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Patent a Recipe

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Adrianne 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 5:53 PM
  Subject: original recipe

  If a recipe I created is made up of 90% of commercially known product. Can I still patent my recipe? 



Hi Adrianne,

I doubt it. Better keep the ingredients secret, give it a unique name and trademark the name, instead. You can't patent most food recipes anyhow. Not only that, but if a recipe consists of just a list of ingredients, with instructions on how to mix and cook the dish, then you can't copyright it, either.

The courts long ago decided that a recipe that is just a list of ingredients with basic instructions is not protectable by law. If there's a lot of annotation with a recipe, like how your mom used to make it when you were a kid, etc, then that part of the text can be copyrighted, because it's just like any other piece of writing. Some restaurants and fast-food places protect their recipes by keeping them scret. But if someone discovers Kentucky Fried Chicken's "secret" blend of herbs and spices ("Top Secret Recipes" or the like), KFC can't sue them. They can only sue them if they try to use the trademarked name "Kentucky Fried Chicken."

The U.S. Copyright office says it like this:

"Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by SUBSTANTIAL LITERARY EXPRESSION in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection."

That's basically the same as what I said. Note that in practice, "SUBSTANTIAL " means more than just the basic instructions for making the dish. In a cookbook, the individual recipes may not be protected, but the unique collection of recipes IS protected.

As for a patent, the thinking is that your recipe must be SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT from any other recipe in order for it to have a chance at receiving a patent. In other words, if you make an apple pie using a Pet-Ritz crust, Mott's canned apple pie filling, and your unique ingredient is habanero peppers, then you may have a novel idea for apple pie there, but that one change would not be not considered significant enough for patent protection. Besides, how would you prove that you were the only person to ever make such a pie? They may have been making it for years in some small town in New Mexico and it may even be published in the local church ladies' cookbook that they sold to earn money for a new Sunday School room. In order to patent a recipe it has to be very different, or have an ingredient that you've invented. For instance, while researching this question, I read that someone had patented a lasagna recipe. However, closer examination showed that what was really being patented was the bottom shell, which was a unique, different kind of pasta. To make this lasagna, you didn't even need a pan. This pasta "shell" would hold all the ingredients together while the lasagna cooked, but wouldn't burn on the bottom. That's unique.


Wheatena Cookies

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maddy
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 1:29 AM
  Subject: Request For Help In Finding Cookie Recipe

  Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

  I have searched it seems like the whole Internet looking for a certain cookie recipe. 
  I now turn to you!

  My mother used to make these cookies when I was a child and I absolutely loved them. 
  They are Wheatena cookies. Yes, I did try sending email requests to the Wheatena manufacturer 
  and they didn't bother responding (so sad). My mother made them when I was a child in the late 
  fifties early sixties. They had Wheatena Cereal in them and although they are delicious they 
  are probably nutritious to boot.

  Thanks in advance for any help you may be in finding this recipe!


Hi Maddy,

See below.


  Wheatena Cookies 

  1/2 cup shortening 
  1 cup sugar 
  1 egg 
  2 tablespoons milk 
  1 1/2 cups flour 
  2 teaspoons baking powder 
  1/4 teaspoon salt 
  1/2 cup uncooked wheatena 

  Sift together flour, wheatena, salt & baking powder. Crean shortening & sugar, 
  add milk & beaten egg, then the sifted ingredients. Drop on a greased cookie 
  sheet, or roll very thin on a well floured board. Bake in medium (300 - 350) oven, 
  about 10 minutes. 

Copper Green

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Allene 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 12:34 PM
  Subject: stop the oxidization!!


  i've come to your vast banks of knowledge once again.   while the marischino cherries you 
  gave me the recipe for cool for their final boiling, my other big problem raises it's ugly 
  head again.

  recently, my husband bought a very nice golf bracelet.  it's comprised of a band of sterling 
  silver, then a band of copper followed by another band of sterling.  it looks really good on 
  his wrist, and he really likes it, except for the recurring green.

  we know this if from the copper, and since he got it at an arts festival, we asked at a local 
  jewelry store.  they sold him some stuff called simichrome polish which makes it really shiny, 
  and we've coated the inside of the bracelet with clear fingernail polish, but the green always 
  comes back.

  is there any way we can treat, or have it treated to stop the green?

  thanks again for all your help. 

  later, gator!

Hi Allene,

There's not much you can do. The green is caused by your husband's sweat interacting with the copper to form compounds called "chelates". If he is wearing the copper for arthritis, then you actually want to see the green, because that means it's working correctly. Every website that I found said it was no use, there's nothing you can do to stop the green except to stop wearing copper. Copper doesn't do this as much with everyone. It depends somewhat on your body chemistry, particularly on the acidity of your sweat.

If it were me, I'd look around for some liquid polypropylene (plastic) and try coating the inside of the bracelet with that. You can buy that sort of thing at arts & crafts and hardware stores. It can't hurt, and it might work. Fingernail polish just isn't a thick enough coating.

