Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Nov 5, 2009 03:14 PM

Do you give out your recipes?

There are a few special recipes for baked goods that have been passed down through my family that I'm reluctant to give away when asked. I sometimes do when I know the person well, but when I'm at a potluck and I barely know the person, I sometimes say no.

What is your policy? Do you give your special recipes away freely?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I always give out my recipes. Always. I don't care who it is, I don't care how "special" the recipe might be, I don't care what the circumstances. First of all, I can't see the down side - are we both going to show up at the same potluck with the same dish? Not likely. And in my experience the results wouldn't be absolutely identical anyway - different ovens, different cookware, slightly different ingredients - so it's not really a problem. And I make my living in this business. Always glad to share.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nyleve

      Agree with Nyleve. Invariably, the "special family recipe" that you think you have is all over the Internet anyway as someone else's "special family recipe". As Nyleve said, sometimes there are slightly different ingredients, different cooking times, etc., but it's usually the same base recipe.

      If you don't want to give your family recipe out, find another one that is very similar and send a link to that person.

    2. Yes. However, I only have one recipe. It is my mother/s chrusciki which she got from her mother.

      I don't have any of my own children and since my husband and his children are Lationo, a Polish recipe isn't going to matter much to them.

      I would hate to see this recipe die with me.

      I understand though why some people would be reluctant to share. My grand aunt would have almost killed for that recipe. The problem was that she would have claimed it as her own unique idea and given my grandmother no credit for it at all.

      When I first posted the recipe on Chowhound years back, I did a few Google searches and there was not one recipe like this on the web. There was only a brief mention of this variation of chrusciki on an obscure Polish site.

      I published it and asked anyone using it to give my mom credit if they used it on their site.

      You can find this recipe out there on the web a lot now ... with not one mention of my mother's name.

      The site I really love though is the one who not only copied the recipe, but copied my family story and claimed it as their own.

      Still, doesn't matter to me. I'd rather have people enjoying the chrusciki for generations to come whether or not my mom ever gets any credit for it.

      It always make me sad to hear that someone took an amazing recipe to their grave. Seems a pity no one will ever enjoy it again.

      1. As a poet named Lew Welch once wrote,

        'Guard the mysteries!

        Constantly reveal them!'


        1. I neither like nor trust people who will not share recipes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            I share recipes, but I shouldn't have trusted a former friend who begged for my crumb cake recipe and shortly after informed me that she was starting a home business based on my cake. So rude, she didn't even ask first. Luckily when she found out all the rules and regulations involved it went by the wayside, but she was up to the health inspector visiting her home kitchen. Anyway we parted ways for other reasons soon after.

            As I get older I love giving out recipes, hoping maybe people will remember me, now and when I'm gone. I know that when I make a recipe I was given, I think of the person the whole time.

            1. re: pikawicca

              I feel the same way. It says something about their nature to be so mean. I give away recipes freely - except for ones that my aunt gave me because she is a caterer and uses them in her own business.

            2. I give them out freely and believe everyone should... but that requires me to write my creations down, which I rarely do.

              1 Reply
              1. re:

                that's the problem for me. i can't write down what i do because i don't measure. i won't measure it out backwards so i could write it down. 'some.' that's usually all i can tell anyone. who wants to try out recipes over and over again just to write it out....? And then there's the problem of telling someone you just fed them anchovy paste.... so put me down as a No but not for selfish reasons.