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gfron1

When friends won't share their recipes

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I have a friend from Mexico, who became one of my best customers (and most critical) who makes the best flan I've ever had in my life. I have worked on her giving me the recipe/technique for about a decade. Her health isn't good and she's not getting any younger, and so almost every interaction I find a way to say, "btw, about that recipe." I've finally decided it must be from Betty Crocker or a packaged mix, and she's just embarrassed to admit that it isn't her abuela's recipe or some other silly reason like that. Her flan is 3" tall, delicate but sturdy, never a crack, absolutely not overcooked, curdled, or cakey. She always makes it in a 9" pan so its a monster. But that's not the point...I wondering what elusive recipes have you all been fighting for years to get?


Edited by gfron1 (log)
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 Not a recipe from a friend but a recipe from a magazine that I swear I would give money to recover.  It was called Chicken with Apple and Onions ( or something similar).   To others it probably doesn’t sound appealing.  To me and my family it introduced some flavours that seemed incredibly exotic. I made it many many times. I have tried to re-create it with no success. I have searched and searched with the same amount of success. Perhaps if I ever found it I would go longer like it. Nothing would surprise me.

 

It involved chicken parts, small onions, apple, ground ginger, nutmeg, a chicken bouillon cube...   See what I mean?  Nothing to write home about.  But the combination of flavours was something all of my family enjoyed and that was a rare treat in itself. 

 

I get your frustration even though we’re coming from different angles at the missing recipe story.  


Edited by Anna N Mostly typos and/or grammar. (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Steak Pizzaiola as made by a friend's Sicilian mother. She wouldn't share the recipe and now she's gone.

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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I had a recipe that I'd clipped from a magazine sometime in the 80s.  It was a beef pot pie.  I made it a couple of times and it was absolutely the best!  Somehow I misplaced the recipe and have been searching for it ever since.  I've also looked at other sources for it or similar and after all this time still haven't yet found anything

(not really about not sharing.)


Edited by lindag (log)
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3 minutes ago, lindag said:

I've also looked at other sources for it or similar and after all this time still haven't yet found anything (not really about not sharing.)

 

I think its the same thing. I'm hoping this topic becomes our wishing well :)

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DH and I were friends with a couple and he made excellent smoked salmon.  He and hubster had been friends for many years; they worked at the same company and socialized quite a lot.  We'd go skiing and they'd stay at our home.

DH bought a smoker and thought he'd like to try his hand with smoking some salmon.

Asked his friend to show him how to do it and 'friend' told him , sorry it's my Dad's family's recipe and I can't share it. 

What a dick.

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32 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I get your frustration even though we’re coming from different angles at the missing recipe story.  

 So sorry. Not really an appropriate post given  your title!  Damn. 

 

Now I you see your other post saying that  you hope it becomes a Wishing well so I’m going to let it all stand. 😀


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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It's best not to have the recipe than to get a fake recipe.

So, How do you deal with a very good friend who  askes you for a recipe which you really don't want to give away without offending him/her?

dcarch

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12 minutes ago, lindag said:

DH and I were friends with a couple and he made excellent smoked salmon.  He and hubster had been friends for many years; they worked at the same company and socialized quite a lot.  We'd go skiing and they'd stay at our home.

DH bought a smoker and thought he'd like to try his hand with smoking some salmon.

Asked his friend to show him how to do it and 'friend' told him , sorry it's my Dad's family's recipe and I can't share it. 

What a dick.

 

Seriously. Completely uncalled for and FOS.

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3 minutes ago, dcarch said:

It's best not to have the recipe than to get a fake recipe.

So, How do you deal with a very good friend who  askes you for a recipe which you really don't want to give away without offending him/her?

dcarch

 

 

Give 'em the recipe. Unless you are in business, who cares if they cook well too?

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2 minutes ago, dcarch said:

It's best not to have the recipe than to get a fake recipe.

So, How do you deal with a very good friend who  askes you for a recipe which you really don't want to give away without offending him/her?

dcarch

I've never had that. Even as a chef I share everything freely because I couldn't have gotten to where I am without the generosity of others. And I'm aware that skill, experience and an ability to get great supplies will always differentiate my food from a copy. This reminds me of when I was talking to a brewer about filtering water and she said, "I never filter because that's part of what makes my beer mine. I can make the exact same recipe as a brewer across the country and our beers will taste vastly different because our water sources are different." 

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6 minutes ago, dcarch said:

It's best not to have the recipe than to get a fake recipe.

So, How do you deal with a very good friend who  askes you for a recipe which you really don't want to give away without offending him/her?

dcarch

Why would you not share a recipe?   I don’t understand this kind of thinking.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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55 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

I have worked on her giving me the recipe/technique for about a decade.

 

It's hers and you have no right to it. You should apologize.

 

Try this:

 

"I'm sorry I keep pushing your for your flan recipe. I think it's really great and I hope that you'll pass it on to someone so it isn't lost. I hope I haven't made you uncomfortable."

