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Woman Called Out For Refusing To Share Late Mother-In-Law’s Dessert Recipe With Sister-In-Law

In a kitchen a woman prepares something to bake.

The passing down of secret family recipes is an intimate experience.

It can be a generational tradition that many take quite seriously.

Others may be a little less formal about it.

However, certain people are chosen for certain reasons.

And those reasons may never be revealed.

And that can rub a lot of other family members the wrong way.

Case in point…

Redditor pajamagirl83 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for refusing to share a recipe with my S[ister] I[n] L[aw]?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My beloved M[other] I[n] L[aw] passed away recently.”

“She had a few signature recipes that she always brought to family gatherings.”

“One of them is a very unique dessert.”

“I asked her for the recipe for years, and she would never share it.”

“She finally passed the recipes down to me not long before she passed away.”

“And I made all of them to share with friends and family at the repast meal after her funeral.”

“I also made the dessert one other time to bring to a family gathering my SIL was hosting.”

“My SIL loves the dessert.”

“She keeps calling it ‘her dessert’ and demanding I share the recipe with her every time we see each other.”

“I feel like if MIL wanted her to have it, she would have shared it with her.”

“And the fact that she’s already claiming the dessert as her own instead of calling it the name my MIL assigned to it is disrespectful to her memory.”

“MIL did not specifically mention whether or not she was ok with me sharing said recipes.”

“She did also share the recipes with my stepdaughter (15) and one other grandchild (19).”

“Both agree that I should not share the recipes with my SIL.”

“My husband thinks I’m being a little petty, and it’s not something I should start a family feud over.”

“This is his brother’s wife and his mother’s recipes, so I do feel his opinion also matters.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. You made the argument: if MIL wanted your SIL to have the recipe, she would have given it to her.”

“That alone is reason enough to keep it to yourself.” ~ WolfGoddess77

“Also, the fact that two other family members (granddaughters) agree as well. NTA.”  ~ SomeoneInQld

“Maybe she died before she could share it with her.”

“We don’t know if she was never going to give it to her.”

“Edit: Since OP made an edit saying the SIL treated MIL horribly, I do think that changes things, and maybe she didn’t want her to have the recipe, but I still think keeping recipes secret is a bit weird.”

“My mom shares her recipes for everyone to enjoy, including the family she isn’t on the best terms with.”

“Because it is something that brings back those happy memories of when we would gather together at our house when my grandma was alive and lived with us.”

“Those recipes are passed down to her grandchildren, which would be the SIL’s kids.”

“I don’t know how bad she was treated to act this way over a recipe, but it must have been truly horrible because either way.”

“This is kind of petty especially if MIL never said not to share them.” ~ Rosalie1778

“If MIL had wanted everyone to have them, she’d have shared them with everyone instead of picking three specific people.”

“Now, if, later in life, one of those three people — especially someone directly related to her — decides that it’s time and shares them with the whole family.”

“That’s their right and their decision.”

“But if I were one of the trustees and I wasn’t directly related, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing the recipes unless I was nearing an end-of-life moment.”

“In that case, I’d pick three people, same as before.”

“And for the record, I’m typically against recipe gatekeeping, but my beliefs on someone having a say in their own legacy are much stronger.”  ~ ronearc

“YTA Gatekeeping family recipes is petty and childish.”

“Does it make you feel important somehow?”

“I don’t get this, people post this topic frequently.”

“I think you’re being rude and on some kind of power trip.”

“It’s not very nice.” ~ Caffeinated-Princess

OP came back with a few updates…

“I do feel the need to add a little context here.”

“1)This is NOT my MIL’s daughter.” It’s her daughter-in-law.”

“2) I wasn’t bringing my stepdaughter and niece into it as support for my argument, but as proof the recipes have already been handed down to the next generation by MIL herself.”

“And I am not the only person who has it.”

“3) My sister-in-law was not at all close with my MIL because she treated her horribly, which is most likely the reason she didn’t give her the recipes.”

“4) I did get one reply here that was actually constructive and I may change my mind about sharing the recipe eventually.”

“I do realize it’s not MY recipe.”

“I feel it does belong to my husband’s family.”

“Typically I’m not a recipe gatekeeper.”

“I have shared my own late mother’s recipes far and wide, including with the SIL in question.”

“I just didn’t like the way she demanded to have it and claimed it as her own instead of putting due respect on my late MIL’s name.”

“It’s also incredibly ironic that OP admits she asked MIL for the recipe for YEARS and was refused.”

“Now SIL wants to know and is getting blocked just the same.”

“Feels very childish to deny the husband his mom‘s own recipes when his wife can make them for him as well.”

“Not sure what is gained here, especially when OP wasn’t welcomed into the recipe inner circle, to begin with.” ~ probbutletsaskanyway

“This. All of my grandparents are gone.”

“Both grandmas were happy to share quite a bit because cooking is how you show you love your family.”

“To start a big family rift over SIL being weird by not giving credit is just so not worth it.”

“On my dad’s side, my grandma had a very popular jello salad thing that is DELICIOUS.”

“But while she’s gone, it is known to us as ‘the orange sh*t’ because well, we don’t remember the actual name and it’s funny.”

“ETA: this recipe, in particular, was given from Grandma A to my mother, who is her F[ather] I[n] L[aw], and my grandmother made my mom’s life hell often.”

“She still gave it to her.”

“Judgment for OP is YTA.” ~ Ok-Buddy-7979

“I think the bigger issue here was SIL not giving credit where it’s due.”

“If this was an art piece, a written story, or many other things where a person took time and worked on it, then it was plagiarized, stolen, and claimed as someone else’s we’d be criminalizing that person.”

“But somehow making recipes is seen as less than other forms of work?”

“So it’s OK to steal this from the memory of the MIL?”  ~ Psychotic_EGG

“NTA. MIL shared the recipes with three people.”

“She wasn’t one of them.”  ~ Emotional_Bonus_934

OP came back once more…

“Final edit: I’m going to answer a few questions and try my best to set a few things straight, then I’m gonna turn notifications off.”

“First of all thank you to everyone who gave constructive feedback!”

“Also, thank you to the people who understood the sentimental value of these recipes.”

“Some of you gave me some good ideas for how and when I want to share the recipes, and yes, I do plan on sharing them.”

“First of all, yes, my niece (19) is SIL’s stepdaughter.”

“BIL, SIL, and 19 are on a timeout right now.”

“I will not go any further into that than to say it doesn’t relate to this post.”

“SIL is well aware of the name of the dessert and who all the recipes were shared with.”

“I have not clearly communicated how offended I am over her claiming the dessert as her own, but I do plan on having the conversation privately.”

“That said, my SIL is not a terrible person.”

“I actually do love her too, and have shared many many recipes with her and she with me.”

“Water under the bridge between her and MIL had nothing to do with me.”

“My husband is reading this thread also and wanted me to make it clear that we don’t hate each other!”

“We honestly believe she was given a difficult choice to make, but she did the right thing, even though it was hurtful to MIL.”

“She wound up where she was supposed to be!”

“He also would like for it to be known that his mother was sometimes intentionally difficult.”

“In case that wasn’t obvious! Lol!”

“He says that he believes she ultimately left the decision up to me because she trusted me to do the right thing.”

“I believe sharing the recipes the right way could be a wholesome way of healing some generational trauma, and maybe the best way to honor her legacy of love.”

Well, OP, it sounds like, in the end, you have it all under control.

Reddit was clearly glad to be of assistance.

Hopefully, some healing is on the horizon.

Sorry for the loss.

Enjoy future meals… here’s hoping they bring the whole family together.