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Sharing Recipes


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O.k.......what you may not know: As long as I've been a host here I've tried to help people who came in demanding a recipe. I've pm'ed them and explained how it's better to be freindly and ask for help verses make a demand, etc... Similarly I've tried to handle students who looking for us to do their homework. So there's plenty that goes on behind the scenes that you all might not see.

Similarly, I've tried hard not to let anyone be excluded and not to let this be a professionals only Forum.

I read every post in this Forum. I'm not sure if you all do (cause it takes alot of time)...........but I try very hard not to let any thread go away unanswered. Again working with people thru our pm system. Unforunately sometimes I get so busy that one slips past me.....believe me, I always feel bad when that happens.

It's very hard for me to compare how we are here, verses other sites. I personally feel really bad if we've scared anyone away, ever. But I think the reality is, some sites you just click with and others you don't, that's life........and I say that after years of hanging out online talking baking at many various sites. Occasionally someone will post something that another person finds offensive. We police ourselves around here pretty well!! Rarely does something slide by where another member doesn't speak up and help. We're all bold enough to feel comfortable posting an opposite view. That's what I love about you all!

There is one issue of sharing recipes that I personally haven't been able to make a firm decission on. That's sharing recipes from famous Chefs aquired in private settings, like demo's/classes. I attended a demo by Norman Love several years back and he handed out a couple outstanding truffle recipes. I can't even recall how many times now that I've been approached by people for those recipes. I think each time I've been approached by people that I didn't know, wasn't a familar member at whatever site I was at. I've declined to hand out this set of recipes consistantly. Why...........I ask myself that.......cause I sort of struggle with it.....not sure what is right here.

I think it's to protect and honor Chef Love. He does make a living selling chocolates. He does make money teaching. He hasn't published these recipes anywhere so they aren't common knowledge. Even though I can't imagine he still uses them.....or even cares about them greatly or he wouldn't have given them away, no? I guess I want people to pay him/support him in return for his work. I don't have any other reason why I don't want to share them.........but I respect him sooo much.

Yet, on the opposite side on that..........I get very excited to recieve similar from others. When someone shares a recipe they recieved at the World Pastry Forum or a private class with someone 'well known' I feel like I've won the lottery. I search out sites where I can find these special recipes, like a spy on a mission.

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Wendy, I don't spend a huge amount of time on the pastry/baking threads but whenever I've encountered you I've been impressed with your balance of professionalism and the welcoming attitude you display to casual participants and beginning bakers. Thanks for all you do as host!

Now, I need to bake a wedding cake for 1500 guests. The wedding is tomorrow. I've never done any baking except for using my Easy Bake Oven when I was a kid, and the dog refused to eat my cupcake that time. Anybody got a recipe for me? :wink:

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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To be a bit more on-topic: I share all recipes. I am certainly not a professional, but most of my friends consider me a cooking "expert" -- kwim? The only thing that bugs me is when I share the recipe for one of my "signature" dishes and a friend starts bringing it to potlucks or serving it at dinner parties within our same circle of friends. That seems thoughtless to me.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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I always give out recipes when asked, and will tell people "secret" ingredients that might be in something I made. I recently started baking semi-professionally (I supply baked goods to a small coffee house near my home, using their kitchen). So far no one there has asked for a recipe, but I will provide it if asked.

The main reason I don't have a problem giving out recipes is because, as jgm says,

The reality is, if it's a very complicated recipe, most people aren't going to even try it.  When people ask me for complicated recipes, I write them out, being extremely explicit about what has to be done, and often why it has to be done.  Most people's eyes glaze over when they see something like that, and that ends it.

Usually this is the case even if the recipe is not very complicated. I tell people when I give them a recipe that it might be difficult for them to make it turn out perfectly on their first few (or even several) tries, and that if they make substitutions it will not work. I figure most recipes go into a drawer or box, never to be seen again.

One friend tried recipes for chocolate ganache and chocolate cream glaze (simple, standard recipes) that I gave her. I told her she had to use real chocolate, not coating chocolate. The ganache and glaze didn't turn out because she made the substitution anyway, and she blamed the recipes. :wacko: I made her a cake using the same recipes with real chocolate and she eventually acknowledged that it was her error. Usually I will just let something like that go, but that one really bothered me because she was so adamant.

Perhaps I should be more concerned that someone will spread the word that my recipes are bad when something like this occurs, but if I can encourage someone to bake because I gave them a recipe, I will take that chance.

