Recipe for making dough
MSC cookbook fundraiser must reflect group's activities, size
In an attempt to raise funds for their various projects, students at the Memorial Student Center are working to compile of book of recipes to sell. The organization has undertaken the idea with their usual gusto, even appointing cookbook sub-chairs to coordinate the effort. The project is hailed with strong language. It is described as a great way to raise money for all MSC committees at once. Time will tell whether it meets this lofty goal.

The idea seems long on creativity, but short on practicality. For some reason, many organizations believe they need unique fund-raising ideas. Perhaps the t-shirt market on campus is saturated and no one is willing to wash cars in the hot sun.

Texas A&M has seen its share of specialty books on the stands lately. A walk through the campus bookstore reveals children's book about trips to Aggie football games, fairy tales about Ring Dance and countless photo-documentaries of the College Station campus.

Perhaps there is room in this market for a cookbook, but in order for the book to be profitable, it must reflect the uniqueness of A&M and the MSC. The recipes themselves must contain part of the organization's character.

The book needs recipes like, "The MSC Bureaucratic Casserole." A troublesome dish that must be served in a special container since it is top heavy.

The casserole has a long list of ingredients, requiring vast teams of students (properly organized into committees and sub-groups) to gather everything. The main ingredient is rice. Fluffy rice. The more fluff the better.

Our meal must include okra because, when properly prepared, okra is warm and fuzzy. After all, an MSC project is nothing if not warm and fuzzy.

As the necessary items are collected, one must consider the cost. Keep in mind that higher prices indicate higher quality. Do not worry that the end product will be too expensive, because our meal is aimed at faculty and community members. Student money has already been collected.

Once the ingredients are prepared, it is time to assemble the necessary personnel.

The bureaucratic casserole requires at least a dozen cooks to prepare. Each chef must be given a title, the longer the better. Granted, this may cause confusion at first, but most people are able to adapt to the complex hierarchy involved in cooking the dish. Remember, there can never be too many chiefs -- er, chefs.

After cooking the casserole, season it heavily. Push the envelope. Don't worry about scaring off potential diners, there is a higher goal -- diversity. Do not unfairly omit any spice. This is a college campus, they can handle it. If in doubt, season to the head chef's taste. Other opinions don't matter much.

Once the meal has been cooked, pay special attention to the presentation. Garnish is good. The more the better. Don't forget the earlier discussion on cost.

Often chefs are faced with more guests than they anticipated. This problem is easily taken care of. The bureaucratic casserole is frequently watered down, and the chefs don't seem to mind. Despite these efforts, there is an odd feature to the dish -- no matter what precautions are taken, it never seems to serve everyone.

The casserole can fit many different tastes, but it seems that though the chefs already love the final product, guests are frequently less impressed.

Maybe this casserole isn't the greatest dish in the world. It is possible this recipe has not met its original intent or is not worth the effort it requires. But then, perhaps that's the whole point.

Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.