This morning I was reading a poem. It almost matched my thinking, but not quite. Still, I liked it. I thought of posting it here, but then realized I am not clear on what is appropriate or legal in such matters. I'm sure I've already made my fair share of mistakes.
Then I thought of all of the blogs that are based on recipes written by someone else and then adapted to suit the blogger and their post. This seems to be fully accepted as long as it is an adaptation of some sort and the original source is noted.
I wondered how Ruth Stone would feel if I adapted her poem, just changed a few words, toyed with her line spacing a bit, so it would better suit my post, and me. Would it be okay if I pulled a photograph from one of my fellow blogger's sites and decided to adjust the contrast a little and crop it in Photoshop for a post of my own?
Are we being unfair to original recipe writers? Is there such a thing as an original recipe, or has it all been done before?
See the photograph up there? It is a brunch offering at a cafe I like in Bolinas, CA. At first I thought, no I won't order it, I love beans and greens, but it is something I make at home. Then I changed my mind, wait, I will order it, see if they do anything better than I do, and steal their ideas to use at home. Yes, perfect! I was excited.
Their beans were better. I tried to ask about them, get some details, but I couldn't get a straight answer. Perhaps they wanted to keep their bean recipe a secret, or it was a locals only scenario.
Maybe we should just accept that what we make public is no longer our own. If it's a big secret, then we should keep it that way. Or maybe we should simply follow our moral compasses and everything will be fine.
I found a Q&A with Amanda Hesser, addressing such matters. My favorite part was this anecdote she shared:
People should take a step back and think about how they’re living their lives. There’s this great chai supplier in Connecticut. The first time I ordered the chai by phone, she told me she would send me an invoice. I said, “You mean, you’re going to send me the chai before I pay?” She replied, “Yes, because if you don’t pay, it’s really your problem, isn’t it?”So what am I really getting at here? I don't know. My mind has drifted to how I will replicate those delicious little pinquito beans from Coast Cafe. Like I've told you before, this is just a workshop. Playing around with thoughts and ideas is what I do here, but I also see this as a space for conversation.
So what do you think...about delicious little pinquito beans, secret recipes, adapted recipes, or anything else you are in the mood to share? Seriously, I'd like to know.
Thanks for reading.