Have you ever said no to a recipe request?

juellie1962September 26, 2012

I am flattered and give recipes willingly. I recently asked someone for a recipe and she said no! How rude! lol

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I would not say no to a recipe request because I would be flattered by the request. Amazing to think someone said no to you!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:42PM
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I too think that was rude. I have never refused to give a recipe if someone asks me.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:44PM
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I never would, but I've been turned down;
I was praising a co-worker's family recipe something-or-other, & I said, "Oh, this is wonderful! I'd love for you to give me the recipe!", & she smirked & said,
"Why should I?"

That was nearly 40 years ago, & I still remember the amazement on everyone's face, including mine.

chalk it up to somebody's momma doin' the best she could, but it wasn't enough.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:15PM
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chalk it up to somebody's momma doin' the best she could, but it wasn't enough.

Love that!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Better to be refused than to have someone give you the wrong recipe intentionally, because they didn't want to share. I actually know someont who did that.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:28PM
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mare, I had that same thing happen to me. After making the muffins once and they weren't too good, I finally figured out what was missing.

Sylvia, I'm writing that saying down. It so fits several people right now.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:45PM
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I have a very unique cookie recipe that I have worked hard to perfect.

I had one gal ask me for it - she sells her baked goods. She won't give her recipes out. I told her nope - it was an original recipe and I didn't share it.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:11PM
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I've been turned down before. A girl that I work with used to bring a special bean dip that her sister used to make. I asked the coworker for it and she said that her sister wouldn't even share it with her because it was her own special recipe. Anyway, I was at a potluck one day and there were those beans. This person was more than glad to share the receipe with me. She said that she got the recipe from a country living cookbook. Guess the co-worker's sister didn't have a secret recipe after all. Oh yeah, I did share it with the co-worker. I thought that would be only fair. The co-worker said she just wouldn't make it for anything that her sister would be at.

Another time, a friend made her own recipe of cheesy potato soup. She asked that I not share it, because she had submitted it in a receipe contest. In this case, that would make sense. Anyway, since she didn't win, she said I could share it.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:23PM
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I always do too, but I guess I can understand reasons for not. An orginal or family recipe, or if the person always brings a signature dish to BBQ's etc and doesn't want someone else bringing the same dish.
I feel that when someone asks for the recipe than you truly know how much they really enjoyed it!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I won't give out my recipe for fudge! I have manipulated the ingredients for a loooong time to get it 'just right' and everyone loves it. Ya, it's probably 'rude' not to share it, but I don't.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:27PM
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I always give out recipes but I have one "friend" who has asked me for recipes and I have given them to her however when she was asked for a recipe she just alluded to the ingredients but was not very specific and never did give out the recipe. I went on line and found it but didn't stop there. I submitted to our ladies golf league when they were making up a cookbook. My "friend is a member of the league, too. LOL

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Mostly I don't give out recipes because I don't use them unless it is for a baked item. I'll happily give out those, but I don't bake all that often.

If you want my pot roast or my bean soup or my bean dip recipes - well, too bad. They all change every time I make them, depending on what I have in the kitchen.

I bake with recipes, but I never cook with them.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:39PM
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I have said No! Not a lot!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:40PM
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There are only a few recipes I decline to share. Very special ones that I get paid to make. For instance there is a yearly horseshoe tournament taking place next weekend which pays me to supply them with Brunswick Stew. Even as I type I'm preparing the various meats that go into the dish.

Other than the above and a few other signature dishes I'm eager to share recipes with others. Better yet, we could make the dish together! :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I've never said no to giving out a recipe. I'm happy someone liked it enough to want to make it! I mean, it's not like the cure to some horrible disease and I will make millions off it.

Unless you are making money off a recipe, or enter it into contests, etc...I think it's really weird to not share with others. It seems to me like either the person wants to have some kind of special attention because only THEY can make something, or they just aren't very nice. I guess if a mean person was the one asking, that might be different.

