Author Topic: People that WILL NOT share recipes  (Read 51952 times)

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skbenny

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2007, 10:43:57 AM »
I was stunned to see so many of what I consider "Grinch"-like attitudes here about recipe sharing.  Now I have this image of so many of you huddled in your pantries grasping a padlocked box full of top-secret recipes.  The horror!

I put as much effort into some of my recipes as I do to many of my other crafts, which include quilting, woodburning, painting, and writing.

I don't hand out any of my creations on demand, period.  I am happy to share with friends, but if someone who has never shared a recipe with me demands one of mine, the answer is no.  I view it the same as giving someone a quilt.  A close friend may be given one as a gift, and someone who has shared their arts with me may request something.  A neighbor or someone else I am not close with?  The answer may very well be no.  There are certain of my recipes I will share with any who ask, and others that quite frankly, are mine and will remain mine.

Not to mention, I spent a lot of time and money learning to cook from cookbooks.  Many of my recipes began as someone else's copyrighted work in a cookbook I purchased.  I do not have the right to hand over someone else's intellectual property, even if I have tweaked it a bit to suit me better.   

Frankly, I resent your name-calling.

Tell you what.  You give me something you hand-crafted, then you can start asking me for my personal recipes.

I agree with you 100%.  A recipe is "intellectual" property.  Try telling JK Rowling that the name Hogwarts can be used by anyone, if they just ask her.  It won't happen.

My recipes may die with me, and that's ok because I'm not the only cook in the world.

Flora Louise

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2007, 10:59:17 AM »
I share. And, I would be flattered to be asked.
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Visiting Crazy Town

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #62 on: October 22, 2007, 11:08:17 AM »
I share some but not others but i don't think that it is rude it people don't share their recipes

Shay

rashea

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #63 on: October 22, 2007, 11:32:38 AM »
I share many recipes, but some are things I just won't pass on. If you think about it like writing a book, or designing a really special quilt square, or creating a custom pattern for any kind of craft, I think it becomes clear why some people won't pass on certain recipes. I also rarely post recipes online. I have recipes that take hours, and a lot of skill, I only pass those out to people I know can handle them (people get mad at me when my special fudge recipe burns 4 times in a row).
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ladiedeathe

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #64 on: October 22, 2007, 11:53:16 AM »
Tabbage,

I don't think anyone is "entitled" to a recipe I put hours or even weeks and months into developing from scratch. Cooking for me is a full time hobby; something I often work at more than my nursing job.

The problem for me is not sharing some recipes- I happily share things that the person could repeat (things from open sources, or ones I've created). The problem is sharing recipes which took 100 test hours, or 30 trial runs with wasted ingredients. Some of these recipes are incredibly complex, and require expensive ingredients which are not found in many of my friends kitchens. I will not give out a recipe which takes 13 hours to make, requires over $350 worth of ingredients, and will fail catastrophically with any substitutions or improper technique, to a friend with no spare time, a minimal budget, and a voiced desire to "make that for my ILs on Friday" when I know she will have to work all day at her job.

I will happily sell any of my "serious" recipes to a chef for his or her use, and I would give the same recipe to a friend who I knew had the ability to actually make it. I would also be willing to teach a friend who really, really, wanted to learn a particular dish for an event (or I would let her buy the stuff and I would make it for her and let her help and take notes).

I absolutely will not share a recipe with someone who will substitute frozen chicken for aged (hung) pheasant, canned mushrooms for black truffles, gin for fresh pressed juniper berries, and hen's eggs for fresh quail eggs. There is no point- it won't look or taste like what I made, and she will not be happy with the results.
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willow08

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #65 on: October 22, 2007, 11:59:16 AM »
I don't share all of my recipes.  Some of them I don't share just because I worked hard to perfect them and I like having specialty dishes.  

Some I don't share because if I do, those dishes start popping up at family gatherings under the auspice of "Oh, this is Willow's recipe for spicy corn relish!" and when you dig in it's got brown rice or cinnamon or some other ungodly gross ingredient that the cook just "added" to the recipe so it in no way resembles my recipe, but I get blamed for everybody getting heartburn. One poster on another board talked about giving a friend her mother's recipe for spaghetti sauce and finding out later that the friend entered the sauce in the county fair under "Friend's Mama's Famous Sauce" but it had additions of shredded carrots, zucchini and cauliflower. That would irk me pretty badly.