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There is one issue of sharing recipes that I personally haven't been able to make a firm decission on. That's sharing recipes from famous Chefs aquired in private settings, like demo's/classes. I attended a demo by Norman Love several years back and he handed out a couple outstanding truffle recipes. I can't even recall how many times now that I've been approached by people for those recipes. I think each time I've been approached by people that I didn't know, wasn't a familar member at whatever site I was at. I've declined to hand out this set of recipes consistantly. Why...........I ask myself that.......cause I sort of struggle with it.....not sure what is right here.

I think it's to protect and honor Chef Love. He does make a living selling chocolates. He does make money teaching. He hasn't published these recipes anywhere so they aren't common knowledge. Even though I can't imagine he still uses them.....or even cares about them greatly or he wouldn't have given them away, no? I guess I want people to pay him/support him in return for his work. I don't have any other reason why I don't want to share them.........but I respect him sooo much.

Yet, on the opposite side on that..........I get very excited to recieve similar from others. When someone shares a recipe they recieved at the World Pastry Forum or a private class with someone 'well known' I feel like I've won the lottery. I search out sites where I can find these special recipes, like a spy on a mission.

I have never come across people who share recipes with me that they received at the pastry forum, but I'd be honoured and happy if they did. I wouldn't even know where to find these sites. I suppose those recipes are given out, in forums, in private classes etc., will the full expectation that they'll eventually "get around." But I admire your respect for Love and not wanting to impose on his livelihood. He may very well, after all, end up publishing them all some day. When that day comes, it'd be nice if people still "needed" to buy his book, instead of someone online going... " Oh all the recipes in that book are on so and so's website... clicky."

Now, I need to bake a wedding cake for 1500 guests.  The wedding is tomorrow.  I've never done any baking except for using my Easy Bake Oven when I was a kid, and the dog refused to eat my cupcake that time.  Anybody got a recipe for me? :wink:

We actually had one like that on another site a while back. Sometimes when people get married they take a shine to all the pretty cakes they've seen, assume baking and decorating is easy, and start taking money from all their friends under the guise they can actually do their wedidng cakes no problem. One evening this girl was frantically trying to figure out how to do a whimsy cake and had no idea how to cut them, so I explained it ALL for her. Then she comes back on and says this is her first cake ever and it's for a wedding TOMORROW! I was actually sorry I answered her at all. Not because it would've screwed her and the bridal couple if I didn't, but because all I ended up doing was enforcing the idea that she can take someone's money with no clue how to actually make the thing she sold them, then get the instructions online at the last possible second. Makes me crazy. :wacko:

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Now, I need to bake a wedding cake for 1500 guests.  The wedding is tomorrow.  I've never done any baking except for using my Easy Bake Oven when I was a kid, and the dog refused to eat my cupcake that time.  Anybody got a recipe for me? :wink:

Is this a be-early April Fool's Day joke? :blink:

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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One of the reasons I always share recipes is because of my deep appreciation for those who have shared with me. My "other mother" that I had while growing up, shared a special cookie recipe with me. Since she died a few years ago, it's all I have left of her, and it's extremely precious.

Another friend shared his family's date cake recipe with me, and although I haven't seen him in more than a decade, I remember him fondly whenever I make it.

But then, I'm not a professional baker, so it's a different issue for me.

One potential answer is just to say that you'll share most of your recipes, but not the ones you use in your business.

As for sharing the truffle recipes given by another chef, I wouldn't if I felt uncomfortable about it. I would just say that I don't have the permission of the person who originated the recipe. But surely he knew, when he gave it out, that it would be shared with others. And he still provided it, and that leads me to believe it would be fine with him.

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...There is one issue of sharing recipes that I personally haven't been able to make a firm decission on. That's sharing recipes from famous Chefs aquired in private settings, like demo's/classes. I attended a demo by Norman Love several years back and he handed out a couple outstanding truffle recipes. I can't even recall how many times now that I've been approached by people for those recipes. I think each time I've been approached by people that I didn't know, wasn't a familar member at whatever site I was at. I've declined to hand out this set of recipes consistantly. Why...........I ask myself that.......cause I sort of struggle with it.....not sure what is right here.

I think it's to protect and honor Chef Love. He does make a living selling chocolates. He does make money teaching. He hasn't published these recipes anywhere so they aren't common knowledge. Even though I can't imagine he still uses them.....or even cares about them greatly or he wouldn't have given them away, no? I guess I want people to pay him/support him in return for his work. I don't have any other reason why I don't want to share them.........but I respect him sooo much.

