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Lit Lovers Lane

Inveterate, incurable readaholic, who blogs about books and what's in 'em. If readaholism is a deadly disease, no problem. Couldn't imagine a better way to go.

Recipe Wars


Yesterday, I cracked open The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob, and one of the first scenes involved recipe sharing, which brought back a lingering mystery from childhood and provoked a few questions.


As a child, we frequently visited my  great great Aunt Anna, whose sunny disposition, pure joy for our visit, and scrumptious cream cheese cookies more than made up for any ickyness attendant with the obligatory kiss on her cheek, which was so deeply wrinkled it felt like sandpaper and was home to a mole big enough to have had its own zip code.


Those cream cheese cookies were so good, my mother finally asked for the recipe, which Aunt Anna happily divulged. Time after time, my mom baked those cookies, but never once did they approach Aunt Anna’s.


Now, fast forward to The Sleepwalker’s Guide, where daughter Amina is skeptical when her mom says she shared a recipe with friends. “What did you leave out?” she asks. Her mother’s response. “Nothing. Cayenne and cilantro.”


And with that, I was transported back in time those cream cheese cookies and my older sister’s suspicion ---deemed preposterous at the time --- that dear, sweet, lovable, giving Aunt Anna had deliberately left out a key ingredient.  


Aunt Anna is long departed, so we will never know if she withheld a secret ingredient, but this scene got me thinking about recipe sharing.


Do people really do this?


Do you mind sharing recipes?


Why do some people not like to share?


Have you ever had the feeling someone didn’t spill all the beans (pun intended) when sharing a recipe with you?


What’s the best approach if one doesn’t want to share?