It's not a power-play in some cases, it's self-preservation.
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caranfin

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #66 on: October 22, 2007, 12:25:26 PM »
Copyright protection of recipes is a grey area. A recipe that is just a list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. A cookbook can. More info here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html

I have a couple of recipes I do not give away because they are very easy and very special. If I gave them away, people could easily make these treats for themselves, and then they would not be a special gift when they came from me. If that makes me a selfish control freak... oh well.  ::)
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Bob Ducca

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #67 on: October 22, 2007, 12:32:02 PM »
It is amazing how strong the feelings are on both sides of this...I'm not much of a cook, so it never really occurred to me.

However, if one removes the word "recipe" and substitutes "play" or "novel" or "quilt" or any other creative endeavor, it becomes clear that, to many, their recipes are more than just formulas for a successful meal- the recipes represent hours of effort as well as substantial monetary investment.  Just as any other creative endeavor, the person who created the work should be able to control how it is used, and there is nothing "selfish" about that.  (Edited to add: I'm not necessarily talking about copyright law, just the idea that the creator of a work has a continuing interest in the integrity of that work, legalities aside.)

Honestly, I would be flattered if someone asked me for a recipe, but recipes aren't that important to me.  And they don't have to be!  However, if someone came up to me and said, "Hey, you remember that play you wrote 10 years ago?  We're performing it next week!" you bet I'd be upset...not that it is being performed, but that it is being performed without my permission or input.

I don't think you should be offended if someone asks you for a recipe, but the fact that someone asked doesn't mean you are obligated to give.  If someone says, "No, I don't share recipes," that is sufficient and shouldn't be argued with.  If you think that stance is silly, that is your opinion, but it is in no way backed up by eitiquette.

I have yet to see any etiquette expert advise that one must aquiesce to any request, for whatever reason, if one is uncomfortable doing so.

Flora Louise

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #68 on: October 22, 2007, 12:32:28 PM »
Those of you who say no, how do people take it when you refuse to give them a recipe?
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caranfin

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #69 on: October 22, 2007, 12:37:29 PM »
Those of you who say no, how do people take it when you refuse to give them a recipe?

No one has ever thrown a hissy fit. I think the most common response is "Well, will you make me a batch then?"  ;D
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rashea

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #70 on: October 22, 2007, 12:42:21 PM »
Those of you who say no, how do people take it when you refuse to give them a recipe?

Some people get really huffy about it. They go on and on about how selfish it is not to share, and how I just want to make myself look good. These are the people who remind me why there are some recipes I don't give out.

Some people are great about it. They'll say, "that's too bad, I'll just have to visit you more often" or something like that. For one of those people, I might eventually share some recipes, especially if I know they can cook it correctly. More often (many of my friends are young) I'll invite them over sometime and show them how to make it. That way they see the work that has to go into it if it is going to work, and they can decide if they want to make that effort again.

There is one exception I make. I'll list ingredients for a recipe on request (and just in general if I'm going to a potluck or something). Some of my secret ingredients could cause an allergic reaction. Like putting almond extract in brownies that people think must be safe since there are no visible nuts.
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Tabbage

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2007, 12:57:49 PM »
I wouldn't expect cookbook authors or restaurant owners to give away their recipes -- those are situations where "intellectual property" is more than just a big-sounding word.  Intellectual property is a serious legal term used to protect people who have a financial or business interest in a particular "product of the mind".  I also wouldn't expect someone to violate copyright laws and hand out a bunch of photocopied recipes out of a cookbook.

Unless you plan on selling your recipes, giving them away is not going to hurt you.  And if you're worried someone else will botch your recipe, I seriously doubt your reputation will be permanently ruined as a a result.  People who know you will hopefully know that you make it better than that.

I still think that recipe hoarding is a typically a personal power play.  I'd bet some folks even get a little charge everytime they get to say "no" to someone.  Ooooh, the power....  I just can't imagine looking a friend dead in the face and saying "I will not share this with you."

I don't even view this as an etiquette issue, or one of people being "entitled" to my recipes or anything else.  I just can't see any legitimate reason (other than being sworn by the person who gave it to you, or avoiding copyright infringement) not to share a recipe with someone who is genuinely interested in it.

Again, so much of this seems to come down to *pride*, and I don't mean the wholesome feeling we get when we see our daughter on stage at her ballet recital.

I'd really be interested in knowing not so much the "theories" behind those of you who don't share recipes, but what actually goes through your head when you are face to face with a friend or neighbor and tell them "NO".  Do you feel a little bad?  Do you feel a rush of superiority?  A sense of victory?  A small feeling of power and control in a world gone mad?