Yet, on the opposite side on that..........I get very excited to recieve similar from others...

One idea is to let him know how much you have used & appreciated his formula. And how many times you've been aproached for it and would he give you permission to pass it on with full credit to him of course.

Go ahead make his day.

:biggrin:

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I think, in the case of the pastry forum, the recipes they hand out are compiled specifically for those lessons. I think they expect those recipes to go around. And if you paid for the classes then those are your recipes to hand out if you want to. In todays online world we're all learning not from one chef, but thousands. These forums are an online apprenticeship in a way and I think that is just great!

I would not, however, hand out any recipes I use for proprietary purposes. I sort of see those as my competition recipes that I use every day. If I'm ever given a recipe I always use it as a base to modify and make it my own. But you can't always trust people to do that.

Shane

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As someone who's long lurked the eGullet forums before getting up the gumption to actually post, I'm eternally grateful for those here who do share recipes, and for those who do the testing, and re-testing, and experimentation and are gracious enough to share their results and opinions. Frankly, those types of posts have helped me in two ways: they've either made me more excited and confident about trying the recipe, or they've convinced me that it's going to take far more skill than I have right now :laugh:

I share most of my recipes -- there are a few "family traditions" that I don't share, simply because they're like heirlooms to me. And I've never had anyone get snooty when they hear that reasoning, thankfully. I can also tell when someone asking for a recipe is really going to make it vs. just file it away - the ones who are really interested ask lots of questions about the process, or if you added something different, or if you used a particular type of chocolate or flour.

I also try to ask friends and resaturants for recipes often when I've tried a dish and loved it, and I always make sure their name remains with the recipe - so they will always be known as Becky's Gingersnaps, or AJ's Cheesecake, or Judy's Pie Crust. My mom has lots of recipes in her files that are "named" with the recipe's originators, and I have copies of those same recipes... to me, it's a way of honoring the chef or recipe creator as well as making sure the foods always have a good story with them.

And I've found that sometimes restaurants or stores are willing to share lists of ingredients, even if they won't provide the exact measurements. Which is how I discovered that the local upscale deli demands only Miracle Whip for its chicken salad :blink:

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I think each cook/baker takes a recipe and makes it their own. If asked I don't hesitate to share my recipes...not because I'm not selfish but because I know that two people can begin with the identical written recipes but turn out two different tasting dishes. But then as jgm said "...I'm not a professional baker,so...."

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There is one issue of sharing recipes that I personally haven't been able to make a firm decission on. That's sharing recipes from famous Chefs aquired in private settings, like demo's/classes. I attended a demo by Norman Love several years back and he handed out a couple outstanding truffle recipes. I can't even recall how many times now that I've been approached by people for those recipes. I think each time I've been approached by people that I didn't know, wasn't a familar member at whatever site I was at. I've declined to hand out this set of recipes consistantly. Why...........I ask myself that.......cause I sort of struggle with it.....not sure what is right here.

I only have three recipes that I never gave out. Two of them came from a famous chef -- at Gaddi's Restaurant in Hong Kong. I'd gotten to know him, and he gave them to me and when he did, he asked that I not. So I haven't.

The third was from a woman that regularly entered that particular recipe in cooking contests, usually winning, if not first place, then in the top three. She asked that I not share it with anyone, so I didn't.

A few years back, she died.

I have given it out since then, but as long as she was alive, I didn't.

And when asked for any of those recipes, I declined, saying "I'm sorry. I'd love to give it to you, but I promised that I wouldn't when I got them."

I got all three recipes back in the early 70's and because of that experience, when I get a recipe from a professional source, I ask them up front: "Do you care if I give these out, or would you rather I didn't."

I know it's a little late for those of you that already have recipes from famous chefs, etc., but you might remember that for next time. If you have any doubts as to whether or not they'd care, ask them.

And as for recipes of my own, my policy is that I'll give them out, but I make people ask more than once. I think often people aren't really that interested in making them, but ask for the recipe more as a way of complimenting me. I say, "Sure...I'll write that out later when I have more time and drop it off." And then I don't.

If they bring it up again, and I'm convinced they really do want it and might actually try it, I'm happy to comply.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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This is a complicated topic, because just about anyone who has worked in pastry for awhile has had the unpleasant experience of having other people copy/take credit for/make money off their recipes. But on the other hand this whole forum is based on the sharing of knowledge, ideas, opinions and sometimes recipes as well.

