The perfect recipe is hard to come by. There are so many factors involved. A pinch of salt can be arbitrary, a measure of soda can be a random heap on a teaspoon not properly cut for the purpose.
I thought I had the perfect recipe. I mean I did have the perfect recipe - for me, at least. It might not have fit anybody else's perfect recipe but, looking back, that's what made it perfect. Looking back I see that the measures that I weighed out fit exactly to the scales that I had calibrated for myself. Nothing was too heavy and there was no ingredient that caused the mixture to turn sour or become discoloured. In fact, if I had written down the recipe I could refer to it now, so distraught am I to have lost it.
The recipe might be this - or how I remember it to have been -
1 fat cat
3 healthy boys
1 amazing spouse
a modest house with blue windows, blue gates and a wonderful blue glass door that opens onto the living room
five cows - one calf
furze bushes galore
a bunch of heather
books of unlimited value that you throw at your kids
lamb stews in the middle of Winter - barley obligatory
muddied Wellington boots
two cups of fine wine
berry crumble made with butter
ten ounces of unadultered hugs
the salt on the glass from the sea in November
and mix it all up until you find something akin to a cake and bake it in the oven for many years until browned and golden on top. Remove. Allow to cool. Take time to meditate. Do not rush anything. Count your blessings. Sift, like a gentle mist with the finest icing sugar money can buy and whisk soft clouds to pour on top. Sprinkle with silver stars and serve on leaves gathered in Fall. Alas. All this gone. The recipe stained. Fading fast.