Baker’s Bits? Baker’s Secrets? Tools of the Trade?

Still working on the whole name thing.  This week instead of an ingredient or tool, I have a question for you.  Where do you fall on the “to share or not to share” when it comes to your favorite recipe?

This came up because I’m helping to plan an event on Thanksgiving sides and desserts.  The idea is to bring a favorite and recipe to share.  One of the women said she was happy to bring her favorite “famous” dessert, but she did not want to share the recipe.  I don’t understand this.

I fall firmly into the “share” camp.  I have some absolute favorite recipes.  There are a couple that people rave about.  If they like it that much, I see no reason not to pass it on.  Mind you, none of my recipes have been passed down in my family or came from a restaurant we used to run or anything.  But I wonder if it would make a difference.  I love it when someone likes what I’ve cooked and asks for the recipe.  I’m very flattered.  And maybe they’ll make it for someone else to enjoy, or perhaps they’ll forget about it altogether.  I’m never insulted when someone doesn’t want to share a recipe.  I certainly don’t take it personally, but I don’t get it.

I’m curious.  If you are in the “don’t share” camp, what’s your reasoning?  And how can we convince you to share that favorite recipe that we’re all dying for?  ;-)

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34 thoughts on “Baker’s Bits? Baker’s Secrets? Tools of the Trade?

  1. I had a neighbor who didn’t like to share her recipes. I found out through her daughter that she would give out her recipes only change a few minor details so that yours would never come out as good as hers.
    That’s just plain old mean!
    I don’t understand the not sharing thing either.
    The fact is that it’s pretty hard to come up with something completely original. We all get our recipes from someone so I don’t know what they are hiding.

  2. I think you are polling the choir… bloggers share, In fact, I just made an entire Thanksgiving dinner 3 weeks early JUST so I could share my new favorite recipes before people finalize their holiday menus. So, sign me up as a sharer

    • “Savory pork sausage buttermilk bread pudding stead of stuffing/dressing”…… this sounds delicious and would be an excellent addition to the “transitional” Thanksgiving Dinner I am working on. If you wouldn’t mind – I would love for you to share the recipe!!!

      • Hi Jeff, about wanting my recipe for savory bread pudding… It will be up Saturday. Tomorrow I have a smoked turkey i made up. And today i blogged a leftover turkey breast recipe (I did my Thanksgiving meal early so i could blog all the parts).
        and if you come back next week, i have a second savory bread pudding blog because one of my guests does not eat pork (imagine). The first was sausage and bacon, the second, lots of veggies

        http://yearonthegrill.blogspot.com/

  3. LOL at Hip Chicks comment re: recipe changes! I am a firm believer that some cooks (ie – mothers, grand mothers, any in-law and some co-workers) intentionally alter the recipes they share so their “status” as the better cook is maintained! My claim has been staked to many family member’s cook books/recipe files just to prove this!

    I am a sharer if someone asks (and I even try to get it right) unless it is from someone’s published cookbook.

  4. I’m a ‘sharer’.

    If someone thinks that what I made is good enough for them to want to make, then I give them the whole recipe.

    Something else that I did when my kiddos were smaller was to make them a recipe binder with all their favorite recipes that I make in it so that when they move out, they will have them.

  5. I share :)

    I’m flattered when someone asks me for a recipe, that just reinforces that what I made is worthy for them to attempt at home.

    The ONLY plausible reasoning I can think of to NOT share a recipe is to feel needed and important. If you are the only one that can make a certain dish, you are the one everyone runs to in order to get it. If you dole out your recipe, there’s really no need for the original cooker/baker. *shrugs* just a theory though.

  6. I’m a sharer-and I take secret pleasure in replicating the recipes of non-sharers! Mwah hah hah.
    My mom shamelessly asked a family friend/non-sharer for his fudge recipe for years and years and years and he would not give it out. At his funeral–I’m not lying-my mom asked his wife FOR THE RECIPE!!!! She gave it to him, but we were all mortified that my mom would have the nerve to ask. For pete’s sake, he wasn’t even buried yet! He’s probably rolling over in his grave, wishing his recipe was buried with him.