I always give credit to the person who gave me the recipe if I get complimented on it. Food (and recipes) are meant to be shared, if you ask me.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:34PM
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I always give out a recipe when asked because they are usually from FoodNetwork.com...LOL. However, I always warn people that I may have adjusted the recipe slightly based on ingredients that I like or don't like or because I've simplified the preparation from the original recipe. I would rather someone refuse to share a recipe than to share an incorrect version...that's just mean.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:07PM
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I'm like Mary C. I don't use recipes very often and most are for baked goods. A lot of good cooking depends on technique rather than a recipe. Too my way of thinking cooking is science and a list of ingredients and their amounts is merely the first step in the outcome.

I'm also not a food snob. I have been asked what makes my cakes so delicious. When I've told people I use a standard box mix some have looked at me in horror. But in reality the box cake works well because it is consistent and it is what most people expect cake to taste like. But again I understand how long to beat, how long to bake, how long to leave it in the pan etc. which isn't always what the directions say. Some cakes could use an extra egg and some should have one less. If the mix is nearing the end of it's shelf life I add leavening. I go by smell of the batter too. I add cocoa to chocolate sometimes and flavoring to others. Another example is most people tend to err on the side of over baking cakes. But the cake is merely the foundation. The icing and the filling and the presentation are what make it unique.

My mother had only one secret recipe. LOL She was an excellent pie baker. Make great pies from scratch, except for one. People would visit and ask her for the recipe for her lemon cream pie(like lemon meringue but topped with real whipped cream instead). Well she found that a certain canned lemon filling far surpassed anything she could make on the stove top. So she would hide the can in the trash and when asked for the recipe smile serenely and say it was a family secret.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:19PM
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When I first took my lemon bundt cake, and peach dump cake, and carrot cake to some family get-togethers, everyone loved them. My SIL wanted the recipes.

I was hesitant on giving them to her......just because when we go for dinner, and she asks me for dessert, they are pretty much limited to these cakes. I'm not a sweets person.

So now that she makes them for her family all the time, I don't take them, as they aren't a treat any more.

Other than that, I do share my recipes.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I make my money with my original recipes--through entering contests, and these days I write a food column. So until I'm done using a recipe professionally, I won't give it out.

I have one recipe that was given to me when I was a teenager by someone who asked that I not share it. It's a family treasure that I make every Christmas--but I won't give out the recipe.

I've also had the experience of people misusing my recipes for their own gain, claiming THEY created them. Well, certainly, it's possible for someone to come up with a similar recipe--even one with identical ingredients. HOWEVER, it's highly unlikely that someone else would write their intructions word-for-word the same as I did--I have a fairly unique style--but I've come across that many times (and how many times have people done it that I haven't caught?).

So, for those reasons, I rarely share recipes online, but will generally share favorite recipes with my friends and family IF they're not ones I need to keep confidential.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:31AM
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I have a funny recipe story. I used to make Chocolate Rum Ball Cookies every Christmas, from a recipe I got off TV. I brought them to work and everyone loved them. One woman asked for the recipe, which I wrote out and gave her. A couple weeks later, she told me she had made the recipe but the cookies came out bad. Seems she changed a key ingredient. The recipe called for Nabisco Chocolate Wafer cookies. She couldn't find them so she substituted Oreos. I no longer give out recipes. But if someone asks, I am happy to make them CRBs or my pineapple cheesecake.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:41AM
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When I lived in Texas I had a really lovable ederly lady that lived next door...She told me that she had gone on a trip to New Orleans and while there they ate in a world famous 5 star restaurant...She said they had a pie for desert that was hands down the best pie she ever taste so she asked the waiter to ask the chef if he would share the recipe?

The waiter went to the kitchen and returned to tell her the chef was super busy, but if she would leave her name & address he would mail her a copy as soon as he got time....

True to his word, two weeks later she got a letter that contained the recipe,,,along with a bill for $175.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 1:31PM
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What irks me is when someone has a Blog, and they post their best muffin recipe and tout is as their very own.

Yet the recipe is word for word from a popular muffin book that was a huge hit, and has been re-printed.

