That is one of my favorite quotes from my mentor and best friend the late Paxton Mills who was one of the greatest radio talents ever to grace the air. He was brilliant, hilarious and had a good heart even though it failed him in the end. I bring him up with purpose. We worked together in Denver. Originally I was his “Board Op” then Producer. He taught me so much and became perhaps the closest friend I ever had.
After I had left for St. Louis, I used to take a week’s vacation just to stay at his house in the Rockies and cook together. He was excellent at it and we had so much fun together. I learned almost as much from him about cooking as I did about being a successful radio personality. One night he gave me a very good idea for a radio bit for the following week. I said, “Oh my Gawd, can I steal that?” That’s when he uttered the words you see at the top of the page.
The point is this. There are very few “NEW” recipes. They all evolve through family adaptation and sharing. The key is to put YOUR spin on everything. Make it your own successfully and it will be passed down for generations. If I post something, that appeals to you….Steal it! I won’t tell anybody. You are cool with me. That’s why I post them. It’s all about sharing. The first time you make something from someone else’s recipe, many suggest following it verbatim. That way you can accurately decide whether you can improve on it. Then, make it your own. By the same token, if you have a great recipe that you think I can’t live without…please share it. After I moved away, Paxton and I would talk every Friday afternoon on the phone. We’d share recipes and radio bits that we could do the following week. In one of our last conversations, I remember telling him how grateful I was that he was in my life and that I wish I could be as good as he was. He said, “Neal, the student passed the teacher a long time ago.”