Dear Snarky – My Mother Won’t Share Thanksgiving Recipes With Me

Dear Snarky,

What do you think about a mom who won’t share family recipes with her daughter? Due to the coronavirus our large family has decided to not celebrate Thanksgiving together.

This means for the first time in my life I’m not having Thanksgiving with my parents. So, I asked my mom for three of her recipes so I could recreate her sweet potato pie, sourdough rolls and corn casserole. She straight up told me no.

I was shocked. When I asked her why she told me that they were “cherished heirloom recipes” and that she knew if she shared them with me I would post them on Instagram and my cooking blog.

So, what if I do that? I have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram and I didn’t get those without posting recipes.

I don’t understand what the big deal is? They’re recipes not her social security number. I think she’s being highly unreasonable and mean but she won’t change her mind. She said the recipes need to stay in the family and have been handed down for generations and don’t need to become “blog bait.”

I’m starting to think my mom may be losing it or is jealous of me. What’s your advice on how to talk some sense into her? She’s not rational at all.

Signed, Recipes Wanted

Dear Recipes,

I am totally gobbling up this letter (sorry not sorry for that lame attempt at humor) and laughing because talk about manufacturing drama when there really doesn’t need to be any.

In a surprise to some I’m going to come out and say I don’t blame your mom. It’s her right as the matriarch to be very protective of what she sees as family treasures and to be not a fan of sharing them on the internet.

I know this may sound ridiculous but a lot of people are super possessive over things like this. My family got in a fight over a sugar cookie recipe. True story.

I will admit to being a bit amazed that you never learned these recipes. It appears you like cooking because you have a blog which makes me wonder why you were never in the kitchen during Thanksgiving meal prep. If you were I’m guessing you would already know the “secret ingredients.”

That said, I’m going to bet that you’re a very good cook and clever and that with some trial and error you could probably recreate these dishes and better yet give them your own flair. If you publish the recipes (and I know you will because I’m guessing that’s the reason you really want them) I would suggest saying they were “inspired by warm family memories.”

Do this and move on. It’s a dumb ass thing to fight about and I think you already know that.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉

14 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – My Mother Won’t Share Thanksgiving Recipes With Me

  1. DCollins says:

    The recipes may be the only history she has to pass on to her children. Let her have this. See her pride when she cooks this for your family.

  2. Kdugan says:

    With all that is going on the world right now, this is what you choose to be petty about? I think it’s selfish to not honor your Mom’s wishes of not having her recipes posted all over the internet. They obviously mean a lot to her and she is not being unreasonable. Get over your ego and assure her that you will guard her recipes from the world. It’s that simple.

  3. Snarky.Socratic.Scribe says:

    If mom hasn’t written the recipes down yet, please have daughter ask her to do that TODAY. Mom doesn’t have to share until the reading of her will, but not having them written down could prevent the problem I have with my Granny’s Texas date loaf recipe. I know the ingredients, but haven’t been able to get the quantities figured out since she passed in 1987.

      • loptastic says:

        I’d like to summarize the letter, if I may…


        Her: “Snaaaarky… Mom won’t give me the thing I waaaaant just because I cherish upvotes/likes over sentimental value.”

        Snarky: *eyes roll completely to the back of her head* “You’re a brat and your mom knows it. Use the Google and modify. F*** off.”

  4. Joanna Gilbert says:

    I was told I couldn’t have the family recipe for a certain chocolate/walnut/cinnamon coffee cake by my aunt-in-law, cousin-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law until I was married.
    I was kind of put off but forgot about it. By the time they bothered to give it to me, I had kids and one of them was nut allergic…thanks but no thanks
    my sour cherry coffee cake is so much better than theirs

  5. Rebel says:

    I think both are being a bit ridiculous, but it is mom’s right for her recipes to remain private. If daughter were serious about just wanting to make them and not share them, she should have just agreed not to post said recipes. But I will also point out that as the child of okay but not great cooks, my holiday traditions these days are pretty much wholly made up of recipes off the internet.

    I second Snarky’s suggestion to create inspired recipes, which she can without qualms share with her followers. Trust me, it may be your “secret family recipe” but I guarantee multiple someones have made a variation of it you can use for a starting point.

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