DEAR ABBY: I have a special cake recipe that I have perfected over the years. I get compliments on it and requests for the recipe every time I take one to any non-family gathering.
People often ask me to make these cakes for them for special occasions. I always tell them that I will need to charge them for it because the ingredients are expensive. No one has a problem with paying me.
I love to cook, and it gives me pleasure to see people enjoy something I have prepared. However, because I use my special recipe as another source of income -- albeit a small one -- what can I say to those people who demand that they must have the recipe?
I usually evade the question by ignoring them, which I know is rude, but I don't know how to tell them "no" without seeming offensive and snobbish. Please help. -- FRUSTRATED COOK
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Saying no nicely shouldn't be difficult if you say it with a smile. One way would be to say, "I'm sorry -- I don't share this recipe because it's a way I can earn extra money." That's not rude; it's the truth. Another smiling response might be, "Coca-Cola isn't giving away its recipe, and neither am I!"