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Sharing your "secret" recipes?

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A post on another board here made me think of it. The poster was mentioning how he could never give out his wife's secret recipe because she would kill him. I totally don't get this at all. Why wouldn't a person want to share delicious food? I can sort of understand if it's a restaurant where part of their livelihood is based on protecting how the things they're known for are made, but as a person. Can someone who refuses to share their recipes explain?

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  1. I think it's an ego thing...I never have a problem sharing my recipes, but I used to know a woman who would intentionally give people altered recipes to keep them from replicating her results. Usually, it was something simple, like changing a quantity from teaspoons to tablespoons, or leaving out a key (but not obvious) ingredient.

    Once I found out that was her modus operandi, I stopped considering her a friend. I mean, if I couldn't trust her over something as trivial as a recipe, could I trust her over ANYTHING?

    1. I love sharing food knowledge with friends, but here's another angle. When a dinner guest asks me for the "recipe," I generally can't produce an index card. Most of my cooking comes from the general knowledge we all build up over the years of experience and study. So, I sit and explain the ingredients and techniques, only to be met by blank stares and requests for precise amounts. ("To taste" means nothing to some people.) Soon, far too much time has gone by and I feel I have ignored my other guests. I have tried to accomodate some by asking a guest over to learn to prepare the dish in question, but tossed that idea out the window after a repeat offender finally went too far by consuming too much wine and babbling about her boyfriend woes while I prepared the dish for her. Maybe those unwilling to share recipes are just too tired of being taken advantage of? Who knows...there are also those who are just plain mean, as ricepad pointed out. Remember Marie Barrone on "Raymond?"

      1. Those of us who do not follow recipes are often branded with the "Won't Share" label and it is both untrue and unfair. We improvisational cooks do not necessarily remember what went into a particular dish and the likelihood of it being replicated are almost nil. Today's lunch of beef cheek tacos cannot be "reciped" because I don't know exactly what went into the stewpot yesterday to produce these fabulous beef cheeks and I probably won't have the same fresh tortillas and perfect avocado available the next time I have some delicious shredding meat.

        Am I witholding a secret recipe? No. Can I give you a recipe for today's lunch? No. I'm happy to tell you what I did with the caveat that I probably cannot duplicate this in the future. Certainly baking is the exception but more than 90% of my food follows this path of improvisation. Our house soup is Cream of Reach-In!

        It is the middle of the afternoon in AZ and I have no idea what tonight's supper will be but I do know that the beautiful leeks in the vegetable drawer will be involved. Ditto for some lamb. Am I witholding a secret recipe? Not at all. Would I withold a recipe from someone? Absolutely not. Good food is all about sharing. I do not understand the thoughts of those who refuse to share recipes or, worse, deliberately alters them (exceptions made for proprietary information). Shame on all those who deliver sugarless sugar cookie recipes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: xyz_recipes

          Thank you adn very well put for those of us who are good cooks and go with our tastebuds. I totally am a "taster" so it is difficult to put that into some form of measurement for another. I know for a fact that I in some peoples minds over season, but that is the one thing I notice in a recipe, it is never enough for my tastes, And then I invariably will add another herb or spice.
          I do wish I were better at making notes as I go.

          1. re: xyz_recipes

            I totally agree with the people on this thread. I am Senora Improv even on dishes that I have been making for decades. Sometimes it strikes me to put something in a stew or casserole or a saute... I try to remember to write it down, but generally, I just don't. Sometimes it depends on what is fresh or what is in the fridge! One time I gave my own recipe card straight from my recipe box for gumbo to my sister-in-law. She came back to me later claiming I was trying to foul her by giving her a recipe that was not what I cooked. I TOLD her up front that she had had gumbo at my house at least a dozen times and each time I used the recipe as a base, but there was always a twist depending on my mood (or the above list of reasons). She has SEEN me cook a thousand times... So I would say, give recipes with asterisks and a kind word about improv BEFORE they embark and offer to give phone advice or to come over when they plan on cooking the recipe. Oh and, do not give recipes to the insane or paranoid.

          2. If someone asks I will give them the recipe along with any side notes like changes I made. In baking I am precise and measure and don't fiddle around much with what is actually a formula. With a recipe where you can play more I think it is only fair to tell people the recipe said this but I used XYZ instead.

