Author Topic: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories  (Read 59966 times)

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Venus193

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Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« on: June 20, 2011, 10:07:09 AM »
Note:  This is not about sabotaging one's lunch to foil workplace thieves, which is illegal.  This is about other people messing with your recipes, either on the spot when you're cooking/providing or when they request your recipe and then don't replicate it.  I was thinking about the spectacular story from two years ago that was about a clearly malicious act.

Someone once prepared my boeuf bourgignon without mushrooms.  From a chemistry perspective this doesn't work because mushrooms mellow out the onion so that it's a supporting player rather than trying to steal the spotlight from the beef.

Another person kept on saying that "a slice of cheese" would improve that recipe and kept threatening to add it to the pot behind my back.  Had he ever done that I would have chased him to the door with a cast-iron skillet.  Of course, this is not a person who was ever invited again.

VorFemme

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 10:22:08 AM »
BIL's wife (to distinguish her from my brother's wife with the same given name) asked for my "special" chocolate chip cookie recipe (already posted to the recipe folder - it's the Nestle Toll House with some variations).

What she served at a family gathering at their house bore NO resemblance (other than having chocolate chips).

She had been out of both butter & shortening (use half & half to adjust the melting point) so she'd used vegetable oil (and hadn't reduced the amount used).  She'd been out of brown sugar, so she'd used all white sugar (no "molasses/brown sugar" taste).  She didn't have almond flavoring and was running low on vanilla - so she'd made another change........

The "cookies" looked like lace because they'd melted so flat (vegetable oil is used at 7/8 the level of shortening or butter/margarine and has a much lower melting point - so the chemistry was way off to start) and the flavor was "off" (no molasses taste from dark brown sugar), not enough vanilla (I use 1/2 the amount because I also add almond flavoring), and no almond flavoring.  I wondered if her baking soda was past it's use by date - but the cookies were so thin that the leavening made no difference - there was nowhere for bubbles of carbon dioxide to "puff" the cookies up to make them light & airy.

She complained that I must have given her the wrong recipe.............never mind the "adjustments" she'd made by not having the correct ingredients in her pantry (and I've tried cooking at her house when "babysitting" - her pantry is always bare because she doesn't see cooking as an art form - just as a way to "fuel up" - although she LIKES good food, she just doesn't seem to have figured out how to make it herself back then - haven't seen her in a while, so things might have changed).
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ipsedixit

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 10:28:10 AM »
I think adding/eating/excessively commenting on things when you're doing the cooking is horribly rude. 

However, if you gave someone a recipe and they decided not to follow it exactly, I don't see why that any of your business?

#1aunt

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 10:28:21 AM »
I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.  

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

SiotehCat

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 10:29:45 AM »
I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.  

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

Huh!?

I don't know how to make chili, except to heat it up from the can, but does ketchup normally go in chili?

portiafimbriata

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 10:30:51 AM »

Another person kept on saying that "a slice of cheese" would improve that recipe and kept threatening to add it to the pot behind my back.  Had he ever done that I would have chased him to the door with a cast-iron skillet.  Of course, this is not a person who was ever invited again.

I just wanted to say that a slice of cheese added to beouf bourguignon sounds absolutely revolting. I would chase him with a hot cast iron skillet.
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Venus193

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 10:31:44 AM »
I think adding/eating/excessively commenting on things when you're doing the cooking is horribly rude. 

However, if you gave someone a recipe and they decided not to follow it exactly, I don't see why that any of your business?

If they bill it as my recipe it is.

#1aunt

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 10:37:56 AM »
I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.  

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

Huh!?

I don't know how to make chili, except to heat it up from the can, but does ketchup normally go in chili?


Some people add it to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.  Other people add a tablespoon of sugar to do that.  And other people don't mind the acidity.   We had ketchup, salt & pepper, shredded cheese, chopped onion, and other toppings/mix-ins for people to customize their bowl of chili to their personal taste.  She just took it upon herslef to customize the entire pot to her taste.

WasabiWithYou

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 10:40:29 AM »
I think adding/eating/excessively commenting on things when you're doing the cooking is horribly rude. 

However, if you gave someone a recipe and they decided not to follow it exactly, I don't see why that any of your business?

If they bill it as my recipe it is.