I have a book of personal recipes that I usually keep at work. They are recipes I've been collecting since I started working as a pastry chef, and many have been given to me by other chefs. A few of the newer ones are recipes that have been shared on eGullet. Any of my coworkers are welcome to look through it or copy recipes if they like, but I have had situations in the past where I was asked by one restaurant for a recipe from another place I've worked or just felt uncomfortable with a specific person and in those cases I do not share recipes.

I have also been in a situation where an employer screwed me over.....so I photocopied all their major recipes. Not for spiteful purposes, like to give out to a competitor or try to market as my own. I have a copy of those recipes because if someone is ripping you off, you should get something out of it.

Sharing recipes is one of those areas where I aspire to be generous, but there are exceptions.

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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O.k.......what you may not know: As long as I've been a host here I've tried to help people who came in demanding a recipe. I've pm'ed them and explained how it's better to be freindly and ask for help verses make a demand, etc... Similarly I've tried to handle students who looking for us to do their homework. So there's plenty that goes on behind the scenes that you all might not see.

Similarly, I've tried hard not to let anyone be excluded and not to let this be a professionals only Forum.

I read every post in this Forum. I'm not sure if you all do (cause it takes alot of time)...........but I try very hard not to let any thread go away unanswered. Again working with people thru our pm system. Unforunately sometimes I get so busy that one slips past me.....believe me, I always feel bad when that happens.

It's very hard for me to compare how we are here, verses other sites. I personally feel really bad if we've scared anyone away, ever. But I think the reality is, some sites you just click with and others you don't, that's life........and I say that after years of hanging out online talking baking at many various sites. Occasionally someone will post something that another person finds offensive. We police ourselves around here pretty well!! Rarely does something slide by where another member doesn't speak up and help. We're all bold enough to feel comfortable posting an opposite view. That's what I love about you all!

Wendy--this post motivated me to finally get off my non-participating duff and post something here. I've lurked for a few years at egullet, almost exclusively in the pastry/baking forum. I enjoy reading it a great deal. I've never previously posted for a couple of reasons.

One is that there are a *lot* of professionals who post here, and I'm not a professional and sometimes that is intimidating. I'm an enthusiastic amateur (who has a FT job and a 2 1/2 year old child and other hobbies besides baking). I love to bake (a lot!). But I don't have the time to trouble shoot recipes the way many here do. I'm not suggesting that people who post here regularly have all the time in the world. I recognize that taking the time to trouble shoot recipes probably means they're not doing something else they might really love. I've made some choices and prioritized other things higher than baking. So what I do I do? I live vicariously through the posts and trouble-shooting and queries of ya'll.

But sometimes the incrowd/outcrowd/not responding to queries that seem annoying or really basic can also put somebody off of posting. Almost everybody here seems very friendly, so please understand I don't want my first post to be a complaint. But the (sub)thread here about people asking (sometimes rudely demanding) recipes and Wendy's response made me realize how much I actually wanted to post a paean to Wendy.

It doesn't surprise me at all that you read every post and work hard behind the scenes, Wendy. The thing that has been consistently apparent to me in all of my lurking is your friendly, inviting tone, regardless of whether the person asks a goofy question (e.g. "The recipe says I have to separate the eggs, whip the whites separately and fold them in at the end. That seems like a lot of work; can I just add the eggs whole?") or a challenging one (e.g. "I love these caramel covered marshmallows. I've got my marshmallow and caramel recipes down, but I'm not sure how to make this come together. Any thoughts?").

Thanks a lot for your hard work keeping this forum so friendly and inviting, Wendy!

(Oh, and the banana cake recipe ya'll worked so hard on? I made a few mods of my own (preferred a different mixing method, and, IIRC, I used cake flour instead of AP, but I can't remember what the recipe originally called for--I think those were my only mods, but it's been a year or so since I last made it) and I really love it. Great banana flavor with a delicate crumb. Just what I wanted in banana cake. Thank you!)

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Smokey,

Welcome to eGullet! Great first post. You said a lot of things I feel about this site. That's a huge part of the reason I don't post much either. Thank you for saying it so well.

Wendy,

You do a lot around here and I for one appreciate all of your hard work. Some of my best ideas have come from your posts. Thank you.

Ellen

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Smokey and EllenC,

I'm a pastry professional...and I still feel intimidated by eGullet. I don't want to take this too far off topic, but I've tried posting on other threads and the indifference is amazing. Of course, that could just be my imagination :huh: .