            I know of one person who guards his mother's shortbread recipe zealously. She made him promise. She had given the recipe to a friend and then found the friend passing it off as her own. Credit should be given where credit is due. But I just would not care that much.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Candy

              I had a cake recipe that I gave to a friend, and soon thereafter she informed me that she was going to start a home business making this exact cake. It never happened, after she realized all the regulations that were involved, but I was still annoyed. Not that it stopped me from giving out recipes, especially here on Chowhound, I love sharing with so many people all over the world! (And getting them too, of course)

              1. re: coll

                You could have told her how much your royalties would be for every cake she sold.

            2. This reminds me of a recent exchange I had with an aunt. I had the idea to start a family cookbook. Since my mom and my aunt are both good cooks and they regularly make traditional foods at family gatherings (most handed down from my grandmother), I sent an email to them both telling them my idea and asking if they could write down a few of their signature dishes. I even said, I know that they won't be exact recipes, but if you could give me the idea (and maybe some anacdotal thoughts as well in terms of memories from those recipes re my grandmother, etc.), that I could use them in the family cookbook. My mother said ok. My aunt waited awhile to get back to me and then sent me a reply that she wouldn't be able to because she doesn't cook with recipes and it's a little bit of this and that and it would be hard for her to write them down. So I responded and said not to worry and that I figured that's how the recipes were but that even the idea of the recipe could be interested and I said if she ever felt like it, I could even come and watch her prepare these things and I would observe her and then write my own take on the recipes. She hasn't responded. She is the type of person that I enjoy cooking with too when we are cooking for the holidays. I am not sure exactly what the issue is, but I guess I won't be putting together a family cookbook!

              2 Replies
              1. re: pescatarian

                I've been gathering recipes for a family cookbook too, and have had quite the time with my Great Aunt Martha!! I asked for three recipes from everyone: one recipe that they are particularly known for, one recipe from the other side of their family, and one recipe that they make on a regular basis at home. I also asked for any stories about food or pictures of family dinners, especially involving my great grandparents. She sent me two recipes: Sausage Loaf and Ham Loaf (it's a longstanding joke in the family that everyone hates her ham loaf and I think she knows it)!! I even gave examples of recipes that people are known for and used her and her vegetable beef soup as an example, and she didn't even send that recipe! I know that she just doesn't want to give up her recipes and I don't get it! But, my grandma and her other sisters more than made up for it and my grandma also guilted her into sending three more recipes! It just looks like such a measly offering compared to the 25+ recipes with stories and pictures that everyone else submitted! Guess it's her loss!

                1. re: pescatarian

                  I can verify the "doesn't cook from recipes" factor with my Mom and she really wants to hand down the recipes. I'll call her and ask how make something or the recipe but she almost always has to recreate it from memory. Like your aunt, in process my Mom is fine but on paper, not so good. 45-50 years of cooking and I'd learn it to memory too.

                2. If you REALLY want recipes from older relatives, you might try flattery. "You know, Aunt Gert, nobody makes the holiday meat cake quite like you do, and the nieces and nephews, bless their hearts, wouldn't have a complete holiday season without it. Why, after you're gone, what better way for you to live forever in their memories than by remembering you with the holiday meat cake?"

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ricepad

                    "what better way for you to live forever in their memories than by remembering you with the holiday meat cake?"

                    Please don't say that exactly. I don't think telling someone that they will live on in "meat cake" is the best way to go!

                    1. re: Atahualpa

                      It was just an example...first thing that came to mind!

                  2. I can sort-of see not wanting to share with the outside world a really special (secret) recipe that either you or your family created, that is a family heirloom/tradition, but I can't for the life of me see why you wouldn't share that same recipe with somebody in their own family!

                    An example of the first situation: a friend of mine attends this (very well attended) annual Christmas party in her neighborhood in Pasadena. The same family's been hosting the party for many years. Every year at the party, they serve this "cheese ball" that apparantly is to die for (very very lucky long-time guests will actually be sent home with their very own little bit of the cheese ball). The recipe is passed down among the family members and is secret. My friend who attends the party has been trying to duplicate the recipe on her own for years, but just can't quite figure out the mystery ingredient. Personally, I find this situation somewhat charming and amusing, and I wouldn't begrudge those keeping the recipe secret their fun, just so long as they make sure not to let the few who know it die out before passing it on. At minimum, the mystery of it all certainly keeps people going to the party!

