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Sharing Your Signature Recipes

For years, my mother has been making brisket for the Jewish holidays. Family and friends always look forward to it and love it. But a few years ago my parents moved to Florida and it has now become my "thing". (Mostly because I love to cook anything in my LeCreuset dutch ovens!)

So for about 3 years, I have been working on perfecting my own version. I've tried different recipes -- some of the sweet-ish type and some of the savory type. Every few months I try another variation. Nothing crazy, though, as I am a brisket purist.

So for Passover this year, I finally tweaked my recipe to the point where I thought it was the best one I ever made. And everyone raved. And ate and ate and ate.

Anyway, yesterday I get and email from my mother-in-law asking for my brisket recipe. She was telling her friend how delicious it was and they both want the recipe. But for some reason I don't want to give it to them (and I have no problem sharing recipes!). Quite honestly, I know that my MIL would probably never make it anyway (she rarely cooks or entertains), and she would certainly never serve it to me if she did make it. But that's not the point. In fact, I don't even know what the point is, but I just don't want to share it with them!

Have I gone off the deep end? Is it okay not to share the recipe with them? What would I say?

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  1. I don't think you've gone of the deep end, but I also don't think the issue is the recipe.

    1. Ask yourself if it were your best friend who wanted the recipe, would you give it to her/him? Then you'll know if it's about the recipe itself or something deeper and darker.

      1. lol, i don't have a mother-in-law, and i'm going to stay far away from your family dynamic. if anybody asks me for a recipe, i'm happy to share.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I am not much of a cook (especially by Chowhound standards) but have a few signature recipes I have perfected over the years and share them proudly.

        2. I know several people who cook here in Tulsa. They are part of strong, loving families and if men with guns attacked a brother or sister or cousin, they would, without thinking twice, even though unarmed, rush to his defense. But if that same family member asked them to share a recipe..... I don't THINK so! No one criticizes them for that either, though I've suggested to them that they write the recipes down and put them in a bank vault so they are not lost forever.

          1. Maybe I should have also said in my original post that I have given my MIL many recipes from Jewish holidays (and other meals) in the past -- macaroons, kugels, souffles, etc. In fact, 2 years ago, she asked for my potato kugelette recipe and I was sort of embarrassed to tell her that it was made from boxed potato pancake mix!