The Recipe to Making Any Recipe Secret.
4 cups Love
3 ounces Success
A pinch of Tradition
Pride for garnish
In our family secret recipes also come with the stipulation that portion size is require to exceed all normalcy and therefore provide enough food to feed a small army. I think we single handedly keep Tupperware in business.
Now, let me discern between family recipes, secret recipes, and well-loved recipes. In my lingo a secret recipe is really just one that is well-loved. How many times is a secret recipe actually kept under wraps? Even if a small circle shares in the makings of an expertly crafted dish, it is not technically secret. Family recipes are the most prone to falling into the falsely secret category. Because they are coupled with a sense of pride, that actually entices a person to share it! The constant stream of family recipes from generations past and present can sometimes be interpreted as a cliche in the foodie industry, but they are actually a huge part of its foundation! It all starts somewhere.
So how exactly is a recipe secret then? When the recipe is unwritten.
The Middle Eastern recipes in my family are literally secret. Never written down, rarely talked about, even though we are an incredibly close knit family. The only cook and keeper of these recipes? My Great Aunt Tita.
For her birthday yesterday I spent a lot of time by her side in the kitchen helping her make the family dinner. Yes, in her kitchen, where I have been my whole life, watching, tasting, and feasting, and I still have yet to be able to reproduce any dish with any amount of success. Measuring is done with the eye, salads and ingredients are tossed with the hands, and spices are judged by the tongue… With no written recipes she has crafted our family meals with her heart and her five senses.
Atop any favorite culinary masterpiece pour 4 cups of Love, fold in 3 ounces of Success, and add a pinch of tradition. Garnish with Pride, open your heart, stuff the recipe inside… lock your lips, and hide the key.
I hope that one day I will be the keeper of my Aunt Tita’s keys – and maybe the owner of a restaurant in my family’s honor??? No one said I can’t serve people our amazing Middle Eastern fare.. I just can’t share how I make it!
Welcome to Tita’s Table.