                    An example of the second situation: my family's traditional Norweigian christmas cookie recipe. The recipe came down via my grandmother on my mom's side and after she passed away, my aunts started making the cookies. But when I asked for the recipe, it was happily shared with me -- it's my heritage as much as theirs, after all!

                    What I can't see is intentionally giving somebody an erroneous recipe. That's just plain catty and immature.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DanaB

                      I fail to see how one's pleasure could be diminished by sharing with others.

                    2. I have to admit that I *hate* writing out a recipe and giving it to someone. Not because I want to have my "secret" but because it invariably happens that when they try to duplicate it, it doesn't "taste like the one you made" and they're almost angry with me as if I gave them a bad recipe.

                      I find it much easier to have the person over to my house and make it with them. They can take as many notes as they want. They understand any technique issues. Best of all, they get to eat the dish I made and take home the one they made.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: librarian

                        I had someone complain many years ago that the recipe I gave them for potato salad did not taste like what I had made. After a lot of questioning it finally came to light. Instead of real mayo as specified they (GAG!) used miracle whip. Well no wonder!

                        1. re: librarian

                          Exactly. I used to make this one soup that everyone just adored, and I gave out the basic recipe for it, when asked. (With the warning that I always improvise a bit, and that I keep tasting while I go).
                          I always heard afterward, either from the cook him/herself or from someone who had eaten their soup, that "it was nothing like your soup".

                          Unfortunately, even someone who was in the kitchen many times when I made the soup, and saw everything I did when I cooked the dish, did not get the same results I did.

                          The basic recipe already is not a simple one, it consists of many phases and builds layers of flavors beautifully, but on top of that, I improvise. So it really is impossible to give out MY recipe for that soup and I have stopped doing so.

                        2. I don't like to give out recipes for a similar reason: I don't follow one exactly. Its a little different every time...I don't really measure the ingredients, after all. Trying to write down amounts drives me crazy.

                          My husband is even worse. And sometimes he doesn't know the English names of certain spices. (he's from India). So he just has to show me (Me: "Oh, you mean cumin...."). But his recipes are worth trying to duplicate. My son wants to learn them, so we agreed he would watch Jerry cook and take any notes he wanted to. Then next week he will come over and cook the same dish with Jerry watching. Hopefully that will work.....

                          1. The only time I don't share is when the recipe is way, way easier than it should be and I want people to think I went to great lengths to make it. Like the spaghetti sauce I make that ALWAYS garners raves; it starts with two jars of Classico.

                            1. A good friend of mine entrusted me with a family recipe, and she made me promise never to share the recipe with anyone. The story goes that her grandmother was approached with selling her recipe, and she refused. From that point on she would not share the recipe with anyone outside the family. The funny thing is the recipe falls into the too easy to be true category so I find it almost hard to believe that nobody has figured it out yet. I have kept my promise, and it is the only recipe that I will not share.

                              1. I'll never forget the tome I gave my key lime pie recipe to a co-worker. It was like the Abbot and Costello "who's in on first" routine. She told me it didn't taste like mine. I know she is one to use short cuts so I asked her if she used real limes. She replied that she did. She used Reallime- that stuff in the plastic lime. I asked her was it a real lime - you know like you squeeze and she said it was it was. We went around like this for a while before I realzed that she was talking about the ready squeezed lime and I didn't want to ask her what she used for the zest.

                                I also have a recipe for a chocolate amaretto cheesecake. I've only given the recipe to one other person and she knows that she can make it any time except for pot luck parties that we are both invited to, where that is what I might bring.

                                1. I ́ve been cooking in restaurants since 1967 and I always give out recipes...it has been my experience that you can give ten people the same recipe and get ten different results...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jungleboy

                                    Jungleboy,

                                    You raise an important point.

                                    Through long experience, both in giving and receiving recipes, I have come to the conclusion that the "secret" ingredient in "secret" recipies ain't the recipe, it's the cook.

