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Old 12-28-2007, 01:11 PM   #1
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Secret Recipes

What are your thoughts on "secret recipes"?

My dad has one and I think it is just a ridiculous concept. I don't see why you wouldn't want to share the tastiness with everyone.

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Old 12-28-2007, 01:13 PM   #2
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AMEN! I don't see the point. And especially with "family" recipes. What if the person in possession of the "secret" dies without writing it down or passing it along? What a waste. I say share it all!
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by corazon View Post
What are your thoughts on "secret recipes"?

My dad has one and I think it is just a ridiculous concept. I don't see why you wouldn't want to share the tastiness with everyone.
I suppose it's a good idea if you want to try to duplicate an Olive Garden, KFC etc recipe or a dish you love at a chain restaurant. I look em over. So I guess it serves some purpose to someone. Is it Todd Wilbur that has a book out? IMo, the real/true recipes are kept under wrap & the recipes are someone's interpretation.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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I suppose it's a good idea if you want to try to duplicate an Olive Garden, KFC etc recipe or a dish you love at a chain. I look em over. So I guess it serves some purpose to someone.
That is true, I am just talking about family secret recipes. My dad isn't selling his pies but isn't spreading the joy either.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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If dad is the only one who can make it, he gets attention for that. It makes him feel good that it's appreciated.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:37 PM   #6
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My birth mother took (what I considered) a sick pride in never sharing any of her recipes. She was a good average cook, but nothing spectacular. Just basic meat and potatoes kind of cooking. She would never let any of us children look in her little metal recipe card file. I remember, one day, feeling quite the juvenile delinquent when I found the file while she was gone for the day. I fiercely copied as many recipes as I could in the time I had. Did pretty well, but didn't get as many as I'd wanted, so...they're who knows where now.

I love to share my recipes and always provide the recipe(s) when I gift someone with something homemade.

When our youngest son got married, I handwrote 100 of his favorite recipes from his childhood and gave him and his new bride a personal "mom" cookbook. Did a similar thing for our daughter when she married.

I have recipes that I prepare that belonged to my great-grandmothers and I love them. I can't imagine such treasures being lost just because someone didn't want to share them.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Okay. You're talking about your own family 'secret' recipes. My grandma was a great cook, but she never wrote anything down. Is he not sharing because he didn't write it down, or refuses to give it out? In either case, some people are very guarded about giving out recipes. I started a thread about Heirloom recipes, & be darned didn't get much of a reply as to actual recipes. The trick is to sit and watch and remember.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:01 PM   #8
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If dad is the only one who can make it, he gets attention for that. It makes him feel good that it's appreciated.
Yes, I thought of that too. He is the type that needs that kind of reassurance.

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When our youngest son got married, I handwrote 100 of his favorite recipes from his childhood and gave him and his new bride a personal "mom" cookbook. Did a similar thing for our daughter when she married.
That is a wonderful idea! I'm sure they both appreciated it.
lol about all the fierce copying.

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Is he not sharing because he didn't write it down, or refuses to give it out? In either case, some people are very guarded about giving out recipes.
Yep, he just refuses to give it out.
Why are people very guarded about their secret recipes? I could see not wanting to put it all over the internet but even then what would be the harm?
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
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I think secret family recipes are ridiculous too. A lot of my mom's recipes weren't written down either, but when I moved to South Carolina she wrote some of them down for me, and I wrote down others as she told me the directions over the phone. She always gladly gave others her recipes, and I do too. I feel a lot happier sharing what I know with others than I would knowing that they couldn't eat the good things I'm eating.

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:29 PM   #10
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my mil never really wanted to pass on her secrets. i think she felt her cooking was the most special thing she could offer, so if she gave away her secrets she'd be giving away what made her stand out.

now that she's gone, those recipes are also gone forever.

i've been successful at duplicating her pea soup, but her stuffed cabbage, slovakian borscht, kielbasi casserole, and cole slaw are still works in progress that i doubt i'll ever copy.
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:16 PM   #11
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Andy and BT are right, some folks need to feel special because their ability to make a great beloved dish and feel they will lose that status if they let the recipe go.

