled and chopped them, before placing in a bowl and tossing with virgin olive oil.
She then put the roast on a cutting board, sliced off one inch on each end, and lightly scored the top down the length in quarter-inch intervals.
Next, she stripped the needles off a fresh sprig of rosemary, and once finely chopped, sprinkled them into a bowl of softened butter, mixing it by hand.
Taking care to fill the score marks, she spread herb butter all over the roast, placed it into a pan, added the vegetables, and seasoned everything with fine sea salt and Malabar pepper.
Finally, she poured a cup of homemade beef stock into the pan and placed it in the oven.
“So, what do you think?” she said, turning back towards her son.
“Pretty cool,” he said. “But I’ve got a question.”
“Why did you cut off the roast on each end?”
Chuckling, she replied, “because that’s how your grandfather taught me to do it.”
The boy smiled, kissed his mom, and took off outside towards the porch, where he found his grandfather.
“Grandpa?” he said. “I watched mom make the roast for dinner. She said you taught her to cut a part off each end?”
“That’s right,” his grandpa replied.
“How come?” said the boy.
“Because that’s how my mother did it.”
The boy hugged his grandpa and ran back into the house, through the foyer, past the staircase, and into the grand room, where, sitting by the fireplace, wrapped in a throw, sat his great grandmother.
“Great-grandma?” he said. “when mom made the roast tonight, she cut off a little bit on each end. She said her daddy taught her to do that. And he said he did it because you did it.”
“That’s right,” she said.
“But grandma, why did you do it?”
“Well sweetie, I did it because I didn’t have a pan big enough to fit the roast.
Going on autopilot.
It works for airplanes, Teslas, and the 10th Zoom meeting of the day.
But never in the market.