                                    Cooking is more alchemy than science, and most recipies are woefully inadequate, not because the recipe provider is holding anything back, but his/her experience. The cook brings to the recipe a lifetime's worth of tips, tricks, and techniques about how to the ingredients get put together, as well as a lifetime of accumulated knowledge of how the thing should look, feel, and taste at any given stage in the preparation, and is therefore able to make adjustments on the fly when things are slightly off—be it to add a little of this, take away a little of that, give it an extra knead or two, etc.—to get to turn out "just right." (How do you know what adjustment to make to compensate for the difference in the moisture content of flour due to the age of the flour and the humidity level so that your finished pizza crust has the right tooth and snap, for example, if you don't know how the raw dough is supposed to feel?) In other words, the recipe provider brings to the recipe a wealth of expertise in dealing with the recipe that can only be acquired by experience.

                                    The other problem is that, consciously or unconsciously, most cooks—even accomplished cooks—freelance, be it substituting ingredients (as Leslie's co-worker), taking shortcuts, or using different procedures or techniques. The recipe says, "Do x," and we do "y," because that's the way we've been doing things for years, never considering that "x" might be crucial to the finished product. Case in point: I've been trying for 20+ years to make a passable NY-style pizza crust. Every time I ran across a pizza cookbook, I bought it; every time I ran across a new NY-style crust recipe, I copied it down and tried it. All to no avail: my crusts always turned out heavy, dense, and bready.

                                    About 9 months ago, I ran across a website dedicated to the craft of pizzamaking in the home. In looking over the recipes, I noticed that most of them were identical to recipes already in my collection, which only added to my frustration, because in post after post, first-time pizzamakers were posting pictures of their creations that I had never come close to achieving.

                                    After about another 3 months of trial-and-failure, I ran across a thread in which people were discussing the most important tips, tricks, or techniques they had learned on the board. One poster said the most important trick he'd learned on the board was to start with the water in the mixing bowl and stir the dry ingredients into it, rather than starting with the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and adding the water into it, which is what I've always done for bread dough. I tried it the poster's way, and from the minute the dough came out of the mixing bowl, I could see and feel the difference, and the finished crust was everything I'd hoped it would be. Since then, I've gone back and looked through all the recipes I'd accumulated over the years, and—guess what? Almost all of them say to stir the dry ingredients into the water. (I have a theory as to why it made the difference, but that's a different thread.) My point is that by "freelancing"—doing things the way I'd always done them instead of following the directions, I doomed myself to failure.

                                  2. I have a recipe for pumpkin bread that, for many years, I wouldn't share with anyone locally. That's because for about 6 years running I won a blue ribbon (that translates to a $3 cash prize) for the bread in our local Community Fair. I had the recipe that no one could beat! One year my daughter used the same recipe to make jumbo pumpkin muffins and won Best of Show for baked goods in her age category. Now that my kids are grown, and my interest in the Community Fair has waned, I don't mind sharing it.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                      Congratulations!
                                      Would you mind sharing it with us on the Home cooking board? I could use a great pumpkin recipe. Thanks!

                                      1. re: fern

                                        I just posted it in Home Cooking. Let me know how you like it.

                                    2. Most of the things I cook for others have no written recipe (they've been changed so much) but, I'm very happy to share them. As long as someone else writes them down and doesn't mind that the quantities/directions are somewhat hit-and-miss!

                                      1. I don't mind sharing recipes since I've started keeping them in Mastercook--all I need to do is print them out. Before that, it was a daunting task.

                                        (There are a very few recipes that I only give to dear friends.)

                                        1. I think sometimes people are just mean or selfish or something else I don't get.

                                          I remember about five years ago when I was leaving one job for another. Someone brought in this absolutely delicious potato salad that seemed like it must be so simple, but I couldn't figure out what made it so good. I asked the person who brought it for the recipe and she said she would check with her relative (mother? aunt?) who made it but that the recipe was "secret". Several days later, I reminded her and she apologized but said that the relative would not give out the recipe, even though I promised not to share it or to give her credit if that was what she wanted. Still no go. I was just mystified. Like the OP says - why would someone not want to share good food information and pass along happiness? I still feel irritated and a bit hurt when I think of it. Strange.

                                          1. I am also one of those cook my sense and rarely follow a recipe, so its hard to provide the "exact science" to someone when they ask. I do try my best to replicate it on paper.

                                            On the other hand, back in the late 60's, my mom had a warm fruit compote that she made to go with a pork roast during holiday dinners. For years, my aunt asked for the recipe and mom finally shared. Next thing you know, the recipe shows up as my aunt's in the Church cookbook and it was then served at every pot luck. Kind of took away from the "specialness" of the side dish.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Moonpie

                                              Don't let it take away the "specialness" of the dish. I would think of it as a way to understand the "specialness" of that particular aunt.