Smokey, the example questions that you posted as ones that would get ignored...are actually good questions and I think someone would definitely answer them. They are worded well and actually mean the person thought about the process a little. The questions or posts that I personally referred to as "deserving" of being ignored (though really, nothing deserves that, right?) are the ones where you feel as if the person is avoiding any attempt at doing the work themselves...I think people gave plenty of examples upthread.

Maybe the better approach to the "lazy" posters is to PM them and explain how things should work...in an ideal world. For me, it took some ignoring, some posts being deleted :blink: , and just reading a lot of other posts to get the idea of how things worked. I had never really posted to a "message board" before and had no clue. It is definitely a better place if there is an exchange of knowledge.

That being said, please don't feel intimidated because there are a few "professionals" on the board. I hope I'm not blowing smoke up your (or my) a**, but I'm pretty sure the enthusiastic home baker outnumbers the professional by a huge number! And I personally have a lot to learn from everyone.

So, welcome to eGullet, please continue to read and enjoy and chime in once in a while!

Regards,

Alana

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Wendy--this post motivated me to finally get off my non-participating duff and post something here. I've lurked for a few years at egullet, almost exclusively in the pastry/baking forum. I enjoy reading it a great deal. I've never previously posted for a couple of reasons.

One is that there are a *lot* of professionals who post here, and I'm not a professional and sometimes that is intimidating.

Don't be intimidated by professionals.....some of us are beginners, some have been in the field awhile, others might have decades of experience or even be retired. Just like home bakers, pastry professionals vary in their experience, knowledge and training.

I participate vicariously through this forum too.........some of the others here have access to parts of this business that aren't open to me, such as entering competitions or working in a very demanding kitchen. For me........reality is that I work at one of the best bakeries in my city, but I don't work 12 or 14 hour days as many people here do.....I'm a single mother with 3 kids, the youngest of which has a severe disability. My employer is very supportive and I work really sweet hours for this industry (9:00 am to 3:00 pm). The tradeoff of this is I will not have the glamourous career at a high end place or participate in competitions. You won't see me or one of my recipes in Pastry Art and Design anytime soon. That's ok with me........my life doesn't revolve around work or food, well not completely anyway.

Also...........I lurked on this site for 4 or 5 months before posting. Participating can feel like going out on a limb no matter who you are!

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I'm new at the pastry biz, and I'm starting to pick up a decent amount of business making cakes on the side. 

In the past, when I was just another person who brought goodies to the office, I never had a problem sharing my recipes.  However, now that I make money off of them, I'm hesitant to share the ones that can't readily be found.  I don't mind sharing in eGullet because you all aren't potential clients and by sharing we (well, mostly me) all learn from each other.

For those of you who are professionals, when do you share recipes and when don't you share?

While I'm not a professional chocolatier/pastry chef I believe that people with true talent and who care about their passion, tend to share their knowledge. There are some strategic considerations (is the person going to compete in the same small market) but in general that isn't the case. My concentration is chocolate and I've got many books and experimented quite a bit. I'm pretty lucky in that my "real" job allows me to invest 10K+ per year in equipment/books/ingredients.

Most people who DON'T share their recipes probably are overestimating the impact of the recipe. Thank goodness people like Michael Recchiutti, Jean-Pierre Wybauw, Pierre Herme, Roger Geerts, Carole Bloom, Bo Friberg etc. understand that what seperates them is not the list of ingredients and process but their own skill and ability to create new things. Every single person who says they won't share has at some point "borrowed" from another to create their "own" recipe, their just isn't that much new under the sun.

I use many books to create my ganache recipes but the ones that people like the most are so simple that I don't use a recipe, I use base ganache's and then add lime zest and juice or vanilla beans and carmelized sugar with chambord etc. Egos are such a hindrance to success.

I was lucky enough to spend time in Chris Elbow's kitchen and he was so incredibly helpful. We never talked about recipes instead I got to see his passion and his techniques and we bounced ideas off each other. Hopefully, I was able to give him some good advice as well, it wasn't all about chocolate.

I do understand that people think they are "inventing" new recipes but frankly, if it really is any good, it will be copied and improved on by others anyway. Sorry....a bit of a rant but I think people should take the request as a compliment and even if they don't give out the recipe, find a gracious way to say "no". I have far more money invested in my degree, Six Sigma training, MBA etc. than most pastry chefs and yet I don't "charge" for my help. To each their own but I do believe that you will find the people with the most confidence and talent know it isn't what's on a piece of paper that makes them great.

