Secret Family Recipes… Shhhh.


One of the recipes I received last year I have yet to try. It’s time intensive, has a lot of ingredients, and requires constant vigilance in its creation. Thus, I had put it off until I realized that I really had to try it, but I had been asked, a long long time ago, not to put it on the blog. I was told that even though it was no secret within the family, it was special, a special part of the family.

I was honored, because I was receiving a recipe that was only for the close family members, and I was excited because it meant I was part of this close family, the people that Husband’s relatives trusted the most. Though I knew it would be hard, and Husband would inevitably think my version didn’t measure up, I tackled it this week. I cannot tell you what the food was, or what the recipe entailed, but suffice it to say that 1. it took a long time. 2. it was a blast keeping everything together and 3. my version was good,  but not as good as another family member’s.

I write not to tantalize you about a recipe I’m never going to share, but to advocate that you develop your own. Sure, you might originally have found your apple pie recipe on pinterest, but with your own flare, and a missing ingredient you had to substitute, and time and experience and memories of apple pie, it might become yours. Keeping that apple pie recipe secret, even if you actually share it with millions of other people via the internet, is one way to make it special, make it part of your family’s traditions. By doing that, joining a tradition, you make new additions to your family – kids, in-laws – feel like they’ve really “made it” when you pass on the well-worn card to them and they get to hang it proudly on the refrigerator. I love sharing recipes and stories that my friends and family give me, but once in a while, it’s nice to have a little secret. 🙂

7 comments on “Secret Family Recipes… Shhhh.

  1. amusingword says:

    I don’t believe in secret family recipes. They were made to share. I gave away my own special recipe for Kielbasi Corn Chowder that everyone raves over at church soup suppers. My mom got hold of some other family’s a real old secret recipe for raisin bread. You see no one in that family baked anymore and mom thought it needed to be kept alive. Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I have family recipes that are secret by default I guess, since I never have shared them. My favorite is Carpenter spaghetti which calls for “rat cheese.” I have always wondered what that is!


  3. swflsweetie says:

    My mom still won’t tell me her secret to making the world’s best sauerkraut balls but she’s promised to leave me her recipe card in her will. There is definitely something wonderful about keeping a treasured secret and about being let in in it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tcriggs says:

    we have a secret “onion dip” recipe that was my husband’s mom’s… I am working on a healthier version. lol.

    (Love the new site design, btw!) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. zozieposie says:

    Love the article, I love cooking and creating recipes, I was quite closely guarded with my recipes but when I started my lifestyle blog recently decided to start treating my readers to some of my creations and I SO hope they enjoy them! I was most flattered when another blogger made my pie for her blog and loved it, and of course politely linked back to me, I felt so happy and especially that she loved it. I love your recipe tin in the picture by the way, its so whimsical!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. miakouppa says:

    In our family, it’s not so much that the recipes are secret…it’s that there are no real recipes. Everything is made by instinct and intuition. As a result my sister and I have started cooking with our parents in order to carefully document what they do, how they do it, and what ingredients (and quantities of ingredients) they use. This is the only way that we can recreate their delicious non-recipe recipes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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