                                            2. I have a friend whose wife makes the most awesome, killer brownies, and she will not, under any circumstances, share the recipe. that is the bad part. the good part is that anytime you ask.....she will graciously bake up a batch for you. i get a care package of these brownies several times a year!

                                              1. Ok I confess, I have mixed feelings on the subject. Because I have a business where I will actually use some of the recipeseventually that I've worked on, and now I'm sorta weird about giving them out. But only those. And I really am not hateful or greedy. I do understand the Colonel protecting his fried chicken recipe, can you imagine how he must of been pestered?
                                                However, I will share the majoriy of them, just not the Bing Cherry Pecan scone recipe.

                                                1. Every year over the holidays, one of my grandmothers always sent us my dad's favorite sweet, a tin of homemade "Chocolate Bit Brownies," shortbread bars with chocolate chips and a brown-sugar meringue topping. We begged her for the recipe, and then tried fruitlessly to reproduce them over the next few years. We nicknamed the bars "Disaster" because every time we tried to make them, it was a disaster. We thought the problem might have been that we were trying to bake them at a much higher altitude. Years later, we finally found another recipe for these treats, and the recipe differed quite a bit from the one she sent us. Now we can reproduce them, which is good, because she doesn't send them as often anymore. I've always wondered whether she made errors in copying her recipe or deliberately changed it so we couldn't make them as well as she did. But I would never ask.

                                                  1. And don't give out your original recipe card to someone who might not return it. I lost a great curry recipe that way, didn't have time to copy it, and have never been able to duplicate it.

                                                    1. Katrina should be a lesson to anyone who jealously refuses to share. Do you know how many beloved family recipes were lost forever in the floodwaters? Or blown away by the winds?
                                                      We pulled sodden files out of the family kitchens that had been underwater for weeks and many of the recipes were unreadable. Fortunately, other relatives had copies of most of them.
                                                      Some disaster can always strike anywhere or anyone. So share!

                                                      1. This post is about a year late, but I hope it will be read. I have always freely given
                                                        out recipes, but am having a problem with a recent request. My new daughter-in-law
                                                        has asked for several recipes which I have given her. Now, she is wanting some
                                                        Christmas recipes which I am not wanting to share. The reason is that I want Christmas
                                                        dinner in our home to be special and something that family will look forward to each year.
                                                        If I share recipes, then my daughter-in-law, as well as her mother will prepare these recipes and my dinner will be no different than theirs. I would be willing to share the
                                                        recipes at the point that I am no longer able or willing to prepare holiday dinners. Am I wrong to feel this way?

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: jsport2_9

                                                          Tough one... can you discuss this with your DIL?

                                                          FWIW, I don't think it's 'wrong' to feel anything, but I doubt your recipes are the only thing that make Christmas at your house special.

                                                          1. re: julesrules

                                                            I would feel awkward discussing this with my DIL. It would be difficult for me
                                                            to say how I feel and equally as difficult to turn her down.

                                                            1. re: jsport2_9

                                                              Understood :) And ricepad said it all.

                                                          2. re: jsport2_9

                                                            I can see your point, but to me, the specialness of the holiday would be that it's YOU that prepares it in YOUR house for THEM. It's not about the food and the recipes...it's the sentiment and love you put into it. (Cornball, I know...but you get the idea.)

                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                              Thanks for your input! It helps me to put things in perspective.

                                                              1. re: jsport2_9

                                                                Plus, she'll never make it as good as you can! My grandma and my mom have given me tons of recipes, and nothing I ever make of theirs tastes nearly as good. My motto: everything always tastes better at Grandma's! (Even the Pepsi... now how does she do that?!? ;-)

                                                            2. re: jsport2_9

                                                              You sound alot like my MIL. The last thing you want to do is start off on the wrong foot in your new relationship. I would love to attempt to replicate a few of my MIL's dishes for my husband but of course when I ask for the recipe I only hear the sound of crickets. It's YOU not the ingredients that make your dishes special. You are still the #1 woman in his life, you're great, you're wonderful....now just give her the recipe. Many, many years from now, won't it be nice to have your special recipe live on, maybe even into future generations? And your son will say "boy this is good but no one can make it like my mom used to".

