The Secret Ingredient

Is it just me? 😉

Or, have you ever noticed that food made for you by a friend or family member often tastes better than if you made it yourself.

And it doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe either!

For many years, we used to drive 800 miles to the Midwest to visit hubby’s family. His Mom would prepare sandwiches for us to have on the long journey home. There was nothing out of the ordinary about them – as far as ingredients go – but I’m telling you they were always the BEST sandwiches we’d have all year.

Also . . . Have you ever tried to duplicate a favorite family recipe? It’s awfully hard to do, in my opinion.

I like to make . . .

My Mother’s Spice Cake

My Grandmother’s Irish Bread

My Mom-in-Law’s Cheese Potatoes

And they all come out fine . . . but they NEVER taste as good as when they were made for me.

Maybe you’re thinking – “Crystal, the fact that you don’t have to prepare the meal makes it taste better!”

That can’t be the reason, though. When I have a meal at a restaurant, I’m not cooking… and I don’t usually feel that the restaurant has made a particular dish better than I can make it at home.

I’ve decided the secret ingredient in food prepared by family and friends must be LOVE!

What do you think? 😀




The Secret Ingredient — 8 Comments

  1. I think the secret ingredient is experience! That, and mustard. Well, but then I’m thinking of my mom’s potato salad.

    Sadly, I have come to love my own cooking more than that of my loved ones, save for a couple of signature dishes. But I love not having to cook more than enough to make up for it!;)

  2. Well, Carapace and I are in agreement….experience. And lets face it, that dish you love MAY be the best recipe they can make. But I’ll let you have your love theory.

    Terry is a funny kind of guy and his thinking has rubbed off over the years. He will NOT eat anyone elses food. He has visions of food prepared in a dirty kitchen area where animals run freely and the cook tastes the concoction with the spoon they are using to stir.

    He only likes my cooking. REALLY. And since he helps in the kitchen, I don’t complain about that.

    Have a great day!!!

  3. My mom and grandmother were excellent cooks. With all the time I spent watching them, you would think I learned a thing or two.

    BUT… I hate to cook.

    And can’t bake. Did try to learn to make biscuits as a new bride back in the 60’s. Just couldn’t get used to all that dough sticking to my fingers. Most of the it ended up down the drain.

    I love it when someone makes me a sweet potato pie or peach cobbler. Usually around Thanksgiving (my birthday) or Christmas. I look forward to it.

  4. I totally agree – something made for you definitely tastes better! Although I hate cooking so I’m always excited when someone wants to make something for me, so maybe the love isn’t all that’s in play in my case 🙂 I find that cooking is more fun (a little bit at least – it’s still a chore for me!) when I’m making something for someone else instead of just for me, so it works both ways!

  5. My father in law’s humous was the best, he would joke the secret ingredient was putting his little finger in it lol. I watched him make it and took the recipe as cooked and yes its not as good 🙂

  6. I cannot make my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe come out as good as hers. I have the exact ingredients, recipe and even the same oven. I guess it must have been the LOVE. I do blow everyone elses mac and cheese, chili and clam chowder, and cybisco away. Its amazing how somethings just cannot be duplicated.

    I like to bake cookies, pies and other desserts for the holidays, I cannot wait till it gets cooler so I can turn on the oven.

  7. Oh I think the mysterious ingredient is love! And maybe experience is the second secret ingredient.
    I don’t seem to enjoy cooking as much as I used to but it’s really the clean up that I hate.

  8. Now you’ve done it. Looking at those yummy-delicious pictures made me hungry!

    Lots of my recipes come from my mom, and I’m forever telling her that they just don’t taste the same when I make them. She says it’s just because I can enjoy the food more when I’m not preparing it… but I think it’s really what you said, and just knowing my sweet mom cooked it up! 😉

    xoxo Paulette

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