MDefarge

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #72 on: October 22, 2007, 01:10:40 PM »
I wouldn't expect cookbook authors or restaurant owners to give away their recipes -- those are situations where "intellectual property" is more than just a big-sounding word.  Intellectual property is a serious legal term used to protect people who have a financial or business interest in a particular "product of the mind".  I also wouldn't expect someone to violate copyright laws and hand out a bunch of photocopied recipes out of a cookbook.

Unless you plan on selling your recipes, giving them away is not going to hurt you.  And if you're worried someone else will botch your recipe, I seriously doubt your reputation will be permanently ruined as a a result.  People who know you will hopefully know that you make it better than that.

I still think that recipe hoarding is a typically a personal power play.  I'd bet some folks even get a little charge everytime they get to say "no" to someone.  Ooooh, the power....  I just can't imagine looking a friend dead in the face and saying "I will not share this with you."

I don't even view this as an etiquette issue, or one of people being "entitled" to my recipes or anything else.  I just can't see any legitimate reason (other than being sworn by the person who gave it to you, or avoiding copyright infringement) not to share a recipe with someone who is genuinely interested in it.

Again, so much of this seems to come down to *pride*, and I don't mean the wholesome feeling we get when we see our daughter on stage at her ballet recital.

I'd really be interested in knowing not so much the "theories" behind those of you who don't share recipes, but what actually goes through your head when you are face to face with a friend or neighbor and tell them "NO".  Do you feel a little bad?  Do you feel a rush of superiority?  A sense of victory?  A small feeling of power and control in a world gone mad?



Tabbage, you might want to cool it a bit with the inflammatory statements. And I didn't hear a single poster say that *you* couldn't share every single recipe you ever come across - just explaining why *they* don't. And I CERTAINLY haven't seen anyone judging YOU for it the way you are doing to others, so like I said, maybe take it down a notch or ten.

ladiedeathe

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #73 on: October 22, 2007, 01:23:40 PM »
Tabbage- let me be more cold bloodedly honest in my reply.

Many of my friends (though certainly not all) are poorer than dirt- they are dear people I have met working 3 days a week in an inner city nursing home, others I know from college, writing groups, synagogue, or just hanging out. I have income from my writing, my nursing job, and my trust funds- I am financially comfy.

I have dinner parties. I make some recipes they could never, ever, afford to make, with ingredients they could never afford to buy, using techniques I went to years of expensive cooking classes to learn. These are the recipes I get asked for the most often. Some of the things I serve cost more per person than the person eating makes in 3 or 4 days of work. It is my privelege to offer my friends nice things, things they could never afford in a restaurant, or to make themselves, or even to taste in some cases. I do this for the love of my hobby and appreciation for my friends.

My biggest joy is in never letting them know the cost. Ever. These are cool, proud people, many of whom would never feel comfortable in my home again if they knew what it cost me to feed them.

I am not a professional chef, or even a wounderous one; but I am a very good cook with the ability to get the ingredients to make the foods I prefer to share, and the skills to develope new and interesting recipes based on these foods.

Quote
I'd really be interested in knowing not so much the "theories" behind those of you who don't share recipes, but what actually goes through your head when you are face to face with a friend or neighbor and tell them "NO".  Do you feel a little bad?  Do you feel a rush of superiority?  A sense of victory?  A small feeling of power and control in a world gone mad?

I am sickened by your quote above- what goes through my mind is "I hope they never realize the time, money, and effort it took to make that dish, and then don't understand what a labor of love it was." It is far kinder and easier for me to tell people I don't give out my super special recipes than to give the recipe and make them feel either beholden to me or ashemed because they can neither afford nor understand how to make what I did.
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rashea

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Re: People that WILL NOT share recipes
« Reply #74 on: October 22, 2007, 01:59:26 PM »
Tabbage, I have to admit to being shocked and insulted by your post. Yes, some of it has to do with pride. I am proud of the work that went into creating a recipe that I love. In the case of one or two friends, it has to do with being blamed when theirs didn't turn out as well (either because the didn't or couldn't follow the instructions), why on earth would I continue to give them recipes. Some of it has to do with wanting to have a few signature dishes, especially around the holidays.

It has nothing to do with me being controlling, and I resent that accusation. I don't get a power surge from saying no to someone, and I'm usually more than willing to pass a recipe on. You can call these "theories" or rationalizations all you want. That doesn't change anything.

Would you accuse an author of getting a surge when they say no to giving away copies of their books?

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