THAT is not right. It ticks me off every time I see her blog.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:23PM
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As a newlywed, a friend of mine asked her MIL for the pepper steak recipe that her new DH loved. MIL wrote it out, but each time she made it her DH said..."It's not as good as my mother's."

The bride asked MIL again, and got the same recipe. She tried again. No, still not 'like Mama's'.

Have you guessed MIL was unhappy with her son's choice -- and *jealous* to boot? MIL had left the dash of Worcestershire Sauce out of the recipe -- twice.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:44PM
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I always share a recipe when asked. Some things though, I cook without a recipe and I don't measure....just go by taste as I go along. I still try to make it as accurate as possible when asked to share.

Someone asked me how I fried catfish. At the time, I used Nabisco cracker meal...which I can't find any more. She said, "That's it! Every time I fry fish, my husband (who had eaten many meals with us before he married) says, "Good, but still not as good as Marilyn's."" Sometimes it's just a little thing like that that makes a difference in how things turn out.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:53PM
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If someone refused a recipe to me, I would just assume either they did not make it themselves or it was something so easy they are embarrassed to admit it...like it was just a package from the grocery store with maybe an extra ingredient or two thrown in. I know my SIL had her famous Squash Casserole SHE always made to take to any pot luck...truth of the matter was, my BROTHER always did the cooking and he made it not her! HAHAHA!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Marilyn, I know you also use cast iron and stainless same as me. When it comes to frying using non stick will not achieve the same results. So it could have been her skillet.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:12AM
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We used to have a secret family recipe for Easter raisin bread. My father knew the whole recipe, but only told me a little bit of it.

When my DH's grandmother died and took all of her recipes with her to the grave, I realized how silly it was to have secret recipes like that. We weren't selling the bread, and it is a huge undertaking which is why we only make it once per year. Giving out the recipe doesn't make it any less special. My father agreed to "release it". Since then I have posted it on the web (allrecipes, recipezaar which has a new name that I can't remember, and my blog).

I have also put copies in a family cookbook, and in my 'lock box' of important papers LOL! That's for DD when she gets old enough to regret not knowing how to make the bread ;).

USUALLY though, I don't cook much by a recipe but rather a method. The ingredients and amounts can change, but in general I follow the same steps. People love my soups, and always want the recipe. There is none! Sometimes meat, always lots of veggies, at least one type of bean/legume, a grain (wheat berries, barley, rice), and sometimes a small pasta. I use leeks and fennel and a bit of lovage if I have it instead of celery because of an allergy. Just keep tasting and adjusting, that's all.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:44AM
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The only reason I can see for not sharing a recipe is if that recipe is how you make your living. I suppose Mrs. Coca-Cola would not share. Even The Colonel has his secret recipe (that has been recreated by many).

A friend recently asked my mom how to make brownies. Mom gave her the recipe. The friend made the brownies and brought some to their volunteer workplace. She said her husband did not like them. Mom tried one and they were awful. She asked if she had followed the recipe exactly and the friend said she decided she didn't want to use all that sugar. The predominant taste was bitter chocolate! Ugh. If you don't want to eat sugar, don't make brownies.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:55AM
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I've never said no to a recipe request, but what bugs me is when someone says "Jude, you know that recipe you gave me for 'xyz'." Well when I made it I used cream cheese instead of cottage cheese and I like it better. My thought is why did you ask for it in the first place.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:39AM
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I'm a recipe tweaker. Sometimes it is because I don't have the exact ingredients or I throw extra in because the recipe calls for 3 oz and I had to use two 2 oz packages and don't want to waste the rest. Or I could just have a craving that particular day.

I share recipes freely. My recipes are usually someone elses that I have tweaked and so I give the recipe and add notes about my variations. My only regret is cooking for the same people with whom I have shared my recipe. It's not so special if momcooked it at home and now I'm cooking the same meal they had yesterday at my house.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:34AM
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We had a secret family recipe that was not, under any circumstances to be shared. Who made up that rule I have no idea, but it wasn't mother. Anyway, I went on-line and found multiple websites that had the same recipe. Look long enough and you'll find about any recipe on the net.