POD. However, if someone wants to take sole credit/responsibility for something revolting which is only BASED on my recipe, let them. The moment they try to pin the recipe on me, though, there will be e-hell to pay!  ;)

VorFemme

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 10:44:19 AM »
I think adding/eating/excessively commenting on things when you're doing the cooking is horribly rude. 

However, if you gave someone a recipe and they decided not to follow it exactly, I don't see why that any of your business?

If they announce LOUDLY that they made VorFemme's special cookie recipe and it didn't turn out right so she must have given them the WRONG recipe (only later admitting that they didn't make the recipe up as written) - then, yes, it makes the person who is announced as the "developer" of the recipe look bad.  When it should have been the person who couldn't follow written instructions who needed to accept that the MISTAKES in following directions were what really ruined the dish............
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WillyNilly

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 10:47:22 AM »
In my opinion all recipes are suggestions not exact dictations.  But that said, one needs to take full responsibility for their adjustments.

I happily share recipes and eagerly wait to hear "oh I tried your recipe but modified it by doing [whatever]".  If they were to modify but not disclose they modified I'd have trouble having conversations with them.  Not over offense so much but just because, well its not my recipe anymore.

I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.   

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

Huh!?

I don't know how to make chili, except to heat it up from the can, but does ketchup normally go in chili?


Some people add it to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.  Other people add a tablespoon of sugar to do that.  And other people don't mind the acidity.   We had ketchup, salt & pepper, shredded cheese, chopped onion, and other toppings/mix-ins for people to customize their bowl of chili to their personal taste.  She just took it upon herslef to customize the entire pot to her taste.

Straight up I would have called her out on this and pretty much demanded an explanation.  "Why did you do that?  No really - why on earth would add ketchup to the whole pot instead of just your bowl?"

#1aunt

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 10:53:42 AM »

I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.   

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

Huh!?

I don't know how to make chili, except to heat it up from the can, but does ketchup normally go in chili?


Some people add it to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.  Other people add a tablespoon of sugar to do that.  And other people don't mind the acidity.   We had ketchup, salt & pepper, shredded cheese, chopped onion, and other toppings/mix-ins for people to customize their bowl of chili to their personal taste.  She just took it upon herslef to customize the entire pot to her taste.

Straight up I would have called her out on this and pretty much demanded an explanation.  "Why did you do that?  No really - why on earth would add ketchup to the whole pot instead of just your bowl?"

Oh, I did.  As did several other people.  Come to find out, she hadn't even tasted the chili before dumping in the ketchup.   ???  She told me she thought it looked like it needed ketchup, and told other people she put it in to thicken it. (It wasn't runny).

VorFemme

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 10:59:28 AM »
In my opinion all recipes are suggestions not exact dictations.  But that said, one needs to take full responsibility for their adjustments.

That was the thing - she was refusing to admit that she'd made any changes to the recipe and blaming me for writing things down wrong.

And for some recipes to taste exactly the same - you have to make them as close to exactly the same as you can - or change the name of the dish!

I read about someone who did a version of a beef stew over noodles dish that she got from a relative after a family dinner - and did even more changes - then complained that her tuna & rice casserole (baked together instead of cooked seperately and combined at the table) dish didn't turn out well.  After all, she'd started with Relative's Recipe so it should have turned out well!

Umm - substituting a different meat, different seasonings, and a different starch really does change a dish enough that it can't be considered the same thing at all................but not according to the one complaining about how their dish turned out.
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Venus193

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 11:02:34 AM »
I brought a huge pot of homemade chili to work one night for a Halloween party.  A coworker poured an entire bottle of ketchup in it.  A big bottle.   

We had Ketchup beans for dinner that night.    :'(

That was unspeakably rude.  I hope she realized that.


missmolly

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Re: Messing with your recipes -- Tell your stories
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 11:05:44 AM »
My mum is the classic recipe messer - to the point where her sisters have dubbed her Mrs Cropley. There's nothing wrong with experimenting in cooking, but whenever mum tries it, things never seem to work out.

I've been making my chicken cacciatore for years, and have had many recipe requests. My special ingredient is marsala wine at the end of the cooking, which adds a subtle sweetness to the dish. When mum made it once she didn't have any marsala, so instead of just a bit of wine or sherry, which would have worked fine, she added Galliano to the mix, because in her words, "Might as well have something Italian in there". It was revolting!
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