Right around the time Hubby and I were married, a new recipe was floating around — Texas Sheet Cake. It’s hard to imagine this, but back then the only way recipes were shared was through other cooks, cookbooks or the occasional one in a magazine. So, Mama started making this wonderful cake and and then gave me the recipe. It was the first dessert I remember making that I thought, “This is REALLY good!”
When Gunny was a baby, Hubby was a bricklayer and I was a stay-at-home mom. We lived in a small town with a volunteer fire department and our next-door-neighbor asked Hubby if he wanted to join. Well, when Hubby joined, I soon realized I had joined too! There was a Women’s Auxiliary for the women and it was very active and planned lots of get-togethers. So, when we started attending all the fire department potlucks, I took my favorite chocolate cake.
There was one older woman who belonged to the Auxiliary named Marian. A very nice lady whose husband had actually died, but she still belonged and was much loved by all.
When Marian tasted the sheet cake I had brought to a potluck, she loved it and asked for the recipe. I gave it to her shortly thereafter. For the next potluck I must have decided I didn’t want to look like a one trick pony and taken something else. Because, lo and behold, Marian brought the Texas sheet cake and received all the raves and more that I had received when I brought it.
Long story short, Marian then brought the Texas sheet cake to every potluck from then on … and people always looked forward to and raved about “Marian’s Chocolate Cake”.
This didn’t stop me from sharing recipes, but I do still think of it sometimes when someone in a group asks for a recipe. And I have said a time or two, if it was someone in a group that gets together regularly, “I’ll be glad to give it to you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t bring it to this group, because I might want to bring it.” That has always worked.
But, this has also made me very aware of how easy it would be, after receiving a recipe from someone, to inadvertently do what the sweet Marian did. So I try to make sure that I don’t step on someone’s recipe “toes”.
One of life’s many lessons learned through, of all things, Marian’s Chocolate Cake.