Have you ever been to a friends house for lunch or dinner, or even afternoon tea for that matter, gobbled down something to die for and innocently asked “Can I get the recipe for that cake / salad / biscuit – It was AMAZING!” only to be smacked in the face by the abrupt (and in my opinion unnecessary) reply of “Oh, I don’t give out my recipes”?
Sorry, what? Who are you? Heston Blumenthal? Adriano Zumbo? Bill Granger? Gordon Ramsay? Hang on a second, all of those World Class Chefs actually do give out their recipes, so what’s the deal?
I’ve never been a recipe protector. I don’t see the point. You want it? You got it! I actually blog my recipes for the world to see. I really don’t understand why anyone would feel the need to conceal the combination of ingredients that form together a dish. By doing this what are they hoping for? That you will be forced to hang out with them if you want to munch on their prized goods?* Honestly, what other reason is there?
I’m trying to see the other side of the argument, as I’m sure there is one.
If a certain recipe was a moneymaker e.g. Colonel Sanders’ special spice combo for KFC chicken or Coca Cola’s secret chemical mix to make the famous drink, then I get it. Actually come to think of it, the same principle could be applied to the famous chef’s I’ve listed above and their schmancy restaurant dishes yet they share their recipes. When push comes to shove people will still go to the well-known chef’s restaurants to eat their dishes cooked by them (or at least by professionals) I mean I think even if you knew that Coca-Cola was made from 120g potassium 240g sodium blah blah blah (I’m an Architect not a scientist) you would still just grab one from Woolworths as opposed to knocking up a batch in your own backyard.
And I get it if the recipe is not yours to share in the first place. For example, on her death bed, your great Aunt Jude gave you her Strawberry and Pop Rocks jam recipe on the condition that you would “never EVER share it” – then okay, I can see how you would want to honour her dying wish.
A friend told me about a lady she knew, one of the mums from school, who was an amazing cook and confided in my friend that she hated giving out her recipes. So when asked, she would always leave one ingredient out and hand the list and method over with a smile. According to her, if the person was smart enough to figure it out then props to them, they “deserved” the real recipe but if not, then too bad. Harsh eh?!
The thing about “giving away” a recipe is that it’s still yours once it’s gone. Just because someone else make’s Natalie’s Chocolate, date and almond cake does not mean that it’s not Natalie’s cake anymore.
I also believe that it’s the person making the dish that determines the outcome, not simply the list of ingredients. Whilst one person will make the dish with love, another will make it in a rush and someone else will make it and be extremely heavy handed with the salt. The outcome will always reflect the individual who created it. For example, my grandmother, talks about LISTENING to your food as it “talks” to you. If it bubbles, it may be thirsty (add some wine) if it makes a scratching sound it could be dry (turn down the heat) and so on. It’s this attention to detail and the passion she puts into everything she does that makes the taste of her food so special and unique.
So in keeping with my theme I’d like to hand over my latest culinary acquisition, the recipe for a truly delicious and healthy summer salad. It’s really easy to knock up and is very, very light – just perfect as a side dish at your next BBQ! The recipe is actually my sister’s, I hope she doesn’t mind.
Asparagus, Zucchini and Pea salad
Serves 8 as a side
2 bunches asparagus
3 cups green peas
1 packet Greek feta
1 bunch mint
8 lemons – juice of
½ cup olive oil
salt – 2 teaspoons
pepper – 1 teaspoon
oregano – dry, a pinch
3 cloves garlic – crushed
1) Wash asparagus, chop in half, blanch in boiling water (about 3 minutes) then refresh in ice-cold water. Put to side.
2) Wash zucchinis then ribbon with a potato peeler, leaving the seedy core. (You can boil these cores and blend for baby food! If no baby, boil, drizzle in olive oil and eat!) Blanch ribbons in boiling water (about 30 seconds) then refresh in ice-cold water. Put to side.
3) Boil peas (about 1 minute) then refresh in ice-cold water. Put to side.
4) Gently toss the 3 green vegetables together in a bowl
5) Crumble a block of feta throughout the salad
6) Chop the mint just before serving and toss through the salad
7) Combine all dressing ingredients and lightly drizzle over (serve extra dressing on the side for peeps to add additional if they want, it’s rather tangy!)
*I just realised how that possibly sounds a little…..uh……wrong!
By trade she is an architect but ”by love’ she is a PHOODIE. Phoodie graduated from Le Cordon Bleu London’s Cuisine Certificate programme and is now more inspired than ever to fill in the gaps in her knowledge about food. Visit Phoodie’s blog here and her Twitter here.
Do you share recipes or guard them with your life? If you are willing to share why don’t you tell us your favourite recipe?