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'AITA For 'stealing' my MIL's heirloom recipe and bringing it to a potluck?'

'AITA For 'stealing' my MIL's heirloom recipe and bringing it to a potluck?'


'AITA For 'stealing' my MIL's heirloom recipe and bringing it to a potluck?'

I (38M) have always enjoyed cooking and baking. My wife (37F) on the other hand, does not. So I do probably 95% of the cooking in our house and I like to think I'm pretty good at it.

My MIL (70F) is also an exceptional cook and we've both shared recipes with each other over the years. But there is one recipe that she refuses to share with me, her apple pie.

She says it's her great-grandmother's recipe and has been in the family for over 100 years. It's amazing, literally the perfect pie. After years of her making it and refusing to share the recipe I stopped asking.

But I started experimenting on my own trying to reverse engineer it and recreate it. I did this by taking a slice home every chance I could so that I could use it as a taste test.

It took a lot of test runs and failures, but this year is the closest I have ever gotten to recreating it. It's not 100% there yet, but it is damn close. I know I'm still missing something, but I haven't figured out that final piece yet.

My wife's family had a potluck get together this past weekend because MIL had a fall (she's fine, just bruised). She was just kind of scared by the whole ordeal, she had to go to the hospital to make sure nothing was broken. She wanted people to get together so that she could have some comfort.

Since she's not able to do too much physically, I offered to bake apple pie and bring it. So I made an apple pie as close to MIL's recipe as I possibly could. Again, not a 100% recreation, but really close.

When people started having desserts, a few people made comments about how amazing it was that MIL was able to still cook her apple pie after what happened. MIL looked confused and said that she didn't make her apple pie.

I said that I made it and tried to recreate MIL's recipe. MIL said I couldn't have made it exactly like hers because she never gives out that recipe. I told her I didn't use her recipe, I've just been trying to recreate it the past few years.

She tried a slice and immediately accused me of stealing her recipe somehow. I reiterated that I never got her recipe, I've just been trying to reverse engineer it and that I know it's close, but it's not there yet and something is still missing. But she was convinced that I stole her recipe somehow and it started a fairly big argument that ended with me being asked to leave.

My wife ended up staying behind to 'calm things down' before coming home. When she got back she was pissed at me too. She said I should have known better than to bring something like that when MIL is not in good shape. She said I got MIL all wound up and irritated all so that I could try and boost my ego and try to make MIL look bad.

She said I should know how much that recipe means to MIL and that it's one thing to try and recreate it at home, but I was totally in the wrong to bring it to a potluck like that when people are expecting MIL to make the apple pie. Mind you, my wife was 100% aware I was bringing that pie.

From the comments:

UnusuallyScented says:

Soft YTA / ESH. You knew it was a point of pride for her, hence her strange refusal to share the recipe. You should have easily made the next mental leap, that bringing 'her pie' to a family event would not be well received. You basically said: 'f**k you, I'm getting the recipe anyway!!'

CheeseRelief says:

It definitely was a “read the room” situation. This was not the place to debut his pie. How he didn’t have the forethought to guess what her reaction would be after she’s kept the recipe a secret all these years is beyond me.

chelsea8794 says:

I'm going with YTA because not because you recreated the recipe but because you took the pie to the potluck knowing how much this elderly lady valued and took pride in preparing this recipe for the family.

LucidOutwork says:

Well said. You weren't honoring her, you were putting yourself in the spotlight by making the pie she is known for. And maybe you didn't intend to be mean, but put yourself in her shoes. How do you think you made her feel?

Sources: Reddit
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