 

You aren't entitled. Think about her not yourself.

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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I offer to swap one of my favorites when i encounter this. And it works maybe 60% of the time. Most recipes can be recreated by looking at a dozen recipes on the web then trying a synthesis. 

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13 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Why would you not share a recipe?   I don’t understand this kind of thinking.

Suppose you want to publish a book? And you are not ready to share?

Supposed you promised a friend who gave you the recipe never to share that recipe?

Many other reasons. That's why there are many fake recipes out there.

 

dcarch

 


Edited by dcarch (log)

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2 minutes ago, dcarch said:

Suppose you want to publish a book? And you are not ready to share?

Supposed you promised a friend who gave you the recipe never to share that recipe?

Many other reasons.

 

dcarch

 

 None of them hold water in my mind.  As someone above has noted almost any recipe can be figured out given time and patience.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In the zone where I live there is (was) a typical kind of bread called "pan boemo" ("Bohemian bread"). It's a small loaf, crumb is really fluffy (I would say the fluffiest crumb of all the breads sold here), crust is really thin and tender (almost non existent). I'm pretty sure it's made with some milk and sugar. I tried to look for some more infos in various libraries but to no avail, couldn't find any mention anywhere.

Nowadays there is only one bakery that keeps doing it. The others closed or changed ownership. I asked to this baker what he intends to do with this recipe, since all the other bakers who made it kept it for themselves and died. His answer: "this recipe will come with me in my tomb". Such a shame.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

It involved chicken parts, small onions, apple, ground ginger, nutmeg, a chicken bouillon cube...   See what I mean?  Nothing to write home about.  But the combination of flavours was something all of my family enjoyed and that was a rare treat in itself.

 

Have you tried searching on Eat Your Books using all these ingredients? Maybe you are lucky and someone indexed that magazine.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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6 minutes ago, teonzo said:

 

Have you tried searching on Eat Your Books using all these ingredients? Maybe you are lucky and someone indexed that magazine.

 

 

 

Teo

 

That is a good thought and I’m certainly willing to give it a try. But let me tell you it dates back to the 70s or 80s. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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25 minutes ago, Auspicious said:

 

It's hers and you have no right to it. You should apologize.

 

Try this:

 

"I'm sorry I keep pushing your for your flan recipe. I think it's really great and I hope that you'll pass it on to someone so it isn't lost. I hope I haven't made you uncomfortable."

 

You aren't entitled. Think about her not yourself.

Apologize? Seriously?

 

I saw no entitlement, just appreciation.

 

And after a history of asking, the apology would seem like a tactic rather than genuine.

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16 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Apologize? Seriously?

 

I saw no entitlement, just appreciation.

 

And after a history of asking, the apology would seem like a tactic rather than genuine.

Yeah, so many assumptions in that response. I thought it best to ignore. She's a friend. She's enjoyed the game all these years. Who knows, she may enjoy the game into her grave.

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39 minutes ago, teonzo said:

 

Have you tried searching on Eat Your Books using all these ingredients? Maybe you are lucky and someone indexed that magazine.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 Gave it my best shot but came up empty. But thanks very much.   I might have been lucky.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My late Mother-in-Law would 'sort of' share recipes...but never actually give me the entire recipe.  She'd hem and she'd haw.  Give me part...but no measurements.  Leave out important ingredients.  I didn't want them for me...but for my DH who has strong opinions on the cooking of certain items.  Just like Mom made.  His Mom.  Not my Mother. 

 

Well, Mom died many years ago now and I have only a not too useful idea about how to cook certain dishes.  And so DH doesn't want me to make them  And so I don't.  Oh well...that's how it often goes....

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I have been searching for the perfect Portuguese tart (not the custard tart) similar to the one made by a bakery in Hamilton that has long since closed. I asked them way back when but didn't expect them to share (which was the case), and I ask every portuguese avó I meet if they have a recipe. The search continues.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Darienne said:

My late Mother-in-Law would 'sort of' share recipes...but never actually give me the entire recipe.  She'd hem and she'd haw.  Give me part...but no measurements.  Leave out important ingredients.  I didn't want them for me...but for my DH who has strong opinions on the cooking of certain items.  Just like Mom made.  His Mom.  Not my Mother. 

 

Well, Mom died many years ago now and I have only a not too useful idea about how to cook certain dishes.  And so DH doesn't want me to make them  And so I don't.  Oh well...that's how it often goes....

See, that's why I DO share recipes - complete ones, with all the notes and hints and changes I've made over the years.  It's why I have an online cookbook of all the recipes I've tried over the years (over 1500 and counting).  I am so honored when someone likes my cooking enough to want the recipe.  I think food evokes so many important memories and feelings.  I mourn the lost recipes of my family.  Things that people remember eating, but somehow never got the recipe for.  

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