My mil had recipes, not particularly secret, that she would make that were fantastic. Those were her recipes and we would not make them, certainly not for anyone she would ever meet. But she never kept them hidden. Now that she has essentially given up cooking, we feel free to make them. And we always give her credit.

Try telling those folks that you will always call it Papa's curry shrimp salad or Aunt Jane's lemon cake. And you would love to pass the recipe onto your kids.

They have to feel that they are more important than just a recipe and
that they will be treasured for sharing it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:31 PM   #12
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I have a whole book of "Top Secret" recipes! My immediate family sees them, but no one else!! Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!!!
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:47 PM   #13
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I have no secret recipes you want it you got it.Most people wont bother to make it anyway.Alot of my recipes are in my head so I dont have exact measures for anything I just go by instinct and adjust seasonings as I go.Those recipes are impossible to share because I cant tell you how much of this or that you need to make them.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:53 AM   #14
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While I have no "secret" recipes, I do sometimes make things that I don't have a recipe for. When asked for the "recipe" I honestly tell the person that. I do try to write down what I cooked, but I also warn (in writing) that it is not exact. I share what I have, although it is not always an exact science!!!
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:04 AM   #15
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Interesting you should say about being "an exact science", I Firmly believe that Some recipes stay "Secret" despite all attempts to share them!.

My friend has been after my Chili recipe, and so after several years of asking and me telling, I took him into the kitchen and made him reproduce one in front of doing exactly what I was doing.

I couldn`t really fault him either, and yet his did Not turn out the same as mine???

mine was Still the "holy grail" he was searching for and his tasted quite... well not the same lets put it that way :)

I don`t use measures exact either, a cupped hand and good eye is about at Technical as I get for measuring in a kitchen.

so it would seem my "Secret" chili recipe, will remain just that for the time being!
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:38 PM   #16
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My friend has been after my Chili recipe, and so after several years of asking and me telling, I took him into the kitchen and made him reproduce one in front of doing exactly what I was doing.

I couldn`t really fault him either, and yet his did Not turn out the same as mine???
LOL I can definitely relate. We had a neighbor who could not make decent coffee no matter what she did. My mom told her how, but it didn't work. Finally my mom had her come over and make it in our pot, with our coffee, with my mom watching everything she did. It still didn't turn out right! Fortunately, for her, she did eventually start making good coffee.

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P.S. I have never liked coffee, but my mom always said I made the best coffee!
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:37 PM   #17
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I understand the frustration of relatives not sharing recipes that maybe lost forever when they pass away. But what I hate is when you do share a recipe with friends and family the next potluck you go to or family picnic there are 5 versions of your broccoli salad. I guess it could be taken as a compliment, but the recipe that you once thought as special is not longer so because everyone else is making it, too!! That has happened to me with my Vietnamese Chicken Salad and Spinach Salad recipes. So, I share my recipes, but limit who I share them with. Recently, when I went back to Kansas to visit some relatives I copied all my recipes onto a CD and gave them to one of my aunts to share with her daughters. But that is OK because they live 1,500 miles away and most likely we won't run into each other at a family potluck anytime soon.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:01 PM   #18
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My birth mother took (what I considered) a sick pride in never sharing any of her recipes. She was a good average cook, but nothing spectacular. Just basic meat and potatoes kind of cooking. She would never let any of us children look in her little metal recipe card file. I remember, one day, feeling quite the juvenile delinquent when I found the file while she was gone for the day. I fiercely copied as many recipes as I could in the time I had. Did pretty well, but didn't get as many as I'd wanted, so...they're who knows where now.

I love to share my recipes and always provide the recipe(s) when I gift someone with something homemade.

When our youngest son got married, I handwrote 100 of his favorite recipes from his childhood and gave him and his new bride a personal "mom" cookbook. Did a similar thing for our daughter when she married.

I have recipes that I prepare that belonged to my great-grandmothers and I love them. I can't imagine such treasures being lost just because someone didn't want to share them.
But did she ever find out or did you tell her?
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:20 PM   #19
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But did she ever find out or did you tell her?
To my knowledge, she never found out and I never told her.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:30 PM   #20
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recipes shouldn't die when people do.
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