A friend told this to me, and since everyone is talking about Christmas recipes, I thought it was worth sharing.
A woman bought a large ham at the butcher shop. As she was walking home she passed a friend's house. The most delicious smell wafted out the friend's door, and the woman stopped to enjoy the wonderful aroma. Her friend saw the woman and came outside to say hello.
"What are you cooking?" the woman asked. "It smells so good I had to stop just to enjoy it."
"Oh," said the friend. I am making my favorite recipe, ham with pineapple and cider. My grandmother is coming for dinner and I wanted to offer our best food for dinner. Would you like me to write down the recipe for you?"
"Indeed I would!" exclaimed the woman, delighted. Now she too would have wonderful smells coming from her house, and a special treat for her husband's dinner.
The friend quickly wrote out the recipe and handed it to the woman, who thanked her and continued along her way home. As she walked, she studied the recipe. She was not watching where she put her feet, and she tripped over a large root in the path. The ham she was carrying flew from her hands and landed some distance away. A dog ran up, grabbed the ham, and ran off with it.
The woman got to her feet and shook her fist at the retreating dog.
"That ham won't do you a bit of good!" she yelled.
She held the slip of paper up in the air. "I've still got the recipe!"
I thought this story sounded familiar. A quick online search revealed that this is actually based on one of the stories of Nasruddin, the Turkish wise fool. How intriguing to find it still living today, and just as funny now as it was in Nasruddin the Hodja's time.