    • Prudy, you are so funny..what a good story, it made me laugh!

      I am a sharer too and don’t like it when people refuse to share a recipe. I think what Jeanette said is right, they may feel a need to feel needed and important.

      I have also shared my recipes and they say..It doesn’t taste like yours did…SO you see some folks think if they have your recipe it will TURN out just like YOURS..but the truth be told some folks can’t cook.: )

  7. Haha Prudy!! That’s so funny! I feel like it is a huge compliment when someone wants one of my recipes!! I love sharing recipes and I’ve always thought it was a little strange when someone doesn’t want to give their recipe out (maybe there was something illegal in the fudge….dum dum dum!)

  8. I’m a sharer, although most of my friends ask me to make the item again rather than ask for the recipe. I can understand not sharing if it’s a profit-making recipe, but to not share with friends? Total strangers maybe (like at a party) but it would be a good way to build a friendship.

  9. Oh and on the name thing, I don’t like Baker’s Secrets because it reminds me of the chocolate brand. Tools of the Trade won’t work unless every week is about a tool (and it’s a little cliche). Baker’s Bits is not my favorite but the best of all three. If I think of a name, I’ll def let you know. So far I got Baker’s Bits and Chocolate Chips (or just Chips), but yea I’m not good at on-the-fly naming.

  10. Yes I share. I do get a little fiesty when I share a favorite recipe, someone makes a bad version of it and then tells others it’s my recipe! I think it is interesting when we have a church social and give ten ladies the same recipe. Sometimes we get 10 very different dishes!

  11. How bout “Bakers’ Corner”?

    I always share recipes, but I’m not a recipe developer, just a recipe discoverer! My SIL never used to share her brownie recipe; I don’t know if she shares it now, but I have my own favorite at this point.

    I used to make an eggnog poundcake (based on a cake mix, shhh!) to give at Christmas. It always made a huge hit and I gave the recipe to people who asked. Of course they started baking for themselves and I needed to find a new item to bake for Christmas giving!

    • In the spirit of sharing, I’m passing this one along: Bacardi Rum Cake. Also based on a boxed mix, people go CRAZY over it. I ALWAYS get asked for the recipe. It’s kind of embarrassing that people like this better than some of my from-scratch recipes!

      My mum taught me how to make this over 30 years ago.

      http://mzkitchen.com/?p=103

  12. What about something with the word “dish” in the title? Like “Dishing the…” That’s as much as I can think of right now : )

    I don’t understand the not sharing thing. Like the others have said, I’m flattered when someone asks me for a recipe. I gave my mother-in-law my lasagna recipe and she has made it a lot of times and always tells me when she makes it and how much people like it. I think that’s cool!

  13. Funny, all these posts are from sharers. None of the Non-sharers are around (or if they are they won’t admit it!) :D
    I am a sharer. I am flattered if someone thinks enough of something I have baked to ask me for the recipe. In a way I feel that I live gregariously through them, if I share. If not for sharers, Tuesdays with Dorie wouldn’t be possible!

  14. I fall into the sharing camp, but I’m not creative, so most of the time I am sharing a recipe from a cookbook. Or, I am sharing the name of the cookbook.

    I understand people not wanting to share when they are in the food industry – but even then some people are more generous than others – does the name Dorie Greenspan spring to anyone’s mind?

  15. I’m also firmly in the “share” camp. Why? Because good food makes people happy. Because if you don’t share a recipe, it could die out. And, besides, so few people are willing to make puff pastry from scratch, they won’t bother making a lot of my recipes anyway, once they see the work involved!

  16. I used to be from the “not share” side of the fence. Guess I thought it would ruin the mystery if I gave out the recipe. But I’ve made a 360 turnaround.

