Recipe Saboteurs

Home Improvement is not just about hammers, nails and drywall.  It’s about improving everything about what makes your house a home!  Why are we crazy about kitchen remodels?  Because we love to EAT GREAT FOOD!

One of the best cooks I personally know is Jennifer Lamoureux.  She has been gracious enough to share with us a cautionary tale that all would be home gourmets should heed… (the words are hers…the sick & twisted graphics are all me!  hee hee hee)

In matters of the home, my dad is a total type A personality and my mom is not. I am somewhere in between. When it comes to following a recipe, I fall under the same category. My mom is the queen of improvising a recipe and making it so much better but has no idea how she did it. My dad follows the recipe to a “T” and it is also perfectly delicious. I do a little of both, but do remember exactly how I did it.

The thing is, if someone asks you for a recipe because they really liked the meal, you have to decide. Are you going to give them the recipe and be flattered that someone liked it enough to ask for it and take it as a compliment and that many more will enjoy it? Or are you going to say “no, it is a secret family recipe (my parents were married for 15 years before my grandmother would give my mom the family lasagna recipe) I cannot share right now”? Or are you going to be a recipe saboteur?

 When I first got married, soon after graduating from Virginia Tech,  I asked my now ex-mother in law for the recipe for this frosting that my now ex-husband had to have for his birthday cake. I slaved and stirred over this carmalized goop that wouldn’t spread and he told me “you don’t have to make that again, my mom can just do it in the future”. I was horrified and didn’t try again for 15 years. Then one evening we were at the folks’ house and I was watching her make this ‘amazing frosting’. I was glued to every step and looking at her recipe index card, it was the same as the one she had given me ages ago. Then all of a sudden I was like “HEY!!! What did you just do????? That’s not on the card!! Or on my card!!!”

She laughed and said “what?” So of course I called her on it and finally had the ‘real’ recipe. Needless to say, I then, finally, after all those years, had the correct recipe. The girls joked about it all evening saying that with family recipes, we always ‘unintentionally’ secretly leave out a tiny key ingredient or detail that makes or breaks the recipe.


Sure enough, a few weeks later I was at a dinner party in Virginia Beach with my closest girlfriends in the home of our friend Lisbeth. She was making one of my favorite recipes of hers that I had tried numerous times that just never quite tasted as good as when she did it. We were talking and laughing about the frosting story and she was telling me how her mother-in-law had done the exact same thing, when sure enough.. “HEY!!! What did you just do???….” Yep! It’s true, she was a recipe sabotager!! She confessed and told me the ‘little deviations’ and now I have it down pat.



It’s ok if you really don’t want to give up your recipes, but let’s not sabotage each other.



– Jen


PS – I need a good light fluffy frosting recipe if anyone would like to share…

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