This Foodie Friday, the subject is hash. Not the kind you smoke (although there are smokey kinds of hash made from leftover barbecue) but the kind you’d have for a hearty start to your day. The most common kind is hash made from corned beef, potatoes, and onions, but as with most food things, there are endless variations. Ever heard of red-flannel hash? It featured beets along with corned beef. Has your has ever been bound together with a white sauce? It may have been if you live in the mid-west. The aforementioned use of barbecue in southern hashes, the use of meats other than corned beef, and different types or preparations of potatoes can offer up nearly endless varieties of what is a very basic dish.
I’m a fan of crispy corned beef hash made with home fries and caramelized onions. Add a couple of poached eggs which will create an unctuous sauce when pierced and I’m in breakfast heaven. Unfortunately, many of us have been presented with a plate of “corned beef’ in a form that’s unrecognizable and that often prejudices our view of what can be an elevated experience with something quite humble. As it turns out, it happens in business too.
Every culture has a variation on hash. In each of those, the dish emerged from a desire to conserve resources and not waste food. At the same time, we all know it can be boring to eat the same thing over and over again. Hash (from the French word, hacher, to chop) is nothing more than transforming resources that might have been tossed aside into something new and wonderful.
That’s a great goal for any of us in business. Maybe a product or a project has become boring, both to you and to your customers. How can it become hash – something new and wonderful? Maybe a valuable employee has been in the same role for a while and the level of productivity is beginning to drop as boredom sets in. How can you and the employee make hash together out of the ingredients that made the employee great in the first place?
Ultimately, one reason I’m a fan of hash is that it takes things that might be tossed aside and makes them great again. Isn’t that a great goal for any of us in business?