Saturday, April 4, 2009

If Your Name isn’t Eve, you aren’t the original recipe creator!!!

I have so many wonderful friends who have shared recipes with me, this week you have seen so many of them. Yet, there are some people who will never share a recipe.

Okay…That's my pet peeve – people who won’t share recipes – why not???

If you aren’t Eve, you know, the one married to that Adam guy with the fig leaf, you probably didn’t invent any recipes.

Think about it…

There are only so many ingredients that we use to cook, a limited number of spices, a few types of meat, throw in some wines, and a few miscellaneous ingredients. There are only so many ways to combine them. I’m sure if you look at your “original creation” you’ll find it somewhere else, some website, some cookbook, somebody else’s kitchen.

I'll bet Eve made a great original Applesauce! Think her maiden name was Mott?????

I for one am flattered when somebody wants a recipe. Take it; copy it from the cookbook I wrote, Xerox it, photocopy it, whatever you want. As a matter of fact, when I was writing the cookbook, I did some research into copyright law. You cannot copyright ingredients, only the way the recipe is written. How many ways are there to say, “put the pot in the oven”.

Does it really matter who put the recipe together in the first place. Does it taste good, did you cook it, did people like it, more important, did they eat it – that should be all that matters. Who really cares who made the recipe up. I mean if you got it from someone, fine, give them credit, odds are, they got it from someone first.

Even restaurants with their top secret recipes – come on ... if you are the Cheesecake Factory, there are only so many ways to make a cheesecake, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, heavy cream – I mean really, how different can yours be?

If I ask how something is made in a restaurant, it’s not because I want to open a restaurant and copy your menu. I might be going across the country to visit a child who had a desire for something he or she ate at home, and want to recreate the dish as a treat. Rest assured, if I know how to make something from your restaurant, it won’t stop me from going out to eat, especially if you were nice to me, I’m coming back to your restaurant (especially because I’m lazy, why should I cook it, if you will.)

I hate when people say to me, it’s a secret family recipe – then who did you get it from? If the person who supposedly made it up didn’t share it with the next generation, where would you be with your secret recipe. I’ve had people tell me it’s a family secret only to finally relent and give me a recipe, only to find that it is all over the internet anyway. So stop being so stupid and share those delicious creations of yours, pat yourself on the back and pass them on.

I once was on famous celebrity’s site years ago and there was a recipe for Lipton’s Onion Dip, with that person’s copyright below it!!!!! Did that person reinvent the onion dip – I doubt it.

I’m sure before Fannie Farmer

wrote her first cookbook,

she got recipes from her friends and family.

Irma Rombauer

and Her Joy of Cooking,

didn’t anyone cook before she wrote that cookbook??

Let’s look at poor Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Cookie Fame – you know her,

the woman who invented the chocolate chip cookie. She got a lifetime supply of chocolate chips for letting Nestlé’s put the recipe on the bag. She was kind enough to share (not smart mind you, she got no royalties) but the least Nestlé’s could have done was call them Ruth’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, instead of Nestlé’s Toll House Cookies. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Speaking of that, if Ruth didn’t share, we may never have enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie that is our nations favorite. But let’s take it a step further – she did share the recipe, but how many original chocolate chip recipes have you had people say were their own creation? Again, flour, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, chips, there are only so many ways to combine them and get the same thing.

Martha Stewart – do you really think she has the time to come up with all the recipes that are in her cookbooks, magazines, and website – I don’t think so…

That’s not to say that some of those recipes in her cookbooks

are not her creations but if you remember from her TV shows, she was always cooking with Big Martha (boy, I loved that woman), I bet she learned most of the basics from her mother.

As for me, I know where my skills came from…my mother who learned it from her mother, who learned it from her mother… We all cook exactly the same way, and I hope by writing my family cookbook, I will have served to preserve those recipes for generations to come!


Somebody else probably made it before you did anyway,
but, if it makes your ego feel better to say you invented it,
go for it,
as long as you share, we don’t care ☺

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  1. You hit the nail right on the head Elise! I sure love the way you write! That's why I keep coming back to you :)

  2. Thanks so much Alisa, I really appreciate your comment, more than you know. Sometimes, when you are writing these posts, you wonder if anyone really appreciates them. It's so nice to know that you do!

    Please come back often and tell your friends :)