History is rife with accidental discoveries. My favourite accidental discovery is gun cotton or nitrocellulose, an explosive. Christian Friedrich Schönbein, a German-Swiss chemist, was working in the kitchen of his home in Basle, he spilled a bottle of nitric acid on the kitchen table. He reached for his wife's apron to mop it up. He hung the apron on the stove door to dry, and as soon as it was dry, it exploded.
Similarly Charles Dunlop invented rubber vulcanization when he accidentally dropped rubber on a hot stove. Sir Alexander Fleming invented penicillin when he left some bacteria cultures on a window sill. Microwave ovens were invented when Percy LeBaron walked past a radar tube, and the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. Telfon was invented by Roy Plunkett when he was trying to make a new refrigerant.
Chocolate chip cookies were invented by a Mrs. Wakefield who ran out of cocoa for chocolate cookies, and dumped in chocolate pieces, thinking that it would melt in the batter. Viagra was discovered when a company was testing a new heart drug that didn't work. However when the tests were over, the men were not giving the medication back.
Well, I have my own accidental discovery over the weekend. It is not on the scale of vulcanized rubber or Viagra or penicillin. However it could rank right up there with chocolate chip cookies if I sold the "secret" to Starbucks.
Saturday morning, I made coffee and was still not awake. I decided to toast up some buns that were in the freezer and have toast and jam. Our friends from England brought us some lemon curd or lemon creme. It is a particularly powerful intense lemon flavour spread that is much better than jam. It looks like semi-solid honey, but tastes lemony and sweet. Lemon Creme is lemon curd with butter and/or creme.
In my half asleep state, I took the coffee pot and started pouring. I then realised that I was pouring coffee into the lemon creme jar. I quickly poured it into my cup, and filled my cup with coffee. Then I scooped a generous amount of lemon curd out of the jar to eliminate the coffee flavour. I dumped the scoop of lemon curd into my cup of coffee and gingerly tasted it. Voila, I discovered Lemon Creme Coffee. It was wonderful. It is this recipe that Starbucks could use to turn a $2 cup of coffee into a $7 cup of coffee.
I am now waiting for someone from Starbucks to read this blog and come down to the islands to throw a big pile of cash at me for my invention. Remember, you read it here first -- Lemon Creme Coffee.