                                                              1. re: jsport2_9

                                                                Late here, too. Please don't cut off your daughter-in-law like that! Why would you feel bad if she makes your recipes? If she makes them and people love them, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you're the cause of it! And that doesn't make dinner at your house any less special. How could it?

                                                                1. re: jsport2_9

                                                                  Oh, come on! Share!! Worst case scenario, you might have to find some new recipes.

                                                                  A small price to pay for an opportunity to share something that makes your holiday celebration special with someone who (I hope) you would be proud to have carry on your traditions with hers and your son's family.

                                                                  As a person who enjoys food and cooking--which I assume you are since you're posting here--you know the importance of those things, especially with regard to holidays. Consider it a gesture of goodwill--your DIL is not likely to forget it.

                                                                  1. re: jsport2_9

                                                                    Jsport2_9,
                                                                    intellectually, I know everyone is right that you should share and use the recipes as a way to build a bond with your DIL, but I have to say, I do understand how you feel and why you'd want to create this special and unique experience of christmas as your home. I don't think it's wrong at all.

                                                                  2. Anytime that jfood modifies a recipe he finds on-line or in a book he gladly shares with his modifications. And there is always the caveat of it might turn out different for you. When you "Season to taste" or "Add S&P to taste" or "Adjust seasonings", how do you convey. As someone else posted 10 cooks will produce the same recipe in 10 different outcomes. Technique. No two people saute at the same temp. How about sear to a medium brown color. How about the feeling of light and dark roux. If your friends's result does not turn out the same as yours, they may feel you left something out. So jfood always caveats any recipe-give. And he fully understands on the recipe-receive side. He has NEVER been able to replicate his mom's sweet and sour meat.

                                                                    But there is a difference in grandma's stuff. Jfood has a hard time giving away what little inheritance he recieved from previous generations, and most of these are in the form of traditional family meals. Much like the silly cheap gadget you received from your aynt gertrude, the recipe for XXX seems sorta special to keep in the family. Is it rational, probably not but there are certain items, including recipes, that truly belong to the family and the children and grandchildren.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                      Well these days no one seems to want my grandmother's recipe for pan haas...

                                                                      I am reluctant to give out recipes at times for two reasons: 1) I've given them out in the past, the person has made them for an event where I am present, told everyone that they followed my recipe, and the food is utter dreck. 2) the recipe includes an ingredient that the person asking will have "issues" about, even thought they are happily enjoying the dish. That's like the tofu in chocolate tofu pie that I fed to my most macho employee or the cranberry biscotti made from breakfast cereal that my foodsnob mother looooooves. What they don't know won't hurt them.

                                                                    2. i find that when i give out recipes, people make changes in them, then come complaining to me when they dont like the results, so i stopped giving them out

                                                                      1. I share many recipes, and love to do it. Still, there is some mystique to saving a few secret recipes. Creates marketing buzz and bit of mystery. Like if everyone had a Jaguar, it would then be valued like a Honda Civic.

                                                                        More importantly, sometimes you don't share a recipe because you promised the person who gave it to you that you wouldn't.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: scuzzo

                                                                          This very topic was recently beaten to death and caused a lot of animosity on another forum I moderate. There were two camps--one that claimed it's likely that when a cook refused a request for a recipe it was nothing personal while the other camp considered it an affront if they were refused. The twain never really met and frankly, I don't understand why the subject was so controversial.

                                                                          But that's just me.

                                                                        2. I have no problem sharing my recipes although I do fall into the camp of people who don't always measure things exactly and I might add an extra ingredient or two one time but not the next. I also find I use "higher end" ingredients and friends will complain theirs didn't turn out as well and I know they were using artificial vanilla or the like. I've also had friends make substititutions with my recipes [Nutella for cocoa powder and they wondered why the cake didn't work] and then tell me my recipe didn't work but if I talk to them long enough I can usually figure out why it didn't work.

                                                                          My one mini pet peeve though is when someone takes an original recipe of mine and then suddenly it is their original recipe. Normally I'm not a possessive person but in this case I did confront the person since I was insulted they assumed it would never get back to me. Everyone knew this was my appetizer to bring to a party so it didn't take long to get back to me. This has not stopped me from giving friends my recipes.