Sharing recipe is the bigges form of flattery for any cook/baker. Anyone who cares enough to want to make it is welcome to any of mine--including that "secret recipe" that's on the KT Gathering Place--haha!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Many times I think I've "created" a fabulous receipe only to find almost the same recipe on the internet. Prize winning /family recipes are hit and miss. Some of them I see, bake and cook aren't worth the cost of the ingredients. If you make your living writing cookbooks I understand why you wouldn't share. Otherwise, I don't get it. I'm happy to share when asked.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:49PM
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",,,along with a bill for $175."
The "$250 cookie recipe" hoax lives on... (sigh) Was it Nieman Marcus or Mrs. Fields? LOL

Jasdip, that thing happens all the time. I laugh every time I see one poster claiming a recipe (or multiple recipes!) is (/are) "hers", posting it at every opportunity with same claim and it was clearly stolen from the Southern Fried Succubus' website. At least Deen gave credit (that time) to the source of the recipe. It's so hilarious because the language is quoted verbatim and so clearly identifiable. Don't need DNA with those fingerprints all over it!

I always try to give credit to a source, and if I change it, which I often do, I say something like my variation of _____. Often I'll even include what I modified. Seems only right to me. Guess I don't have that kind of ego that needs to be fed that way. I always get a kick out of stolen recipes too when they include the typos!

Yes there's times I've done things I thought were original and it'd been done before. I remember when I was a kid looking out the window at the ice dams on peoples houses thinking there's got to be a way to hook up an electrical wire to melt that ice and mount it to the roof. If I were like some, I'd have sued the ones who came up with the idea years before I was born!

I don't decline recipe requests unless it's one person who I know will screw it up and then not only blame me, but spread it around. I could see how she messed up a recipe I gave her once and she wouldn't admit it. She kept on "YOU didn't give me the right recipe!" And it was a simple foolproof recipe. But as I learned in life, make something idiot-proof, they develop a better idiot.

Most "cooking" recipes to me are guidelines and vary a lot. But I'll still share the guidelines. I was known more for my baking and always gave recipes freely. Especially when I got it from someone else anyway! Or I'd tell them where to get it. I usually prefer to do that since as mentioned people change things or occasionally if there's certain tools that make a difference that can very well impact the results.

I will say I would not give a recipe to someone who would try to sell it or profit from it unless they shared with me. Some get overly concerned that they'd be ruined if their "secret recipe" got out, but Tony Chachery hasn't gone under and he sold his seasoning salt recipe in his cookbook. (Gotta laugh at the people screaming "gotta have some Tony's" and it's 80% salt then some garlic, pepper and MSG, that's all.) Emeril has given away his "Essense" recipes and still sells a lot. KFC's ingredients from several sources say there's not 11 herbs and spices anymore after doing a lab test on the contents. Their "secret" is not the spices, but the preparation (pressure cooker deep frying in specified amounts). Different ovens can make a difference, different altitudes and more.

I modify a lot. I make no bones that I'll be leaving out mushrooms, olives and other things from a certain dish. I never blame someone if I make it wrong. But if you require a cast iron pan and a wood fired oven, say so, then the responsibility is on the other person.

I know people who will be going to their graves with their secret recipes. Too bad really. The legacy of good food died with them. But there's always other options. Often I wonder if that recipe I remember as a kid was so good or whether I just thought it was great at the time and with tastes changing over the years, maybe I wouldn' like it now.

A great gal on another forum has "Recipes are to be shared" on her website. So true IMO.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Since I am not the greatest cook, no one ask me. If I am making a dish to take to a potluck, I try to follow the recipe exactly as written, BUT, I do what I call creative cooking. I very seldom make any dish the same way, depends on what I have and/or out of and substitutes. Last time I made meat balls to freeze, I used buffalo and beef along with egg, bread crumbs and seasoning. Sure turned out good. But don't ask me what exactly was in them--no secret, just senior mindset!!!!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:12PM
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