    In reality, sharing a recipe makes people think of you every time they make it. A little story to illustrate…

    A patient came to see me who I thought looked vaguely familiar but couldn’t place her. When the exam was over she says to me, “Did you used to work at “The Greenhouse?” I did–30 years ago. She said, “I still make your coffee cake. My family loves it.”

    Honestly, I had totally forgotten about this lady. In fact, I don’t even know what recipe she’s talking about it. I don’t make it anymore, obviously. If you want to be remembered in a good way (and who doesn’t)–share your recipes.

  17. I share if I think there is a likelihood that the person will actually make the recipe. If I bring some cake that required three days to construct and I know you are barely willing to make cereal, then no, I’m not gonna bother painstakingly recalling and writing out the recipe.

    • I think that’s different. It’s not an unwillingness to share in that situation. Truthfully, does that kind of person even ask for recipes? Those are the ones who are usually happy for me to bake for them. ;-)

      Oh, and I asked the woman to make something where she was willing to share the recipe and to please save her “famous” dessert for another occasion.

      • Jules–yes, some of them do ask me. And there really is no polite way to say “this is probably beyond your capabilities right now.”

        And I can kinda understand non-professional cooks who won’t share. It’s probably their way of feeling special, you know–Aunt Rose always KNOWS Christmas dinner isn’t complete without her super-special 6.5 year aged truffle-laced fruitcake. :-)

  18. I share my recipes but they really aren’t original so I don’t think that counts. I have an aunt who makes the best poundcake in the world. I have the “recipe” but know it’s been altered. If I ever perfect it, I wouldn’t share with the blogging world because it’s her recipe that she is famous for.

    It’s funny though. Now that I’m also known in the family as a great baker, she has stopped giving me altered recipes and just lists the ingredients. Seriously. I have a coconut cake with pineapple filling “ingredient list” that I’m trying to recreate. (Once I do – I will share with all of you because it is SOOOOO good.)

  19. Well, since I love it when people share recipes with me, I also share when I’m asked. Turnaround’s fair play and all. I’ve gotten some of my best recipes from other “sharers”.

    Isn’t that how cooking is supposed to work?

  20. I am glad that you asked this question to everyone. I have often thought it was odd of people not to share. What the heck, it is only food for heavens sake! I understand if it is a restaurant recipe or something but come on.
    I was in a dinner group with 3 other ladies for about 5 years awhile back. We would each take one night and cook dinner for the others in the group (and their family) and we would have dinner brought in to us on our off nights. It worked out great! We all shared recipes with each other except for ONE woman in the group. She was notorious for not sharing. It was always something like, its a family recipe, or my aunt/sister/mom would kill me for sharing. ARGHHH, ….. but then she wouldn’t hesitate to ask for one of ours! (BTW… she only was in the group for about 3 months.)

    I wish more non-sharers would reply and we could get to the bottom of this! :)

  21. I think food bloggers by definition are share-ers but my friend who has this AMAZING barbecue spare ribs recipe WILL NOT give out the recipe to anyone. She basically told me that she wants to be known amongst our friends as the “Spareribs lady” and if everyone could make her ribs, it wouldn’t be special anymore. I respect that she wants to keep it to herself and all but SHARE!! HA HA.

  22. I’m a sharer, too…and I’ll even give out my notes of things like “it calls for 3/4 c. cheese, but I always use 1 c.” and stuff like that.

    I’ll even give out family recipes…and I just make sure I put “Momma Sara’s Farmhouse Cookies” in the title. It give the original cook credit, but shares an amazing recipe with the rest of the world.

    I think non-sharers are like CB’s example…they’re kinda selfish in not wanting anyone else to make *their* recipe.

  23. I agree, that the best recipes I have were shared by others. I will share recipes, but always get annoyed when people don’t FOLLOW them, which is more often then not. Some people substitute inferior ingredients or eliminate important steps. I find if it is a complicated recipe, most people can’t be bothered to make it.

    I do think it is nice to have your own repetoire of recipes that others don’t make. That way you can always be sure of having something differerent.

  24. Pingback: Bakers secrets | Myutopianlife

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