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Welcome to eG Smokey.

I know what alanamoana meant by "lazy" posters and people who ask real questions, regardless of skill, are not what is being referred to at all. A lazy poster would be someone whose very first post is something like... "I need the best chocolate cake recipe.... thanks y'all!" No hello, not introduction, no advising of which recipes they've already tried and didn't like and why.... and where doing a search for chocolate cake would have yielded the person tons of results. You have to put at least 5 minutes into getting a recipe if you expect everyone else on the board to each put in 5 minutes linking to them all for you. At least that's what I've noticed on message boards, in a general sense. So maybe that's why things like that don't get too many replies. Personally, I haven't really noticed threads going unanswered, but then, I don't spend all of my time in this forum either. (I just discovered the fabulous CI threads so I'm going to go spend a year reading all of that! :laugh: )

I'm sorry to hear that up to this point you've found the board intimidating, and I hope we can change your opinion about that. I, too, lurked for quite a while before joining, and I'm so glad to be participating now. The diversity of cooks and varying skill levels is what makes eG so special. Non professionals are teaching each other and the pros new tricks all the time, not just the other way around. Non professionals are expected to jump in and participate, not be a silent audience. And if you think you don't have much to offer, think again! We all have a few tricks up our sleeves, a few special recipes, and our own special anecdotes to share with others. It's all good and it's all welcome, so jump in! :smile:

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Thanks for the friendly welcome, all!

I've posted on enough boards that I do understand the difference between the lazy poster (I don't want to/don't care/don't know/won't learn how to search) and the inexperienced cook! Thanks for clarifying the difference in who you found frustrating to respond to.

I'm actually no as big as wuss as I sound in my initial post, and will try to post more...

[walking over to marshamallow thread as I contemplate whether there's enough time this weekend to try and make marshmallows]

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Just to support some of the thoughts here, and to add to the big vote of appreciation for Wendy who blows me away, I generally share recipes. In fact I think I've always said yes to requests for recipes with one exception, and I'm thinking I'll have to put that one in a safety deposit box with instructions that it be bequeathed to some lucky baker when I die (and now that I think of it, Wendy's a good candidate).

I'm one of those folks who does the research and the legwork before I ask questions, and I appreciate that people will share techniques and methods. And that's one of the distinctions here. So much of the issue is technique and methods (and fabulous ingredients). I make a fattigmanns I've finally managed to tweak to my liking and I get absolutely rave reviews for them. My mother made them. It's mostly her recipe (or the one she got from her mother and lord knows where she got it), but I've changed it here and there, and I like mine more. I've also gotten really proficient at making them, and they're finicky and supremely labor- intensive.

I also make an almond cake/tart affair that I got from Martha Stewart Living and it's unbelievable. People always ask about it, and I'm happy to tell them where I got it, and I've actually written up my own revised tutorial for people on how to make it because frankly the published instructions are a pain in the neck to follow. Once people read the recipes (this one and the fattigmanns), they usually stop there. They're very complicated to produce.

And then there's the issue of standard cakes and desserts. Anybody can go to any baking website or baking book and find a version, so if someone wants a thing like that, well sure, I'm happy to oblige.

On the other hand, that recipe of my mother's that I'm thinking of putting in a safety deposit box? I've googled and searched and read book after book til I'm blue in the face and have never seen anything even remotely like it. Unfortunately, I didn't ask her while she was alive where the heck it came from. It was just always there, and I took it completely for granted growing up. If somebody asks me for it, I just say it was my mother's recipe and it's a family thing, and I'd be happy to make them one. I'm also just launching my own artisan breads business with a handful of cakes and cookies on the side, so it's an issue.

A pretty nice restaurant in Chicago provides recipes for a couple of their desserts if people ask. But only the two.

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On the other hand, that recipe of my mother's that I'm thinking of putting in a safety deposit box? I've googled and searched and read book after book til I'm blue in the face and have never seen anything even remotely like it. Unfortunately, I didn't ask her while she was alive where the heck it came from. It was just always there, and I took it completely for granted growing up. If somebody asks me for it, I just say it was my mother's recipe and it's a family thing, and I'd be happy to make them one. I'm also just launching my own artisan breads business with a handful of cakes and cookies on the side, so it's an issue.

I'm curious as to what yo' mama's recipe is for....a cake or cookie? Or artisan bread? Or other baked good?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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