“An unfortunate truth of espionage is that the public only hears about the errors of the CIA; their success stories are never revealed. The opposite is the case for cooking—culinary flops are forgotten while the great meals are remembered long after. The smart cook strives for the best of both worlds—in the field and the kitchen—behaving as a clandestine operative of cuisine. Here are the essential rules for cooks and spies: Discard your failures swiftly. Learn from mistakes. Identify saboteurs such as a clumsy prep-cook or a spouse who hides the salt. Take credit for others’ work and blame your mistakes on underlings. Most importantly: keep your top recipes secret.” —Chris Offutt, “CIA Cake and Jeff Davis Pie,” Oxford American, Fall 2014
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