Friday, August 5, 2011

Not Everyone Likes Your Secret Family Recipe

Back in college, a few friends and I decided to hold a Thanksgiving dinner.  One of my dear friends (who shall remain nameless) was so excited to share her grandmother’s green bean recipe.  She raved about it from the time we first thought of doing something for the holiday to the minute we all sat down to dinner.  She explained that its a tradition and favorite in her family and how her grandma have given her the recipe only a couple years prior!  We were all so exited about this excellent sounding green bean casserole, that is until we saw it.  I still to this day do not know what the “special ingredient” in her Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole was, but it certainly was not tasty!  

I realize that we all have those secret family recipes.  The recipe that is only shared to those who have earned themselves a family cook “title “ and it never allowed to be written down.  They usually involved a weird combo of spices for grilling, or a favorite cookie recipe which has not been turned into a Betty Crocker boxed dessert.  Sometimes the title of these recipes involve the word “surprise” which is really never revealed to those eating the meal.  I love hearing the story of these recipes, even if I”m not allowed to know the exact details.  Usually the memories bring back fond memories of sitting on a counter and helping mom and grandma make dinner or perhaps a family picnic when the family recipe was put to the test, trying to feed a small army!

These unique concoctions have been passed down from generation to generation because of one very important reason… THEY ARE DELICIOUS (which is subjective!!), other wise the recipe would have been thrown out a long long time ago.  (that or you have a really weird aunt that just won’t let that weird casserole surprise go!)  But one word of caution.  no matter how delicious you truly think your recipe is, when cooking up these family recipes for guests it is possible that someone might not like your Great Grandma’s Surprise Soup!  (especially if they can’t tell what the surprise actually is).

To combat making a guest go hungry, make a few of you dishes “plain” to have another option “just in case”.  If possible try to cook a meal as plain as possible and add any spice or seasonings until later, to let guests be the ones who decide how spicy or bland they want their food.    Also, if you are cooking meat, try to make sure there are options of medium and cooked!  If your dish because you wouldn’t want to serve your guest’s under cooked meat, even if you like your steak “mooing”.  If a recipie  isn’t easily split between special and plain, then think about offering bigger side dishes, or even another main dish option.

Don’t let your guests suffer because of you’re Grandfathers “Anything Rice”.  They may not want to come back!  (Unless this is your goal, then serve up what’cha like!)

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