Your husband, if he wishes to go to such extremes in order to wear a bracelet, might try reducing his intake of acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits. I wouldn't bet that it would work, but I've heard of people doing that. Maybe you can find him a similar bracelet made with other metals.

But remember, if he expects to get some benefit from wearing copper, it has to touch his skin, and it will, therefore, go green.


Sugarless Jams

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ruth"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 9:21 AM
Subject: jams

> Hi,
> I recently purchased a jam that was made from an old French recipe using
> grape juice not sugar as a sweetner.  We are on a sugar free diet and I
> would like to make my own jams now that the berry season is upon us.  I do
> not want to use sugar free subsitutues.  People I have asked about this
> say they have heard of it but don't have recipes.  Can you help me?
> Thanks, Ruth

Hello Ruth,

There are a few of these recipes around (see below), but most jam recipes without added sugar have artifical sweeteners.


Sugarless  Jam

 Ingredients :
 12 oz. can apple juice concentrate or other concentrate
 1/2 can water
 3 to 4 heaping tbsp. tapioca
 Pinch of salt
 Few drops of lemon
 1 pkg. berries (strawberries, boysenberries, black berries)

 Preparation :
   Add water and tapioca to apple juice concentrate and let stand 5
 to 10 minutes.  Put tapioca mixture in blender and blend.  Mash
 berries in a saucepan and add tapioca mixture.  Bring to a boil,
 stirring frequently.  Let cool and pour into jars.  Makes about 2
 1/4 pints.
 Sugarless  Jam

 Ingredients :
 1 c. crushed unsweetened pineapple, drained
 1 c. dates
 1/4 c. dried apricots
 Juice of 2 lemons

 Preparation :
    Mix all ingredients in blender.  Makes 28 (1 tablespoon)
 servings.  One tablespoons equals 1/2 fruit exchange or 24 calories.
  Keep refrigerated.
 Sugarless  Berry  Jam

 Ingredients :
 1 qt. fresh berries
 3 packets (4 tbsp.) unflavored gelatin
 1 tbsp. honey
 2 c. white grape juice or apple juice

 Preparation :
    Sprinkle gelatin over half of the juice.  Let soften 3 minutes.
 Puree berries in blender.  In medium saucepan, combine all
 ingredients.  Bring to slow, steady boil.  Skim foam.  Reduce heat
 and simmer 3 to 5 minutes.  Pour into sterilized jars and seal with
All Fruit Jam
(with modified food starch)

1 1/2 quarts strawberries, washed, hulled and mashed or grated (about 3
1/2 cups)
1/2 cup apple juice, frozen concentrate (reconstituted)
1/2 cup cherry juice, frozen concentrate (reconstituted)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Measure all of the above into a medium sized bowl and stir together.
Then stir in 1/2 cup Instant Clear Jel. Store in three small freezer
containers and freeze or refrigerate. Use the refrigerated All Fruit Jam
within two weeks.

Doughballs for Fishing

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Betty" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2003 8:51 PM
Subject: Doughballs For Fishing...

> How do we make them?

Hi Betty,

See below.


Dough Balls for Fishing

1 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 cups ground cornmeal
3/4 cup flour

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Lower heat and add cornmeal and flour. Stir
over low heat for 5 minutes. Cover and put in double boiler on low for 1/2
hour. If too thick, add water. If too thin, add flour.

Knead dough when cool enough to handle. Divide dough into 5 parts. Wrap each
piece tightly and freeze so it will be ready for those last-minute fishing

Variation: This recipe can be varied by adding a tablespoon of peanut butter
or a secret flavor of your own.
Carp Dough Balls

Really its quite simple. Take one whole piece of bread and remove the crust.
after dipping the rest in bacon grease roll it into a tight ball until semi
hard. Great for carp!
Submitted By :-Unkown
Dough Balls for Cat fishing

1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. sugar
1 small pkg. strawberry jello
1 pint water
1 cup flour
2 cups corn meal

Boil vanilla, sugar and jello in one pint of water.  While this is
simmering, mix flour and corn meal. While the liquid is boiling, mix the dry
ingredients in slowly.  Stir for two minutes then remove from heat. Keep in
a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Pinch off enough to make a ball as you
Nuke Bait


2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
3 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg gelatin(strawberry,cherry,grape-Any flavor)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups h2o
1 bag of small flavored marshmallows

Pour all ingredients except flour into pot, mix together
On medium-low heat, stir all ingredient together till all marshmallows are gone
Add 1/2 cup flour and stir till there is no flour left.
Add another 1/2 cup flour and stir till there is no flour left
And once again add another 1/2 cup flour and stir till there is no flour left
Keep stirring till its like dough or till your wrist is broken, whichever comes first
Put in a plastic butter tub and place in fridge till ready to use
When at the fishin' hole, roll into good sized ball around hook.


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