Recipe Deleters


I have a friend who is a notorious recipe deleter. Perhaps you have one of those in your life. Here’s the scenario:

You’re invited to dinner and your host, in this case, my friend, brings out an incredible apple pie. It’s the best you’ve ever had. As you lick the fork you mention how awesome the pie is and, because she is your good friend, she offers you the recipe.

“Call me later and I’ll give it to you. It’s the easiest thing!”

So you take her up on it. I mean, it was seriously the best apple pie you had ever had. You give her a call and she happily starts to tell you the recipe. The conversation goes something like this:

“So you take some eggs.”

“Some? How many? Two? Three? Six?”

“Oh, you know, like two. Or three. Sometimes I put in four.”


“Then you take some flour and sugar.”

“How much?”

“Oh, like just enough to get the dough to that certain consistency. Between a 1/4 cup to, like, 2 cups.”

“For the flour? Or the sugar?”

“For both.”

“There’s a big difference between a 1/4 cup and 2 cups.”

“Well, look, do you want the recipe or not???”

And this is where our friendship starts to take a serious turn. Because how hard could it have been to just say that, no, she doesn’t want to share the recipe. That it was her great-great grandmother’s famous cake and she was sworn to secrecy. Or even the truth – that she wants to be the only one who can make the perfect apple pie. I’m really okay with all those answers. But giving out a fake recipe or a recipe that contains all the ingredients but one (usually the crucial bit that makes it taste good, like SUGAR) is mind boggling to me.

Recipe deleters. Seriously.

After trying to make the apple pie with precise measurements like “some” and “a couple,” I actually gave it some thought. I don’t think it is the actual sharing of the recipe that is hard for some people, it’s the concession that following the ingredients is not that hard and that really,  making apple pie, or whatever dish everyone loved,  is not quite rocket science.

Granted, there are some recipes that take time to perfect and require some adjustments based on texture, or smell, or other things you can’t include on a recipe card. But at least there’s a START. At least there’s a recipe there.

Recipe deleters are more than just selfish bakers and shallow cooks. It’s true they aren’t sharing with anyone in order to maintain an upper hand in the hosting department. But here’s the sad truth that I finally realized. Whatever mystique they try and maintain about their cooking, that’s about all the mystique they probably have in their lives.

And if the most mysterious thing about you is how much flour or salt you put in your baked goods, well, then, godspeed my friend. I wish you luck.

Keep your apple pie.

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8 replies

  1. My experiences have generally been the other way around; I mean, for example, my mother’s pastry, which is, on its own, the food of the gods. Years ago she gave me the recipe, exact in every detail. Did it turn out like hers? No. But when she stands next to me and we make it together, it’s perfection. I’m not going to go all mushy about motherly love, here, it’s just a mystery.

  2. You know why I love you Adina, it’s because you are so honest. I also do hope that whoever would not share their recipe does not read your blog! Anytime you need a recipe of mine I would gladly share it!

  3. Or how about those who leave out the third onion from the potato kugel recipe?

  4. Until I started my blog, I couldn’t give you measurements for any of my recipes. That’s all changed now.

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